Stuart Scott and Mike Wilbon at the Pro-Am
As far as I'm concerned, there were only four men competing for the honor of "most famous sports figure on Congressional's Blue course" for today's Earl Woods Memorial Pro-Am. Only one of them was a golfer. In terms of nationwide sports fan fame, I guess I'd rank them like this: Fred Couples, Stuart Scott, Michael Wilbon, Tyrone Willingham. (This isn't counting Cal Ripken, who was just there as a dignitary.)
Feel free to disagree with my rankings. That's popular today.
But then go down to the autograph line, and meet Barry Muffley of Bowie, who was idly waiting as actual pro golfer John Senden walked by.
"I only came to try to get Wilbon, really," Muffley said. He asked Senden for his autograph. Senden pointed out that Muffley already had his signature.
A few minutes later, Wilbon--playing with actual golfer Nick Watney--reached his final green, the ninth. A fan started shooting photos--of Wilbon. When they finished, one volunteer asked Wilbon to volunteer her hat. Others posed for photos--with Wilbon. The foursome then walked past the fans, who asked for autographs, from both Wilbon and Watney. "I gotta figure out how to use this thing," Wilbon said of the Sharpie thrust in his face. Do you push it? See, Nick knows how to use it."
But Nick didn't have to sign as many autographs as Wilbon did, nor did Nick have local radio host Mark Gray asking for an interview. I asked Nick if the media guy getting swarmed for autograph seemed odd; "I don't think it's weird at all," the pro golfer said. "I just got his autograph," he added, showing me where Wilbon had signed for him.
"Please," said Wilbon, when I told him he was signing more than Watney. "I'll give him my autograph if he gives me his swing."
19-year-old Dave Carlson and his friend had been in pursuit of actual golfers but they were diverted by news of Wilbon's arrival. They posed for a photo. I asked them if they were also stalking Stuart Scott.
"He's here?" Carlson said. "Oh my God, we have to go after him."
Soon Scott arrived, with playing partners Willingham and actual golfer Hunter Mahan. I asked Carlson whether he would seek Mahan's autograph; "I mean, if he wants to," Carlson said.
"I tell you, it was the best pro am I've had," said Mahan, who was finished with his autographs as Scott continued to sign. I asked those guys who the most famous member of their foursome was.
"Probably Stuart," Willingham said.
"Probably Stuart," Mahan agreed.
"He's getting camera time ALL the time," Willingham said.
"He's walking fame," Mahan agreed.
Scott disagreed. But I'll post my brief conversation with him in a bit.
July 2, 2008; 4:12 PM ET
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