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Ernie Is The Man!
By Kickntrue on 4/14/10
Ernie Els may not have won at Augusta this past weekend- but he made an Iraq War Veteran's Day.
Els, 40, who finished a disappointing 18th Sunday at The Masters, was relaxing with a couple friends at the Square Grouper in Jupiter Monday afternoon when he noticed three young men sporting crew cuts and suffering from obvious disabilities getting off a fishing charter.

Josh Schichtl, a veteran of three tours in Iraq who suffered severe facial injuries in a road-side bombing, picks up the story from there.

“We’re walking through this outdoors bar (the Grouper) to catch the van to the hotel and this man (one of the dudes sitting with Els) comes up to us and says Ernie Els would like to say ‘hi,’” Schichtl told Page2Live. “Now, I’m a big golfing fan and I saw him on TV at The Masters, so I never expected anything like that. You know, I’m from Arkansas.

“So we went to the bar, and sure enough, there was Ernie Els. It was amazing. He asked each of us about our experiences in Iraq and shared his experience in the South African army. We ended up sitting down and shooting the breeze with him for more than an hour. He kept buying rounds of beer. We had a great talk. He made us feel good.”
Pretty awesome move by Ernie!

The only fear I have with stories like these is how the media presents them. Here is the opening line of the story, "Not all star golfers are like Tiger Woods." Being nice for an afternoon and being a cheating husband are not mutually exclusive. I've seen a ton of "Phil Mickelson, the Anti-Tiger Woods" stories the last few days and it's setting Phil up for something he doesn't deserve (as well as Tiger). I think we can all agree Tiger isn't the only athlete who has cheated on his wife with multiple women. He's just the one who makes the best headlines. I'm not suggesting even a little bit that Phil, or Ernie, or any specific person for that matter is involved in anything negative, I'm just saying it's not fair to anyone to put them on that pedestal. As private as Tiger Woods is- we still know MUCH more about him than we do anyone else in sports.

Sorry- I just had to say that.

But seriously- awesome thing to do by Ernie. He is definitely THE MAN!

Full Story
Thanks to Stymie for the tip.

photo source

[ comments ]
bducharm says:
I never disliked Ernie but never really supported him. Now, as a retired AF member, I DEFINITELY will root for him!!! Class, all class....
Kurt the Knife says:
I hope the drooling media will get off the Woods thing and start looking at the world thru a different lens.
It really cheapens the gesture Els made to fellow veterans to frame it with a reference to TW.

r e a l l y g e t t i n g t i r e d of journalistic laziness.
Mandelbaum! says:
I met Ernie once, and he was definitely gracious and accommodating to his fans. He didn't buy me a beer though. I suppose it's because I was 12.
bplewis24 says:
I'm not sure who added the commentary at the end, but it was very well said.

Clint24 says:
Now this is how a PGA golf pro should be, classy and polite. I have the utmost respect for Ernie and definatly anyone who will have enough courage to sit and talk to vets and make them feel good. A lot of us are just to scared to even say thank you! The world would be a lot better if we had more guys like Ernie.
Clint24 says:
I just re-read this story and got a chill. Good job Ernie!
falcon50driver says:
ditto kurt
Pappybro says:
I didn't interpret it as a "cheating husband" thing. More like his being a jerk on and off the course (which the press never mentioned much while Tiger was on the pedestal).
bplewis24 says:
And Pappy does a good job illustrating why the comments needed to be said. Another guy who knows how a person is on and off the course, despite in all likelihood having never met or talked with him.
Pappybro says:
Sorry, Brandon - but there's enough anecdotal evidence to indicate that Tiger is a jerk. And in any case, it's nice to meet someone who's in Tiger's posse. Tell him I said 'hi'.
[ post comment ]
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