|I want one.|
A great event to benefit a great charity took place last Friday at the Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex, and BS was there to participate, along with a host of others.
I got into town very late on Thursday night/Friday morning, flying into Midway in Chicago and then renting a car and driving down. I got several offers to hang out and go together via Twitter but each random person I stopped near on Cicero Avenue looked at me weird. I imagine some of them would have carjacked me if I had been driving something better than a Dodge Caliber.
Anyway, on Friday I made my way to the golf complex and the first person I met was contest winner Doug Ledman. As you may recall from his son's contest entry, Doug -- Purdue class of '78 -- was a teacher for 32 years, recently retired, and has put four sons through Purdue. If ever there was a guy who deserved a day like this, it's Doug.
We got lunch and after saying hello to Gene Keady, we caught up with Ed, the kind soul who donated the two foursomes for this event. We then found Michelle, the runner-up to Doug in the contest and eventually the rest of the crew trickled in. We had two more players who were there from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lafayette as well as contest winner Martin and B-Dowd's brother, whom you may know as K-Deezee from his handful of Handsome Hour appearances.
We began on the 12th hole of the Ackerman course and learned that we'd be playing the back nine of Ackerman and the front nine of the Pete Dye-designed ass-kicker known as Kampen. Within a couple of holes, we came across the drink girl for the first time...and her helper was Danny Hope.
We had missed the green to the right on the par 5 we were playing and so we now were chipping on. And it was my turn as Coach got out and stood to watch. Outstanding. So now I'm trying to force out of my mind that not only do we need my chip to get close, but I have Danny Hope evaluating me. Fortauntely, I hit one of my better flops and Coach even complimented my shot. Kind of a nice ego-booster.
|Coach Hope with the BS foursome.|
Coach Hope spent at least ten minutes with us, talking about football and life and asking about us. And, as pretty much anyone who has met the man will attest, he's a very hard guy not to like. Coach asked where I was visiting from and I told him about living in Houston until recently and now moving my life back to New York.
"Are you gonna be in Houston when we come to play Rice?" Hope asked excitedly. "Maybe you'll be there to close on your house!"
Coach also talked about how many guys are coming back with experience and how talented he thinks the team can be. The funny thing was while he did talk to us personally and asked about us -- and listened -- he also seemed to still be working from his bullet points on why the team is looking good. Maybe that's just his style and his laser focus, I don't know. But as I said, it's hard not to like the guy.
After we'd taken a number of photos and he'd happily obliged, I said, "Thanks for being patient with us, Coach." To which he responded, "Hey, thanks for being patient with us."
I later learned that he spent a good 10-15 minutes with the other foursome, too, to the point where K felt like he was taking too much of the coach's time. Good guy.
We moved around the course at a decent clip, given it was a scramble that was quite well-attended and only once did I make a wrong turn and wind up at the incorrect tee. It just so happens that it was the tee Morgan Burke was at as well and as he gave me that "WTF?" look that you give a yahoo on your local muni course, I just shouted, "Sorry, Morgan, wrong tee!" and did a U-turn without stopping to do the K-turn approach. At which point Ed said, "Well, I guess we really will be driving over the tee boxes." (We were only close, not actually on it.)
The Boiled Sports sponsorship signs appeared on holes 1 and 11 (I think) of Kampen and looked terrific. As I said to Ed, the thing I enjoyed most about them was knowning Burke would see them and curse.
Someone on Twitter said last week that they had just realized how cool our logo is. A great compliment and I hope others thought that too as they shanked their drives.
A nice perk on the day was that the refreshment stops were complimentary, including alcoholic refreshment. Given that I'd had a couple beers already and that it was, you know, free, I decided to try the MGD 64 Lemonade. I don't know why, either, but it wasn't half bad.
Ed, for some reason, said "I thought you might try one of those." Sure, sure... but if it had been a Leinenkugel, everybody woulda been fine with it. Snooty, if you ask me.
We weren't a foursome full of dedicated golfers, so the fact that we wound up with 15 pars and three bogeys as a team sounded okay to me. And our 74 wasn't nearly the worst score. Of course, the other BS foursome managed to post a 66, which I was impressed with....but was stil 11 shots off the winners. Wow.
|J demonstrates the form of an old man.|
After the round, we gathered under the tent once again for some more chow (from Brunos!), drinks and the charity auction to raise money for the Brees Dream Foundation.
Drew himself ran the auction and managed to get people to up their bids by being his charming self. He auctioned off three autographed Saints #9 jerseys for $750 apiece, plus a signed helmet for $1200. Sadly, our bid of $20 came up short.
He also sold nine -- nine -- two-person packages to go to the Saints-Steelers game in October and get sideline passes (and air and hotel, etc.) for $3500 apiece.
In the end, the fairly short charity auction raised $50,000 for the Brees Dream Foundation. Gotta feel good about that.
Drew also took a couple shots at the NFL owners, which drew some laughs, but I guess the last laugh wll be on the people who spent $3500 to go to a Saints game this fall that might not happen. Heh. (Yes, yes, I know they'll make good on it.)
|Drew expertly cajoling money out of the deep pockets of Purdue alums.|
After the auction, a couple of us headed to the pro shop to cash in our $10 credits there, and Michelle managed to get a photo with the man of honor -- it's amazing how much more normal it seems when a young girl asks for a photo with an athlete rather than a middle-aged dude like me.
My Drew story of the weekend didn't come until the next morning. As I walked into Triple XXX for breakfast at 7:45 AM before hitting the road, who is sitting at the counter but the man himself. What's neat about being a celebrity at Purdue is that as much as he is beloved, he's also able to be himself. I imagine if he was eating in a greasy spoon in New Orleans, he might be endlessly pestered. But in West Lafayette, people let him enjoy his breakfast -- yes, he ordered the Drew Brees -- with only a modicum of fuss.
All in all, a terrific day with some great people. Congrats again to the winners of the BS contest and special thanks again to Ed Sigo, class of '97, who generously donated the funds needed for the two foursomes and the sponsorship signs. He said multiple times that no thanks were necessary, but we are extremely appreciative.