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Gailey should end suspense, name a No. 1

Fast food for thought

Shouldn't Chan Gailey name Trent Edwards the Buffalo Bills' No. 1 quarterback heading into training camp so we can discover, once and for all, if he's outgrown the post-concussion skittishness that seems to have sidetracked his career?

I'll reserve judgment on Brian Brohm, but if Edwards is right, he has greater upside than Ryan Fitzpatrick. Then again, with the organization desperate for a playoff berth, perhaps quarterback is more a question of "What can you do for me this minute?"

That was certainly a compelling finish to the U.S. Open, although kind of like watching a NASCAR race with the cars running in reverse. I know our Open has become renowned for being unmercifully penal, but we've gone too far when a competitor drops a 72-yard wedge 6 feet from the pin, falls victim to severely sloped and shaved greens and ends up making triple bogey -- as happened to Ian Poulter at the 14th Friday.

And misery welcomed company with open arms. Zach Johnson made a 9 on the hole, while Paul Casey and Y.E. Yang also were saddled with 8s. Ryan Moore, a top-40 finisher, was dead-on in comments made to the Los Angeles Times following Sunday's final round.

"It would take not much to make that green at least halfway reasonable, and they refuse to do it," Moore said of USGA officials. "I think they go for a spectacle; they want some hole to draw attention and make everybody look stupid, I guess. It doesn't reward good golf shots like Augusta [National] does, and I don't understand why you'd have a tournament that doesn't reward good golf shots."

Phil Mickelson may have been hinting at the same when asked why Pebble Beach played so difficult. "I'm not really sure," Mickelson said. "I kind of know, but I would rather not get into it. It just doesn't sound good."

Prayers and best wishes go out to ailing Chuck Funke, the Section VI football chairman and one of the truly good guys on the local sports scene.

For every bone-headed, egocentric pro athlete there's at least five who see the bigger picture. And perhaps none saw it clearer than former NBA center Manute Bol. Bol never drew a salary greater than $1.5 million -- a pittance in the realm -- yet through financial contributions and his icon stature he strove to better humanitarian conditions in his native Sudan. The country fell into mourning over the weekend when the 7-foot-6 Bol died at 47.

Carl Pavano's complete-game four-hitter against the Phillies on Sunday could have a long-ranging positive impact on the Twins. Minnesota starters recorded just 10 outs in the first two games of the series. The bullpen was ravaged. Pavano's dominant nine innings provided the relievers a much-needed respite and puts the Twins staff back on track when a short outing could have burdened them for a week or two. The oft-injured Pavano is back to looking like he did for Florida in 2004, when he was 18-8 with a 3.00 ERA. He's 8-6 on the season with a 2.17 ERA in his victories.

Former University at Buffalo running back James Starks missed some time during Green Bay's early organized team activities with a hamstring injury, a setback for someone who missed his senior season with the Bulls as he recovered from a torn labrum. Starks was Green Bay's sixth-round pick.

"He's a very athletic running back," coach Mike McCarthy said. "You can see the ability, the natural running instincts. But he has a lot to learn. He missed plenty of time in college, he's missed some time here. Number one would be he needs to focus on his availability, and just his ability to play injury-free."

Can we all agree that Bass Pro was once a good idea that's been rotted by time?

e-mail: bdicesare@buffnews.com

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