From the Sidelines

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 19, 1998

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / August 19, 1998

If you need an example of hard work and determination paying off, Vijay Singh’s victory in the PGA Championship is it. Singh is one of the hardestworkers on the PGA Tour and probably one of the most well-liked. Thesoft-spoken golfer from Fiji was also a crowd favorite at Sahalee Country Club in Seattle, earning appreciative applause from the first tee to the 18th green.

Many will point to the lucky bounce that Singh got out of the trees onto the 11th green, but he still had to contend with a steady rain and contention from a host of players including Steve Stricker, 1995 PGA champions Steve Elkington and Mark O’Meara, making a bid to become the first man since Ben Hogan to win three majors in the same year.

Singh showed steady nerves down the stretch, keeping Stricker at arm’s length for his first major. Sometimes good guys do finish first. All the attention has been on Tiger Woods and golf but what about another athlete dominating his sport even more? Jeff Gordon is turning NASCAR into his own victory lane, becoming the seventh driver to win four straight races. His latest victory came in thePepsi 400 this weekend.

Of course, Gordon will be the first one to tell you that this victory could be attributed to his pit crew, which won it for him in the final 10 laps.

The Saints showed some improvement in their game against Denver Friday but the end result was still the game.

For the second straight week, the opposition drove right down the field on its opening possession for a touchdown. And at the end when the defenseneeded to come up with a big play, it was the Broncos doing it instead to pull out the victory.

It has been the same away for most of the past five seasons. Remember”coulda shoulda woulda”? Well, that might be a common refrain again this season if the Saints do not find a way to run the ball and stop the run.

Much has been made this week about the 50th anniversary of Babe Ruth’s death. His on the field accomplishments have been highlighted but whatabout off the field? Like the coverage of the presidency in the early part of the century, much was covered up about Ruth’s off the field exploits.

From what is now being reported he was a legendary womanizer, drinker and glutton who liked to promote the fact that he made more money than the President of the United States.

Or in other words, he would fit in perfectly with many of today’s professional athletes.

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