The legend grows.
During the recent Golf Digest Collegiate Invitational on the Tournament Players Course at the Woodlands, just north of Houston, Arizona State's Phil Mickelson, who has been likened to the young Jack Nicklaus, asked for a free drop when his drive landed in what he considered casual water. Archrival Manny Zerman of Arizona, his playing partner that day, refused to grant the request.
"Phil had mud on the back of his ball and he wanted a free drop so he could clean the ball," Zerman was quoted as saying in the June issue of Golf Digest. "But he had to press down with his feet to draw the water, and that's illegal. So I said no."
Bad move. Mickelson glared at Zerman, took a seven-iron from his bag, sized up his second shot on the par-four, 18th hole--160 yards over water--and swung, purposely adjusting his swing to hit the mudless part of the ball. As Zerman watched in stunned silence, the ball landed on the green and one bounce later dropped into the cup for an eagle two and a piece of history. No one had ever eagled the hole before.
"I guess you didn't need that drop, did you?" Zerman said.
Moments later, Arizona Coach Rick LaRose approached Zerman with words to live by when it comes to playing against the country's best amateur.
"The next time Phil Mickelson wants a drop, give it to him," LaRose said. "Don't make him mad."
But Zerman got the last laugh, sort of. Mickelson won individual honors for the 54-hole tournament, but Zerman's Wildcats won the team championship.
Only in the NFL: Conditioning coach Al Miller of the Denver Broncos has somehow persuaded--or just plain ordered--his players to wear parachutes while doing sprints this spring.
"It's simple, it's productive and it doesn't alter the technique of actual sprinting," Miller told USA Today.
According to Miller, running back Blake Ezor lowered his 40-yard dash time from 4.77 to 4.63 seconds after using parachute training for a month.
And people wonder why the Broncos finished 5-11 last season?
The Boz-car awards: There is no truth to the rumor that producers of Brian Bosworth's new movie, "Stone Cold," came up with the title after watching replays of Bo Jackson's memorable 1987 steamrollering run over the Boz in the Seattle Kingdome.
Trivia time: Former Minnesota Viking Coach Bud Grant was 0-4 in Super Bowl appearances. He did, however, manage to win one important championship. What was it? Hint: He was a player.
Civic pride: Bill Parcells, who resigned Wednesday as coach of the New York Giants, is gone but not forgotten. Not only did he lead the team to two Super Bowl championships, he inspired this comment from David Letterman in 1987, the season the Giants made the first of those two title appearance under Parcells:
"The Giants are in the Super Bowl. I haven't seen this much excitement in New York since they made shoplifting a misdemeanor."
The loneliest profession: South Carolina fired its basketball coach, George Felton, last week, despite a 20-13 record last season and an 87-62 overall mark at the school. Here's hoping that Felton remembered those semi-famous words spoken by Ohio State's Woody Hayes:
"They give you a Cadillac one year, and the next year they give you the gas to get out of town."
Trivia answer: Grant played on the 1949-50 Minneapolis Laker team that won the NBA championship.
Quotebook: Jerry Pritikin, 54, a Chicago Cub fan who complained that the bleacher seats at Wrigley Field have been invaded by yuppies: "They show up wearing ties, their Rolexes and some even bring their cellular phones."