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A Special Day On The Links

Posted Jan 28, 2014

Arians, Feely take part in Special Olympics event at Waste Management Open

Cardinals kicker Jay Feely (left) and coach Bruce Arians (right) pose with a Special Olympian during Tuesday's putting challenge at the Waste Management Open.

Bruce Arians was the NFL’s Coach of the Year in 2012, and showed Tuesday he’s a slick strategist on the putting green, too.

The Cardinals’ coach was one of 10 celebrities who took part in the CBS Outdoor Special Olympics, a pre-tournament putting challenge at the Waste Management Open at TPC Scottsdale. Each team consisted of a Special Olympian, a celebrity and a businessman, and Arians made sure to shoot last among his trio on each hole. That way, every time his turn came, Arians had a ‘gimme’ putt close to the hole.

“That was the role I chose as coach,” he said with a laugh. “I got to putt twice and that’s all I needed.”

Arians and kicker Jay Feely were joined by former Diamondbacks Mark Grace and Randy Johnson, current Diamondback A.J. Pollock, and former Suns Tom Chambers and Steven Hunter, among others. The celebrities signed autographs and posed for pictures with the Special Olympians following the completion of their rounds.

“I’ve always treasured my times whenever I’ve been able to be involved with the Special Olympics,” Arians said. “It means so much to the kids, and they work so hard at it. They work as hard at this game as our guys do with the Cardinals.”

It was no surprise to see Feely at the event, as he was recently named one of three finalists for the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year award, which honors a player’s volunteer and charitable work along with their athletic excellence.

He will fly to New York on Thursday but took part in the putting competition on Tuesday.

“It’s fun,” Feely said. “It’s for the Special Olympians, and that’s the focus, making them comfortable, making them have a good time, making sure they appreciate the day. And they do. That’s what they work hard for all year, to come out and do an event like this, and it’s fun to be able to honor them.”

Feely, the Bears’ Charles Tillman and the Panthers’ Thomas Davis each received a $5,000 donation to a charity of their choice for being named finalists for the NFL honor. The winner will get an additional $20,000 donation to the charity of their choice.

The Man of the Year will be announced at the third annual NFL Honors, a two-hour awards show which will air nationally on Saturday from 6-8 p.m. ET on FOX. Last year’s winner was Cowboys tight end Jason Witten.

“It’s such an honor (to be a finalist),” Feely said. “Truly humbling. There are so many guys around the NFL that are committed to their communities and want to have a positive impact. It’s cool to be a part of something that really honors that, which shines a spotlight on what guys are doing around the NFL. On every team I’ve been on, that’s been the greatest part of being a part of that team – going out in the community, having an impact and seeing all the people’s lives you can really change.”


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