Celebrity golf with Dan Jansen, John Elway, Ray Romano, more
Ever wonder what sports stars and actors do when they retire? Play golf, of course, so much that a group of them got together and started the Celebrity Players Tour. I am married to one of those retired sport legends, Dan Jansen. Do you remember him, the speedskater? No, not the decathlete guy, you are thinking of Dave Johnson of the Dan and Dave Reebok commercials. People get them confused all the time. Dan won gold in the 1000 meters. No, he just won one gold medal. You are thinking of Eric Heiden, he won 5 gold medals. It is hard to keep track of all those Olympians.
Anyway, he is alive and well living in North Carolina with me and his two daughters, my step-daughters. His oldest daughter Jane is now 13; she was the one he carried around in his victory lap. He owns a medical distribution company, works for NBC as a broadcaster and plays golf on the Celebrity Players Tour.
We just returned from San Diego where he played in Stan Humphries Charity Event. Do you remember Stan? He retired in 1998 after ten seasons in the NFL with both the Washington Redskins and the San Diego Chargers. The Celebrity Players Tour or CPT events are usually two-day pro-ams followed by a two-day stroke play tournament. Some of the celebrities on the tour are good players like the eventual winner Rick Roden, former baseball player and part-time Champion’s Tour player. And some of the celebrities are bad golfers like Charles Barkley, but they all love golf and raise a lot of money for charity. Here is an update on some of the celebrities we hung out with at the tournament:
John Elway - Led the Denver Broncos to five Super Bowls, including victories in Super Bowls XXXII and XXXIII. A scratch golfer with a solid swing and a good short game, he came in third after shooting rounds of 69 and 72 and he is in love. We went out to dinner with him and his new girlfriend, Paige. They were very lovey-dovey at dinner. It was kind of cute at first …
Mike Eruzione - Captain of the gold medal winning 1980 United States Hockey Team; he scored the winning goal in the semifinal game against the Soviet Union. He plays to an 8 handicap and is happy when he breaks 80. He lost a bunch of weight using Nutri System and is now a celebrity endorser for the program. He is sticking to program, at breakfast he ordered an egg white omelet with no cheese and fruit instead of potatoes. Unlike yours truly who ordered a cheese omelet with the yoke and a side of bacon with the potatoes.
Rollie Fingers - Inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame in 1992. Shot a solid round of 75 the first day, but lost his form the second day when he shot 80. He also lost his putter and driver when he threw them in the pond after bad shots. He was recently in the news because of $1 million back taxes he owes the State of Wisconsin when he was a Milwaukee Brewer. He said the whole thing is just a misunderstanding.
Emmitt Smith - NFL’s leading All-Time Leading Rusher. He won three Super Bowl titles with Dallas Cowboys. Has a good swing and hits the ball a mile, but he is a bit inconsistent on the golf course. Maybe he has been doing too much dancing and not enough practice. Did you know that they actually get paid for being on Dancing with the Stars? Emmitt told us at lunch that they get a pay check every week they stay on the show and a bonus check for winning. No wonder he wears what looks like a 20 carat diamond earring.
Ray Romano - Best known for his work on the hit CBS comedy Everybody Loves Raymond for which he won the 2002 Emmy Award. Well, we really didn’t really hang out with him last week at the tournament, but he did greet us one morning at breakfast. Ray, a 9-handicapper, is a very deliberate player. It took his group 6 hours to play their first round. I thought he would have been cracking jokes while he was playing, but he was very serious about his game. He did crack a smile when he sank a 6-foot putt on the last hole to save bogey.
Jim McMahon - Jim led the Chicago Bears offense for seven seasons (1982-1988) and drove them to a 46-10 victory over New England in the ‘86 Super Bowl. Jim a 4-handicap is capable of shooting under par, but is also capable of shooting 90 when he looses interest. Jim is one of the most eccentric people I know. He plays golf barefoot because he says that it helps him slow his swing down. Jim also enjoys a cocktail now and then, in fact, I saw him crack open a beer during the singing of the National Anthem Sunday morning before his round.
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