Less than 12 hours before the opening breakfast for the Bobby Mitchell Hall of Fame Golf and Tennis Classic at Lansdowne Resort on Friday morning, former Los Angeles Rams great Tom Mack was in his hometown of Henderson, Nev., getting deluged by the area's worst rainstorm in more than a decade.
Roads were flooded from the more than two inches of rain Las Vegas received in one hour. Mack said three inches of rain fell on Henderson in one hour, which amounts to almost a year's worth of rain in the area. Mack said his knowledge of the roads around the city was what saved him from missing his flight.
Mack is making his first appearance at Sunday's classic, which was started nine years ago by former Washington Redskins star running back Bobby Mitchell. Mitchell invites about 40 football and basketball Hall of Famers each year to participate in the event, which has raised more than $1 million for the Leukemia Society of America in its nine years at Lansdowne.
This year's classic, which runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at the resort just outside Leesburg, is slated to feature former Redskins greats Sonny Jurgensen and Sam Huff, along with basketball Hall of Famer Bill Russell. The public may attend for a $5 donation per person. Children under 11 are admitted free.
Mack originally was supposed to fly out of Las Vegas at noon, but his flight was delayed until 4 p.m., and he didn't arrive at Dulles International Airport until 1:30 a.m. Friday. He caught a 5 1/2-hour nap and was at Lansdowne by 8 a.m.
Las Vegas is "a really interesting place to live," said Mack, who played offensive line for the Rams from 1966 to 1978. "There are a bunch of weather extremes."
Mack was an all-American at the University of Michigan during the early 1960s. He will be inducted into the pro football Hall of Fame later this summer.
Mitchell's classic is going to be a little different this year, with Hall of Famers hitting the tennis court in addition to the golf course. But finding former pro football and basketball greats who want to try their hand at tennis is no easy task.
Three players already have canceled on Mitchell, but former Baltimore Colts tight end John Mackey volunteered Friday morning to play tennis, even though he doesn't have shoes or a racket. If Mackey is lucky, he could be paired with former Wimbledon doubles champion Fred McNair, who is to be at the classic.
Twelve to 16 players are expected to participate in a round-robin format, with a semifinal and final at the end of the day, said tennis chairman Steve Kutz.
The NFL is presenting Mitchell with an award for his work over the past 30 years with charities. Hall of Fame Executive Director John Bankert was expected to fly in from Canton, Ohio, to present Mitchell with the first Hall of Fame Humanitarian award during last night's banquet.
Mitchell said he didn't know he was getting the award until Friday.
"It's very special to me, and what makes it even more special is that 42 Hall of Famers are going to be there when I receive it. The whole thing is mind-boggling to me," Mitchell said.
*TOURNAMENT: The Loudoun County Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Services and Brambleton Golf Course will sponsor the 11th annual Junior Golf Tournament on July 21. Play begins at the Ashburn course at 7:30 a.m., rain or shine. Tournament is open to boys and girls in the following age groups: 9-10 and 11-12 (nine holes, $25); 13-14 and 15-17 (18 holes, $30). Entry deadline is Friday. Information: 703-777-0343.
*TOURNAMENT: The Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce will hold its 17th annual Golf Classic on Sept. 13 at Raspberry Falls Golf and Hunt Club in Leesburg. Proceeds benefit the chamber and four county charities: Interfaith Relief, Jeremiah House, Loudoun Abused Women's Shelter and Loudoun Association of Retarded Citizens. Corporate sponsors and volunteers are needed. Information: 703-777-2176.
*TRYOUTS: A meeting for all prospective Park View High School golfers and team managers will be held Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. at the high school's guidance office. Parents are encouraged to attend. Tryouts will begin Aug. 2 at 7:30 a.m. at Algonkian Regional Golf Course.