In my humble opinion that distinctive honor must go to females. These females are wives of professional athletes. It seems that not many weeks go by that we don’t read about an athlete’s wife being punched out by her egotistical, overpaid legend in his own mind husband.

What’s up with that? The latest in this long line is Brett Myers of the Philadelphia Phillies.

What was his punishment? From Major League Baseball and the Phillies’ organization there was none.

He did suspend himself by taking a leave of absence. These self-dubbed stars apparently think they can get away with just about anything just because of who they are and, sadly, it seems that they are for the most part correct in that assumption.

All the professional sports organizations are going to have to step up and dole out punishment that fits the crime. In the case of wife/girlfriend assaults that punishment should be a minimum of a one year unpaid suspension. I think that they would then think a long time before becoming a repeat offender.

Now on to brighter subjects. The Signsmith Shootout is coming up next weekend and, as promised, I will now give you a little insight into the projected order of finish.

According to tournament organizer Stuart Smith, there are teams coming from all over Tennessee and I am not familiar with all of them but that shouldn’t matter as the local teams with the home court advantage should prevail.

It goes without saying that the Earnie Brown team that includes Lane Tollett, Gerald Brewer and Linary mayor Jim Hatler should capture first place.

The Kris Burk team that includes little brother Pat and Darren Danley should grab the second spot. After that the water becomes a little murky.

I think the David Bell team should fare quite well in spite of the albatross they will be saddled with by having to put up with the incessant chatter of teammate, the “Bovine Baron” T. E. Looney.

They would have been better served by recruiting Ann instead of Tom. She’s much more pleasant to the eye and ear and her golf skills well surpass those of her husband.

The Celina connection of the Napier brothers Jack and Don will do well with the assistance of Crossville Mayor J. H. Graham III.

Others that should fare rather well include the teams of Eddie Wyatt, Johnny Inman and the ever dangerous Bill "Boogie" Moon.

Another team that is destined to do well if they can avoid a “Mickelson meltdown” is that of Bob Wilson and his sons Bratcher and Michael.

Just hold on to this edition until the tournament is over so you can see just how accurate I am in my predictions.

I can’t believe that the Houston Astros are paying Roger Clemens about $12 million to play half a season. Those who are qualified to do such figuring have concluded that he is “earning” roughly $7,000 per pitch. So far he has pitched two games and has lost them both. Talk about throwing money away.

Can the fact that he is pitching put that many fans in the stands? A lot of hungry people in the Houston area could have been fed a good meal with those bucks.

I can finally get a good night’s sleep now that the NBA draft has been held. The suspense has just been overwhelming.

Saturday I visited my friend Bob Mitchell at his downtown place of business. My very busy schedule hadn’t permitted me to visit in quite some time and I am truly glad that I took the time. After talking for just a little while with the likes of Bob and D. Calahan, I now know who the election winners are going to be and where the Vols will wind up in the SEC football race. I had forgotten how much knowledge could be garnered in such a short time.

I’m getting fidgety already for football season and trading barbs with my friend Frank Gale. Two victories in a row by the Commodores over the Volunteers will have numerous fans rushing to join the Cumberland County Black and Gold Boosters.

Have a great week and remember to pray for your great country during this July 4 holiday. It has been, is, and always will be the greatest country in the world.


Jim Butler is a Chronicle correspondent, and his column appears every Friday.

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