Study hall open
By Brian Murphy
Special to Page 2

Did you hear what Danielle said to Michelle?

Oh. my God. I heard Michelle's Dad is, like, really mad. I also heard Christina told Michelle that Danielle was totally a b---- and that she was, like, totally jealous of Michelle. But Danielle is totally mad at Michelle for acting like she's the big girl on campus and all, and she said her Dad could totally beat up Michelle's Dad.

Michelle Wie
Not so fast Danielle, Michelle could have a Tiger effect on purses.
I wonder if Annika will even want to be near Michelle or Danielle after this. Annika's the coolest girl in school, and I heard she sorta liked Michelle, but was sorta jealous of Michelle, too, so we'll see if Annika invites Michelle to her next sleep-over.


Oh, shoot. There's the bell. I'll talk to you at lunchtime. Meet near the tree by the bench and I'll tell you more!

I never thought the day would come when The Cooler would be propped up on the playground at recess, but after a weeklong stint at Catfight Central -- oops, I mean the U.S. Women's Open -- that day has come.

Michelle Wie, Danielle Ammaccapane. She said, she said. Read all about it in a flower-covered diary near you.

As a personal note, the career hit a low point when I, along with 24 of my eye-rolling brethren, stood vigil outside a trailer for 30 minutes at Pumpkin Ridge, waiting for a 13-year-old girl to emerge and talk about what another woman might have said about her and her Dad.

Wait! Michelle! Did Danielle say mean things to you? Do you want to, totally, steal her boyfriend? Will you hang out at a different part of the playground, er, I mean, driving range, now?

Woodward and Bernstein have nothing on the nation's golf media.

At The Cooler, the take is this: The whole Michelle Wie phenomenon is, strangely, incredibly cool. Yeah, the Old Man isn't up for Caddie of the Year, and yeah, the Old Man doesn't seem to mind the sight of a notepad or microphone, but cut him a bit of a break. He's got the women's golf equivalent of Roy Hobbs on his hands, and he's a little overwhelmed. Wouldn't you be if your daughter alternated between reading a book about Harry Potter, then making a swing better than Harry Vardon?

B.J. Wie
Great, another sports dad to worry about.
This girl is for real, dwellers. The swing would bring tears to your eyes, if you get teary at things like a golf swing. She's phenomenal. I could watch her play golf all day. In golf charisma terms, she's Tiger Woods for the Justin Timberlake crowd.

But in non-golf situations? Holy mother of Hillary Duff ... she's a little girl. That is, if a 6-footer can be a little girl. Her voice is helium-high, she just got her braces off, and she uses the words "like" and "you know" as if she's auditioning for a cover of Frank Zappa's "Valley Girl." We're going to have to just take Michelle Wie for her golf brilliance, and leave the probing Mike Wallace-style interviews for a few years down the road. Seriously, dweller. We had media chumps asking Michelle Wie, "Do you fully understand what you can do for golf?" and "Michelle, can you relate your golf swing to peace in the Middle East?" Her general reaction: "Ummmm, like, no."

And as for Danielle Ammaccapane? Triple bogey, sweetie. Even if B.J. Wie is the bull in the proverbial pro shop, don't take it out on the kid. You're bad news, Danielle. This Wie girl is your ticket to big purses, TV ratings and general all-around prosperity. Ripping her in the scorer's tent? Hell, Danielle, you should be driving this girl to the golf course every day and replacing her divots every chance you get.

There. End of recess playground gossip.

On, then, to the Weekend List of Five:

1. Serena and Venus: How long to sing this song?
Are we all just asleep at the wheel on the whole Williams Sisters thing? Are we bored of it already? Because, dwellers, it's well past time to call them the most amazing athletic family in the history of American sports.

What ... you wanted Hank (755) and Tommy (13) Aaron?

Nay, dweller. Sisters, meeting in six Grand Slam finals? And to think -- my sister and I peaked as athletic rivals in our ping-pong matches for the right to sit in the comfy green chair downstairs for ABC's power-packed "Happy Days"/"LaVerne and Shirley" lineup, a clash I believe I have alluded to before at The Cooler.

(Note to self: Stop repeating old family stories.)

I really think we're not appreciating the miracle that is the gene combination of Richard and Oracene Williams. Is Richard a nutjob? Probably. Are his daughters beyond making good on all his outlandish claims? Absolutely.

Plus, the Williams girls do it with style, too. No absurd theatre. No temper tantrums. And bonus points for Venus' obviously protective and proud feelings for her little sis, even when Little Sis hands Venus her lunch on cat guts in a Wimbledon final.

Serena, Venus Williams
You better get used to seeing these two in the finals.
What American sporting siblings can compare? The Niekros? Stop, please. Tiger Woods? Only child. Joe Montana? Only child. Barry Bonds' little bro never made it to the bigs. Billie Jean King's brother was Randy Moffitt, a serviceable relief man for the San Francisco Giants.

Yeah, that's close to Serena and Venus.


Other than that, I'm coming up empty, dwellers.

2. More Wimbledon thoughts
Aliens took over my TV set this weekend, and all of a sudden it was "Back to the Future," without the DeLorean. Martina Navratilova appeared on the screen, and I was half-expecting to flip the channel and see Shelley Long on "Cheers" and Tina Yothers (whose doppelganger is 15-year-old golf wunderkind Morgan Pressel) on ""Family Ties.''

Martina, at Wimbledon? What in the name of Ponce de Leon is going on here?

I can't decide if it's incredibly inspirational that Martina is still winning silver plates at Wimbledon, or if it's incredibly sad that she's now panhandling for mixed doubles partners just so she can buy herself a little lawn time at the All-England club.

Will Play Mixed Doubles for Food.

I will say this: She's made enormous improvements in her style. She's settled into this current look for a good long run now. The straw-colored hair, the Tony Mandarich-style biceps. It's her look. But ESPN did a split-screen of her early Wimbledon look, and I nearly did a spit-take with my lager. The dark fluffy hair, the prescription shades ... man. She looked like a male porn star from the '70s.

Game, set, match to Martina's 2003 look.

3. Tiger's slump
Hate to channel Woodstock on you all, but after the Western Open this weekend ...

Attention all sports media: As regards Tiger Woods' four wins this season already, and talk of his slump ... there is some bad acid going around. Stay away from the brown acid. Repeat: Stay away from the brown acid.

There. That should clear it up.

Now, enjoy Country Joe and the Fish.

4. All-Stars: I'm so confused
So, the players choose 80 percent of the reserves, and the fans choose the starters, but if the fans don't choose the right starters, then the players' ballots will serve as backup, and the managers, meanwhile, pick five others who the fans and players did not take and then the Internet voting chooses the last player and ... say, did Pedro Martinez make the All-Stars this year?

Pedro Martinez
Looks like Pedro is going to have some free time on his hands.
Not only is it ridiculous that Bud Selig is rolling out his most absurd ploy yet in awarding World Series home-field to the All-Star winner -- yo, Allan, ever hear of awarding it to the team with the best overall record, to reward season-long excellence? -- but this voting stuff makes my eyes bleed.

The old system, granted, was brutal. As a teenager, I'd grab huge stacks of Gillette ballots at Candlestick and stack as many as possible on top of each other while I jammed a pen through the slots of all the San Francisco Giants.

Presto: Bob Brenly, Chili Davis and Jack Clark had 50 votes, just like that.

Yeah, it sucked. But it was our system.

Now, I don't get it. Maybe it's another if-it's-too-loud, you're-too-old moment in my life, but I sorta like the idea of fans voting for the starters and players voting for the reserves. No manager's vote (they always make the "homer" move), and no Internet vote.

Oh, and no Bud Selig. Since we're on the topic.

5. Sweet Lou: Looking sweet!
In the desultory world of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, in the suicide-inducing stupor of Tropicana Field, thank the baseball gods for a man like Lou Piniella, a big-league manager not afraid to head down to the salon to read Cosmopolitan magazine with a hairnet on.

And I gotta say ... Sweet Lou looked fab. Ten years younger. Of course, it doesn't take much to improve Piniella's look. The Cooler loves Sweet Lou, but we've seen him up close and personal sporting the four-day gray stubble and salt-and-pepper BedHead hairstyle in big-league dugouts. He looks, frankly, like a hobo. Only thing missing is the makeshift bed on the caboose of a train and the constant sound of somebody whistling "King of the Road" around him.

Still, we wonder: What did he talk about at the hair salon?

Well, of course. We know!

Psssst. Lou! Did you hear what Danielle said to Michelle?

Brian Murphy of the San Francisco Chronicle writes the "Weekend Water Cooler" every Monday for Page 2.



Brian Murphy Archive

Murphy: I love Wimbledon

Murphy: TigerSpeak 101

Murphy: On a hot streak

Murphy: Anti-rocket fuel

Murphy: Going, going ... boring

Murphy: Raising a Tiger

Murphy: Fandemonium

Murphy: Life imitating art

Murphy: Masters of our domain

Murphy: Somebody has to lose

Murphy: Welcome to Cooler Day!

Murphy: Spring is in the air

Murphy: Here's to Ew

Murphy: A barren wasteland

Murphy: Tiger gets his Phil

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