On Tuesday I had the opportunity to play in the 2012 ESPY Celebrity Golf Outing in Los Angeles to once again benefit the Jimmy V Foundation for cancer research. Besides having the opportunity to meet numerous professional athletes and actors, it was also an honor to take part in such a great cause.
My group -- which was invited by friends from Clear Men Scalp Therapy (gotta fight those flakes, gentlemen) -- consisted of myself, two fellow bloggers and Sal Masekela of Winter X Games fame. While our team struggled slightly on our iron-play, we still came in at 2-under par for the tournament and T-19 overall. We were pretty proud of our achievement ... until we discovered that Dancing With The Stars' Tony Dovolani and his foursome (8-under) won the whole darn thing. Those dancer guys are sneaky good with a putter, apparently.
Among the other celebrities in the field were Carlos Bocanegra, Tim Brown, Dwight Clark, Billy Crudup, Eric Dickerson, Trent Dilfer, Lee Elder, Julius Erving, Mike Golic, Mike Greenberg, Chris Harrison, Bruce Jenner, Greg Jennings, Lou Holtz, Joe Mantegna, Willis McGahee, Bode Miller, Mike Piazza, Jalen Rose, Stuart Scott, Matthew Stafford, John Saunders, Alan Thicke, Amani Toomer, Tommy Tuberville, Lindsey Vonn, Dereck Whittenburg, Michael Wilbon, Kellen Winslow Sr. and quite a few others. Needless to say, they pretty much had sports and entertainment covered.
More importantly, of course, was the ultimate presentation of a $1 million check to Nick Valvano, V Foundation chairman and brother to the late Jimmy Valvano. During his acceptance of the unprecedented amount, Valvano reminisced of his late brother and how important ESPN has been for their family.
"As always, The V Foundation extends our gratitude to our ESPN family for their unwavering commitment to our cause. My brother Jim knew that beating cancer would require a team, and we could not ask for a better partner."
Those who've seen Jimmy V's famous speech from 20 years ago are well aware of the emotion and drive behind his message of perseverance and "never giving up." In this day and age, cancer has unfortunately touched the lives of literally everyone in the world as you either have a personal connection to the disease or know somehow who has. With any luck and continued support like what I had the privilege of seeing this week, organizations like the Jimmy V Foundation will continue to close the gap between the disease and a cure.
Special thanks once again to sponsor Clear Men Scalp Therapy for the invite and hospitality (check out their Facebook page here), to Sal Masekela for being the best golfing partner one could ask for, and to the entire staff at the Pacific Palms Resort for an unbelievable experience for an equally unbelievable cause.