Continued from "Be Like Mike?"
Are there any sports where the members are of high moral and ethical character? A sport where there isn't controversy or isn't on the front page of the "Celebrity Sports Crime Blotter everyday?"
Baseball? Football? Basketball? Hockey? Wrestling? Cycling? Track and Field? No. Not one has evaded the crime blotter.
What about tennis? That's a nice gentlemanly sport. Nope. They're embroiled in a match fixing scandal.
How about golf?
Sure, John Daly has every addiction known to man, but he hasn't run afoul of the law.
That's the sport! I mean, look at Tiger, Phil, Freddie, Jack and Arnold. Who wouldn't want to be like them? And don't the PGA and LPGA tours donate millions of dollars each year to charity? Yep. So that's my answer--- golf!
Not so fast Kurt Busch! I opened up my sports web page this morning and there he was. No, not a story about Michael Vick, Pacman Jones, Jim Leyritz, Referee Tim Donaghy or Tony Larussa it was a story about Tripp Isenhour.
Who, you ask?
A golfer in trouble with the law? Seriously? C'mon, what did he do? Fail to yield at a crosswalk while driving his golf cart? Hit an errant tee shot into someone's multi-million dollar home and break picture window? Nope. He hit a hawk.
"Hit a hawk?" Now, I've heard of birds, eagles and the quite rare albatross, but what's a hawk?
He hit a hawk. As in the feathery endangered, federally protected Red Shouldered Hawk that was perched in its nest 300 yards away from where Tripp was shooting an infomercial entitled, "Shoot Like a Pro" at the Grand Cypress Golf Course in Orlando, Florida.
Witnesses said, Tripp was annoyed when the screeching bird caused him and the crew to reshoot part of the segment. According to court documents, Tripp was upset when the hawk began making noise and forced another take on the show. He jumped in a golf cart, drove closer and began hitting balls at the bird about 300 yards away. After the hawk moved within about 75 yards and perched in a tall pine tree, Isenhour tried again! He allegedly said: "I'll get him now" and aimed for the hawk.
"He just kept saying how he didn't think he could have hit it, which I think is a stupid thing for a PGA Tour golfer to say," said Jethro Senger, a sound engineer at the shoot.
I'll say! Isn't he a professional golfer that is filming a segment on how to shoot like a pro?
Let me get this straight? Tripp was annoyed that the bird was squawking? And he had to reshoot another take? So he deliberately got into a golf cart, drove closer to the hawk, fired golf shots to "silence the bird?" And when his first attempt failed, he tried again? And this time was successful?
Are you kidding me? A little bird got inside your kitchen and rattled your cage? The little birdie pissed you off? Boo hoo! So you killed it?
If Tripp were playing in a PGA golf tournament with Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, I would bet that there would be nothing that would rattle this Nationwide Tour Pro; not a camera, the weather, an official, screaming fans, or Tiger shooting a record round. Nothing. But a bird? C'mon Tripp, what were you thinking?
Did you stop to think that maybe you and your 15 member crew were invading the Hawks' territory? That maybe you were too close to her nest? After all, you invaded her nest, her territory?
I wonder what would happen if the bird entered your house? Shot dead, I bet?
You should be ashamed of yourself!
Now I have to look for another sport devoid of controversy. Any one up for badminton? I'll bring the shuttlecock.
Note: Isenhour was charged in Orlando with cruelty to animals and killing a migratory bird, misdemeanors that carry a maximum penalty of 14 months in jail and $1,500 in fines.
Copyright 2008 Steve Kay