It's early on a Tuesday morning at Edgewood Tahoe. The waverunners aren't out quite yet and the slot machine crawlers haven't gone to bed, but Aaron Rodgers, Ray Allen, and A.J. Hawk are already crunching on leathery cigars and crushing Titleist all around the pine stands and primped fairways. "Living the dream" doesn't even begin to describe this.
The occasion? The American Century Championship in Stateline, NV—an annual gathering of golf-obsessed athletes, celebrities, comedians, and friends whose names you don't know and never will perched on the shores of Lake Tahoe. Walking with the HoF-worthy group for several holes, A.J. Hawk flashed his 2009 and 2011 ACC long drive contest-winning length while also draining this slippery downhill putt from the fringe:
Ray Allen, meanwhile, went full Margaritaville with some deft wedge play from the beach while replying to kids asking him if he planned to come out of retirement with a simple question of his own: "Why would I do that?" Touche, Ray. Touche.
RODGERS [State Farm commercial guy voice], for his part, was in full pre-training camp form, huffing on his cigar (don't ask, you can't afford it), yelling at Ray for blasting the same song for the fourth time, and signing random scraps of paper for the small militia of Cheeseheads following him from tee to tee.
Will any of these guys be in contention when Friday rolls around and it's time to actually compete? From the looks of things, probably not. They just showed up to play a couple with their buddies and not to get blindsided by Brian Urlacher, who's also here, presumably hiding in the bushes.