Dick Harmon: Miracles, golfer Monica Yeates, and lesson on facing the unknown

PROVO — There are miracles among us, and the story of Utah Valley University golfer Monica Yeates is one of those that, well, might be off the scale.

Earlier this week while at a post-tournament lunch at Riverside Country Club with Yeates’ coach, Sue Nyhus, she mentioned Yeates had received the Kim Moore Spirit Award, given annually at the NCAA championships by the Women’s Golf Coaches Association for a player’s inspiring life. I wasn’t aware Yeates received the award and asked why.

What Nyhus told the small group at the table was remarkable, the story of one of her varsity players who became paralyzed and blind two years ago, overcame, and returned to play competitive college golf.

The member of the panel who chose Yeates for the honor told Nyhus the vote was unanimous, not even close. No story could top the Yeates miracle.

Two years ago this month, Yeates began having pain in her abdomen and back and it progressed to where she had trouble sitting or laying down. One day playing golf with a teammate, she felt like she was dragging her legs around the course. At first she thought it was all in her head and she needed to gut it up and push through, but she made it just 13 holes.

Exhausted, with no improvement, Yeates, who was featured on the Golf Channel the day of the announcement for the award, said her legs felt like Jell-O and she couldn’t keep her balance. After a trip to the hospital, she was admitted and during a three-day stay, she became paralyzed, incapable of walking.

She was scared, terrified. Nobody knew what was going on.

One morning a few months later she woke up and couldn’t see. She lost 90 percent of her vision in her left eye and returned to the hospital.

It took months, …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News

Browns hire former Colts GM Grigson as personnel executive

BEREA, Ohio — The Browns have hired former Indianapolis general manager Ryan Grigson as a senior personnel executive.

Grigson was with Indianapolis from 2012-16, and helped the Colts win two AFC South titles and make the playoffs three times. He was named the NFL’s top executive in 2012 by Sporting News.

Colts owner Jim Irsay fired him in January.

With the Browns, Grigson will report to Andrew Berry, the team’s vice-president of player personnel. Berry worked with Grigson in Indianapolis.

“Ryan brings valuable experience to our personnel group,” said Sashi Brown, Cleveland’s vice-president of football operations. “He was raised as a road-scout and has been evaluating talent in this league for almost 20 years. We place a premium on that experience and on his passion for football. Ryan has much to offer to any personnel department and we are pleased that he chose to join our staff.”

Before joining the Colts, Grigson spent eight years with Philadelphia, starting as a regional scout and finishing as the club’s director of player personnel. He also worked for the St. Louis Rams and in the Canadian and Arena football leagues.

“We are excited to add Ryan to our personnel department,” Berry said. “Having worked with him for four years with the Colts, I know Ryan is an individual with a palpable passion for scouting, a tireless work ethic and an insatiable competitive drive. His experiences as an NFL player and executive will prove valuable to the mission of our group, while his team-orientation and personal integrity will continue to strengthen our department’s culture.”

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Source:: Sportsnet.ca

Major sponsor pulls support from Alaska’s Iditarod race

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The world’s most famous sled dog race has lost a major backer, and Alaska race officials are blaming animal rights organizations for pressuring corporate sponsors outside the state like Wells Fargo with “manipulative information” about the treatment of the dogs.

Wells Fargo spokesman David Kennedy said Wednesday the banking institution’s investment in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race has declined since 2010. He said he could not discuss specific reasons for the San Francisco-based bank dropping the sponsorship altogether.

“Wells Fargo regularly reviews where we allocate our marketing resources to build and enhance relationships with customers and the broader community,” he said in a statement. “As part of this process, we have decided not to sponsor the Iditarod in 2018.”

PETA, or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, lauded the decision. The organization has been a longtime critic of the race and said it alerted the bank that five dogs connected to this year’s race died. Those deaths bring the total dog deaths to more than 150 in the Iditarod’s history, the group said.

“The Iditarod can count on losing more sponsors, and PETA is now urging Coca-Cola to do right by dogs and be the next one to flee,” PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman said in a statement.

Iditarod CEO Stan Hooley said there’s no doubt the decision is related to activists like PETA wrongly implying the Iditarod condones cruel treatment of the dogs.

“These misguided activists are implying that the Iditarod condones and engages in cruelty to sled dogs that participate in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race,” he said in a statement. “Nothing could be further from the truth. We honor the sled dogs who participate in the Iditarod. We take every step to ensure our canine athletes are provided the very best care possible on the trail, …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News