“Un Gran Persona”

On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS May 6, 2013 #435       Up next…”Un Gran Persona”

In the post match interview following the 77th Masters Golf tournament Angel Cabrera, who had just lost in a two-hole playoff to Adam Scott, was asked his thoughts. While acknowledging that winning might have been the more satisfying result, he referred to the winner, Australian Scott, as “un gran judador” and “una gran persona” (a great player and a great person). The fourth day of challenging golf saw more than a half-dozen names atop the leader board. But in the end, it was a duel between Scott and Cabrera and their contrasting styles.

 Scott is the first Australian to win the Augusta National Masters, including the great Greg Norman. Scott said that it was Norman who served as an inspiration for so many Australian golfers. What was impressive was this sign of true sportsmanship that occurred after Scott sank the winning putt on the second playoff hole.  Cabrera and Scott walked off the green with arms around each others. The spirit of competition in its noblest expression!

Segue this to another “Gran Persona” in the person of Rick Reilly. Reilly, a close friend and fellow golfer, graced the pages of Sports Illustrated for 23 years, with a 10-year stretch as the “back-page” of each issue with his column “Life of Reilly.” “Missing Links” and “Who’s Your Caddy” are among his best-selling fiction book titles.  The New York Times named him “one of the funniest humans on the planet,” to which Reilly likely responded “Ahh…which planet are we talking about?” His writing isn’t so much about sports, but rather the people who play sports, their lives, and their human spirit. As an ESPN commentator he is frequently on-camera for such events as the Super Bowl, the Final Four, and the Masters, providing a uniquely twisted perspective to what we all are watching.

His philanthropic efforts blossomed with “Nothing But Nets” as Reilly put the old cliché to work to provide anti-malarial mosquito nets for African children. The campaign has raised over $32 million dollars to date. Please join Rick and so many of us at Carmel’s Sunset Center on this Thursday, May 9th, for a wine tasting at 6 p.m., and Reilly’s special program at 7 p.m.  For tickets and information call      831-620-2048 or online www.sunsetcenter.org.

Will you come and hear Rick Reilly and enjoy his take on the sporting life and human giving?

To contact Jim go to www.jimtunney.com or email him at jim@jimtunney.com.

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