Tag Archives: Sports

Michael Wilbon Golf Tournament

Former Congressman Marty Russo joins NFL greats at the Michael Wilbon Golf Tournament.

It was a pleasure to meet many great athletes of the National Football League and join in this effort for a good cause.  The tournament was played for the benefit of the District of Columbia College Access Program .  DC-CAP is a non-profit organization that provides counseling and financial assistance to students who might otherwise never have the opportunity to attend or graduate from college.

Michael Wilbon Golf Tournament

Former Congressman Marty Russo joins the NFL greats at the Michael Wilbon Charity Golf Tournament.

Fiesta de Golf Scholarship Challenge

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Education is a key to creating innovative leadership that then can drive the development of better products and services as we compete globally.

I had a great time on May 2 playing a round of golf on the East Course at Andrews Air Force Base to raise money for a wonderful organization, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. The Fiesta de Golf Scholarship Challenge supports CHCI’s scholarship program to increase opportunities for Latino youth to attend and complete higher education.

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Thanks to my talented teammates, we took the top prize at the tournament with a low team score of 55 in a scramble format. I can’t take the credit for our score as there was some fabulous play by my colleagues.

Laura Linderman of T-Mobile had a thunderous drive on the 11th hole to win the Women’s Long Drive Contest. In addition, Linda made 3 spectacular putts for birdie from 25 feet, 28 feet and 35 feet.

Tony Russo, also of T-Mobile, was so consistent in hitting long drives off the tee that he was the anchor to our success.

And my good friend Manny Ortiz of Quinn Gillespie & Associates, known more as a fabulous tennis player, held his own in this competitive group. In fact, we were so enthusiastic that on the 7th hole, Manny led the rally by landing a shot only 12 feet from the hole. Never one to be bested, I hit my shot only 6 feet from the hole. But my son Tony had us all beat — his ball landed only 2 feet from the hole. And Laura sank the birdie putt.

That’s what I call real teamwork!

We felt even better when our prize winnings – four round trip tickets anywhere in the US which had been donated by Southwest Airlines – was given back to be used in an on-the-spot auction. What a generous group of golfers – the tickets were purchased for $1,300 to add to the proceeds for student scholarships.

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The CHCI’s Scholarship Program is very impressive. Since 2001, they have invested nearly $3.3 million in the Latino community, awarding approximately $2.9 million in scholarships to over 1,000 students and distributing $400,000 worth of in-kind computers and software to community college and first year undergraduate scholarship recipients.

I believe strongly in the value of education to building a strong future for our country. Education is a key to creating innovative leadership that then can drive the development of better products and services as we compete globally.

It was fun to see friends, play golf and do a small part toward helping Latino students succeed.

Chicago Blackhawks Win the Stanley Cup (Again)

Marty Russo at the Chicago Blackhawks

Marty Russo at the Chicago Blackhawks

It was great to be at the United Center for the second game of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

While I was cheering the Blackhawks on, I was honored to spend some time with Hall of Famer Stan Mikita who was considered one of the best centers in hockey when he played in the 1960’s. See photo with Stan Mikita, below.

Blackhawks #21, Stan Mikita, and his teammate #9, Bobby Hull, are both now immortalized in bronze statues outside the United Center. They helped the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup in 1961 and are the heroes I grew up watching. At that time, the team played a half-mile from my childhood home in the original “Mad House on Madison” otherwise known as the Chicago Stadium.

Marty Russo and Stan Mikita

Marty Russo and Stan Mikita

The Chicago Tribune published an account of the unveiling of the statues back in October, 2011:

“The larger-than-life monuments stand side-by-side at the Northeast corner of the United Center, across the street from where Hull and Mikita thrilled packed crowds at the Chicago Stadium en route to Hockey Hall-of-Fame careers. “It hasn’t sunk in and I don’t know if it ever will,” Mikita, 71, said as he gazed at his statue. “I’ve never been called beautiful, but I’m going to call myself beautiful.”

As we all know, the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup again this year. It’s amazing that they have won it two times in four years after having to wait 49 years for to win again after the 1961 victory.

Of course, I celebrated by trying on my Blackhawks jersey from the days when I played on the Blackhawks Alumni team back when I was in Congress. I’m happy to report the jersey still fits!

Marty Russo in Congressional Alumni Blackhawks Jersey

Marty Russo in Congressional Alumni Blackhawks Jersey

See my blog back in June, 2010 when the Blackhawks won.

Final Four

Harper-RussoI had a wonderful weekend attending the NCAA Final Four games in New Orleans.

There was so much excitement in the air. The charm of the French Quarter was a nice contrast to the 74,000+ crazy sports fans roaming the streets of New Orleans.

It was fun to sit next to Derek Harper, who played for the World Champion Chicago Bulls. We reminisced about the great run the Bulls had as the most dominant team in the NBA for years.

The games were exciting and close. The Final Four lived up to its billing as the elite sports event at the college level.

Congressional Baseball Game

Last night I had a great time announcing this year’s 50th anniversary Congressional Baseball game.

Baseball great Phil Neikro and Former Congressman Marty Russo

Baseball great Phil Neikro and Former Congressman Marty Russo

What a thrill to meet Phil Neikro, the great MLB Hall of Famer, who joined us to throw out the first pitch.

This article in the Washington Post, Democrats Claim Victory in Congressional Baseball Game, gives a good accounting of the spirit of the event:

“But perhaps more remarkable than any of the stats in this admittedly not beautifully played game was what good sports the players were and how they seemed to have nothing but admiration for their counterparts across the aisle — or in this case across the diamond. In this age of seemingly nonstop partisan bickering and bashing, we’ve come to expect nothing but, well, bickering and bashing, no matter the venue.”

The Democrat’s Manager, Rep. Mike Doyle of Pennsylvania, had this to say to The Washington Post:

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“It’s human nature that once you get to know people you relate to them better,” he said. “When we see these guys outside of the halls of Congress where we’re all doing battle, you realize we’re pretty much the same. The way Congress operates now, everyone leaves for home five minutes after the last vote there’s no time to get to know each other. You need to build relationships to tackle these big issues.”

I couldn’t agree more and told Mike so after the game. That being said it was sweet to hold the trophy awarded to my Democratic colleagues! We won 8 to 2 with freshman Rep. Cedric Johnson of Louisiana pitching a stellar game.

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For more, check out Roll Call’s article and snazzy video which makes Members look like big league stars — For Love of the Game: Lawmakers Put Aside Acrimony to Have Fun on the Diamond. Some great photography is found in the slideshow in Talking Points Memo.