The Bob Hope Desert Classic begins Wednesday.
Well, it IS in the desert.
Bob Hope died in 2003. Long before then, the top Tour pros had tired of playing four five-hour rounds with rotating threesomes of corporate honchos and demi-celebrities. (That is, people far less celebrated than Demi Moore.)
George Lopez was the entertainer-host for two years. Then Arnold Palmer hosted the 50th anniversary tournament. This year, it's Yogi Berra as "Classic Ambassador." I know I'll never forget the scene when Bobby Jones completed his Grand Slam, and Yogi ran out and jumped into his arms with the game ball.
The courses are neither distinguished nor challenging for the pros; if they were, the amateur groups might never finish. It drags on for five days instead of the standard four. It's admirable that the tournament raises money for charities in the Palm Desert area, but for the number of people involved, does it really bring in more than the average Palm Spring charity ball?
Here's a little quiz: Match the celebrity with the thing for which he's celebrated:
(1) Derek Anderson
(2) Steve Azar
(3) Toby Dawson
(4) Albert DeSalvo
(5) Joel Gretsch
(6) Chris Lilly
(7) Bruce McGill
(8) Alfonso Ribeiro
(9) Burt Rutan
(10) Gary Valentine
(A) Plays a prominent role in the hit drama "V"
(B) Six-time winner of the BBQ Cook-Off World Championship
(C) Lost his NFL starting job to Brady Quinn
(D) Legendary designer of aircraft and spaceships
(E) Country music star whose song reached #2 on the country charts
(F) Former child actor, now host of "Catch 21" on the Game Show Network
(G) Stand-up comic, brother of Kevin James
(H) TV director who won Emmy for directing 2008 Grammy Award telecast
(I) Character actor who appeared in "National Lampoon's Animal House," "Cliffhanger," "Runaway Jury," and "My Cousin Vinny"
(J) Bronze medalist in Mogul Skiing at 2006 Winter Olympics
Answers: 1-C; 2-E; 3-J; 4-trick question, he was the Boston Strangler and is not in the field; 5-A; 6-B; 7-I; 8-F; 9-D; 10-G.
It just might be time to put this faded event to sleep. Even Moses didn't have to wander in the desert for more than 40 years.