—-Not everybody out there was able to hear Ernie Johnson Jr.’s wondrous memories at his dad’s services; this is one that should be shared. Ernie Jr. told a story of when he was breaking in on TV at Macon, about the time Ernie Sr. and Lois were driving home from spring training. As they approached Macon, Senior remembered that Junior would be making his debut that evening about ten minutes later. In haste they pulled into a hotel and Ernie said to the man at the desk, “We’d like to have a room for 30 minutes.”
“For just 30 minutes?” the desk clerk asked, suspiciously.
“Yes, we want to see the news. We’re from Atlanta and…”
“You’re from Atlanta and you want to see the Macon news?”
I’m not sure that they got to see Ernie Jr. make his debut, but I liked his dad’s approach.
—-Sometimes it seems the kids are always getting all the attention, as in the case of Larry Nelson. Larry is in the twilight of his glorious golfing career, of course, but what you don’t know is this: That his mother, now 92 years old, plays the piano at the Methodist church in Acworth every Sunday morning. I wonder if they keep a record of just how many consecutive Sunday mornings she has played there—you know, like those sports consecutives they speak of in sports.
—-So they call Mark Richt, and ask him about the big football scandal at University of Miami? Mark Richt? Yeah, he’s a Hurricane alumnus, but he played there before most of these guys were born, and he would have inside stuff on this guy Shapiro who pulled his gig years after Richt was gone? Desperation journalism, right?
—-Fredi Gonzales was asked, after a certain controversial play, if he if he had been worried about what he would be asked after the game. The Braves boss’ reply was: “If I managed while worrying about what questions I’d be asked after a game, I’d quit. You can’t manage and worry about stuff like that. When I make a move, I believe in it.”
—-One thing about Gonzales we’ve found out since he took over the Braves, he’s not the kind of manager who’ll give you a turn-off. If he hasn’t got an answer on the tip of his tongue, he respects the inquirer and his question with a common sense reply.
—-Just about every PGA tournament finish is usually is followed by the winner being swarmed by a covey of kids, and the wife. When Keegan Bradley won the PGA Championship, there was a swarm, but Bradley is a bachelor. These were nieces and nephews under the surveillance of his sister, awaiting him off the 18th green at the Athletic Club.
—-In-house stuff: Vern Lundquist has been at this broadcast game since broadcasters used old microphones, and covered every sport from horse to horseshoe-pitching. What I like about him most is that he has a voice that sounds like a letter from home.