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Thursday, April 06, 2006 

A Tradition Unlike Any Other

That’s right, today marks one of my favorite days of the year, the first day of the greatest four days in golf…The Masters. I was brainstorming ideas for a Masters column, and I kept coming back to the same thing: when it comes to the Masters, nobody says it better than Jim Nantz. His poetic intros are equal parts cheesy and legendary. With that in mind, if Jim Nantz was going to give you a preview of this year’s Masters, it would go something like this [you have to use the Nantz voice when reading this or it just won’t have the same effect]:

“Hello friends and welcome to Augusta National and the 70th annual Masters. The start of spring is not marked on a calendar or in the Almanac. No, the advent of spring is officially marked by the bursts of azaleas and magnolias that line this hallowed ground tucked in the furthest most eastern corner of Georgia. It’s on this hallowed ground that men by the name of Snead, Hogan, Palmer, Player, Nicklaus, Watson, Faldo, and Woods have transformed from mere legends to immortals. It was on these hallowed grounds that Georgia’s favorite son, the great Bobby Jones, put the brush to canvas and created the most glorious 18 holes in golf. It was on these hallowed grounds twenty years ago that Jack Nicklaus finally fulfilled Ponce De Leon’s great search for the Fountain of Youth and turned back the hands of time for a glorious afternoon. It was on these hallowed grounds in 1997 that a young man named Woods introduced himself to the world and commenced his march into history. And, it was on these hallowed grounds just two years ago that a man named Mickelson finally answered all the critics and cemented his place among the giants of the game. And now, in just three short days, competitor after competitor will emerge from Amen Corner with his sights on immortality. One by one they will fade into the setting Georgia sun until only one man is left standing. Will Tiger win one more for his father? Will Phil again silence the critics and stare down Tiger without flinching on Sunday? Will Els finally slip his arms into that elusive Green Jacket? Will Vijay make one last run? Will three time champion Nick Faldo wake up the echoes of The Bear’s triumph twenty years ago? Will the young Spaniard, Sergio Garcia, finally fulfill his destiny and follow in the footsteps of his idol, Seve? Or, will the young Brit, Luke Donald catch lightning in a bottle and wave the Union Jack on the sister course of The Old Course? All these questions and many more will be answered by the time the sun goes down on Sunday, but one thing we know for certain is that it’s spring time in Augusta, and it’s a tradition unlike any other…The Masters on CBS!!!”

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Weekly Top 7

All-Time Top 7 Sports Movies

7) Kingpin - "The world can really kick your ass. I only have a vague recollection of when it wasn't kickin' mine" - Roy Munson

6) Caddyshack - "Don't sell yourself short Judge. You're a tremendous slouch." - Ty Webb

5) Major League - "Want me to drag him outta here, kick the shit out of him?" - Rick Vaugh

4) Eight Men Out - "Say it ain't so Joe. Say it ain't so." - Pee Wee

3) Rocky - "If I can go that distance, you see, and that bell rings and I'm still standin', I'm gonna know for the first time in my life, see, that I weren't just another bum from the neighborhood." - Rocky Balboa

2) The Natural - "I coulda been better. I coulda broke every record in the book." - Roy Hobbs

AND...

1) Hoosiers - "My team's on the floor!" - Coach Dale

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Getting this Laker team into the playoffs is the best coaching job Phil has ever done. Now he can list "The WAD" Man of the Week right next to his 9 rings on his list of accomplishments. Is there any reason for him to keep going?

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