Its the saddest damn thing Ive seen on TV since Cop Rock.
Its emotions like these that get stirred up like an Obama rally when I hear a story such as the one involving Tripp Isenhour.
I dont know Ishenhour. Never met the man. Never talked to him. Only know him by face and by name.
But there was a lot of anger when I read the Associated Press story about Ishenhour being criminally charged for killing a red-shouldered hawk during a golf video shoot.
The bird is a migratory protected avian, which is why Ishenhour is facing the possibility of 14 months in prison and $1,500 in fines. The status of the bird, however, matters little. Whether he killed an endangered species or a household parakeet, the act is deplorable.
Isenhour has issued an apology for the incident, saying that he was mortified and extremely upset after the murder. He taped a segment for Friday nights Sprint Post-Game in which he reiterated those remarks and tried to explain his side.
He called it a one-in-a-million shot, said it was an unfortunate accident.
If it was me hitting the hawk it would have been a one-in-a-million shot, because Im a double-digit handicapper and not a person who makes a living off being accurate with a golf club. If it was me it would be an unfortunate accident, because I wouldnt have been aiming at an animal in the first place.
Perhaps Im jaded because of all the lies Ive heard athletes mutter over the years in their defense; or perhaps its the fact that Isenhour reportedly got annoyed (he denies this) with the hawks screeching from some 300 yards away, jumped in a golf cart to get closer and took a series of shots at it; or maybe its because, after having failed in his first few attempts, he reportedly said Ill get him now after the bird came within 75 yards; or maybe its because a former full-time PGA TOUR player fired off more shots at close range before killing an animal whose only sin was abiding by its nature. Whatever the reason ' for all those reasons ' Im not buying the version Isenhours selling.
Maybe Isenhour does feel genuine sorrow for what he did. Maybe hes like Opie in the The Andy Griffith Show episode where he kills a mama bird with his new slingshot. Except Opie did it on accident. He was randomly firing rocks into a tree. He then felt such guilt that he took care of her three babies (which he named Winkin, Blinkin and Nod) until they were able to fly on their own.
Isenhour claims his incident to be an accident as well. He told Kraig Kann on the 'Post-Game' show that he wasn't aiming for the bird but for the tree -- that he simply wanted to frighten it and scare it away so that they could tape their segment in silence. He said that after the bird fell he called the Audubon Society to see what could be done and wanted to take it to a veterinarian. He was told that if the bird wasn't breathing all he could do was bury it. A crew member reportedly did.
There are a lot of 'reportedly's in this column. That's because none what transpired was captured on tape. Only Isenhour and the video crew know exactly what happened and the measure of intent.
All we can do is listen to all sides and draw our own conclusions.
Isenhour says he feels regret and remorse. If thats true, I hope it's not a byproduct of the actions consequences, but because of the action itself.
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