CALGARY - For one fine day, all was well in the sports world Sunday.
A kid named Bubba used Georgia as a backdrop to win what may turn out to be his very first piece of formal wear.
With a bottoned-up shirt, a Vitas Gerulaitis visor and a pink driver, the lefthanded longballer who's never taken a lesson in his life gritted his way to Masters glory.
Good ol' Bubba Watson tapped in on the second extra hole as the sun set on the world's most exclusive golf club, embracing his caddy then mom Molly as he sobbed so brilliantly.
Making headlines earlier this year for paying $110,000 for the original General Lee Dodge Charger from The Dukes of Hazzard, the man with the sweet southern drawl was previously known more for linking the PGA Tour with NASCAR by way of a parade lap he was denied at a recent Phoenix race over fears of controversy sparked by the Confederate flag on the orange car's roof.
And yet there he was Sunday, calmly clawing away at his first major, punctuated by a shot for the ages out of the trees.
And it all comes two weeks after adopting a son, setting up the best pause and quote of the year while fighting back tears:
"I never got this far in my dreams "¶ to talk."
Indeed, for one fine day, all was well in sport.
Now for more notes, quotes and anecdotes from a sports world wondering how anyone can suggest Erik Karlsson should get Hart Trophy consideration when he's not even MVP of his own team, thanks to Jason Spezza.
AROUND THE HORN
Cross Pat Brisson off the list of candidates for the vacant Montreal Canadiens GM job. The L.A.-based player agent is from Montreal and was contacted, but he's simply not interested, as his hockey division at Creative Artists Agency houses 65 players including several of the biggest names in the game "¶ Not only has Sean Burke done a great job this year with Phoenix Coyotes netminder Mike Smith, but he also deserves credit for helping his son Brendan jump into the WHL as a 16-year-old, who went 7-2-2 as a backup with the Portland Winterhawks this season "¶ The long list of those who piled on Sidney Crosby last week was reminiscent of the way Wayne Gretzky was treated in the 1980s by frustrated fans in Calgary, who greeted him at the Saddledome with chants of "whi-ner, whi-ner." Just like Gretzky, no one can figure out a way to stop Crosby, so rivals are reverting to gamesmanship. Former Flames coach Terry Crisp said when asked him about both, "I don't understand why you'd poke the bear. The last thing I wanted to do was piss (Gretzky) off. Do you want him even more motivated on the ice? It's like standing at a barbecue and all is well until you throw a little more gasoline on the fire, and then 'boom' -- the steaks are gone, the house is gone and everything is wrecked." "¶ One group happy about the Crosby-bashing: The Vancouver Canucks. After all, it appears the Pittsburgh Penguins have knocked the Canucks off the mantle as the team labelled the league's most arrogant bunch.
Best part of the Akim Aliu coming out party in Calgary is that the Nigerian-born winger didn't start playing hockey until age 12, proving kids don't need to start at age five and play hockey all year long to make the NHL ... Hearing more and more Lindy Ruff is safe in Buffalo, but GM Darcy Regier isn't ... Duncan Keith on what he did to pass the time away during his five-game suspension: "I walked the dogs a lot." "¶ That sound you heard over the weekend was from NHL executives in Los Angeles, Washington and San Jose exhaling after dodging major bullets in the final weekend of play ... For all media types making those fearless predictions: Picking Chicago over Phoenix or New Jersey over Florida does not count as picking "upsets." "¶ The Masters closed with a brilliant quote, but it also opened with one when Jack Nicklaus was asked if he, Arnold Palmer or Gary Player had the long drive of the three ceremonial tee shots to open the tourney: "None of us can see that far anymore."
On Twitter: @ericfrancis
Eric Francis appears regularly as a panellist on CBC's Hockey Night in Canada