It wasn’t “Dead Solid Perfect” but ….

January16/ 2000

….. I think Dan Jenkins woulda liked it.  I’m not sure if author Dan Jenkins is dead or not.   I don’t think he is.  Dan referred to pro golfers as  “those dogged victims of inexorable fate” and why he did was certainly on display on Masters Sunday ……  and a goofy athlete named “Bird” is dead (not the one from last Monday).

Missus wondered about Phil Mickelson’s shirt sleeves and she mentioned several times during those last several hours that she didn’t care who won so long as it wasn’t “that dumpy foreign guy”.   You probably know by now that “the dumpy foreign guy” won.  She didn’t care for “the little Japanese guy in the gay cowboy hat” either.  What can I say ….. I married a sports xenophobe.

As is so indicative of life in 2009, The 2009 Masters was awash in socio-cultural subplots.  Among the magnolias, azaleas, patrons and that ubiquitous Masters theme song was the usual “attack on Capitalism”.

Why were the first three hours all about Tiger & Phil?  Could it be that Franklin, Kentucky only has 8,500 residents?  Andrews, Texas has 9,300, and who really cares how many people in Buenos Aires were glued to their flat screens.   The Masters attracts everybody in America that cares anything about golf.  It also attracts beau coups of yahoos that were wondering “which one is The Tiger ….. the one in the red shirt w/ the biceps or that other guy in that shirt with the funny sleeves?”  CBS was interested in holding onto those “which one is The Tiger?” viewers.  Ergo ….. The Masters telecast is (drumroll please ….) “all about the $$$$”.

OK, I can see I’ve already lost a few of you.  Kenny Perry is from Franklin, KY.  Chad Campbell is from Andrews TX.  The “dumpy foreign guy” that eventually won is from Argentina.  The only other guy from Argentina that ever played golf almost won The Masters once.  No one else from Franklin or Andrews has ever played in The Masters.  It’s possible no one from either place has even been to The Masters.  I think the populations of both towns gathered respectively in front of their Western Auto Store watching the TV in the window and cheered for their favorite son.  In that respect, Franklin and Andrews were like Detroit was earlier last week.  The hoped for emotional stimulus from vicarious victory was denied them.

By the same token, Buenos Aires is in emotional euphoria, living vicariously from the exploits of homeboy Angel (that’s “Ahhn-heel” for you linguistically limited) Cabrera.   Damn good thing his name wasn’t Jesus or Jim Nantz woulda had to remind us that America is now officially “NOT a Christian nation” and it’s “Hay-Suuus”.

Is “Cabrera” Argentinian for “Smith”?  EVERY pro athlete from Argentina is named (Something) Cabrera …. Except for Manu Ginobili.  The Cabrera section of the Argentine phonebook must be pretty darn thick I think.

Did all of you “real golf fans” recall how incredibly bored you were several years ago when a U.S. Open was actually won by “some anonymous dumpy foreign guy who could not speak English”?  The reason you weren’t bored this time is that you never figured that same “dumpy foreign guy” would ever win yesterday, until he did.   I know ….. you were still hoping for one more shot of Chad Campbell’s hottie wife.  You thought I didn’t notice you noticing.  Didn’t you?

Recalling my earlier comments about “the Butler Cabin interview” ….. this year was “a first”.  In the past it was The Masters Chairman that spoke undecipherable English.

Today (Monday) on sports websites and sports talk shows all across America, nimrods mired hopelessly in miserably mediocre existences gloated and chortled about how Kenny Perry “choked” and Chad Whatshisname did too.  To be assailed by human debris is the price that high-achievers in any endeavor must pay for attaining a level of sustained excellence in the public fishbowl.

To ”lose The Masters” on the last few holes is a distinction much rarer than a hole-in-one.   Lots of human sideshow freaks have hit holes-in-one.   Joe Biden has probably hit 100s of’em, or so Joe says.  Who knows …. Maybe a Somali pirate has hit a hole-in-one.  No Somali pirate has ever been in a position to win The Masters after 70 holes.  Ergo ….. neither Kenny nor Chad could be Somali pirates.

I gave up playing golf ten years ago because I stopped enjoying it.  That is a radical reason to stop a hobby …. so sue me.  “Giving up golf” and “buying my F-150” are two of the best decisions I’ve ever made not involving spouses, real estate or footwear.   I played golf at a decent enough level (low 80s) to know how minute the difference can be between “great shot” and “unplayable lie”.

I actually thought as Kenny teed it up on 17 ….. “all he’s gotta do is” par in and he wins The Masters.  He didn’t and he didn’t.

Nimrods who know nothing about golf (aka the “it’s not a real sport because _____” crowd) decry it because the little white ball just sits there waiting for you to hit it …. and everybody has to be really really quiet while you do that.  Anyone who has actually “played the game with any level of expertise” (less than 8% of all golfers qualify to that level) knows how paralyzing that “waiting to hit it” can be.    Kenny Perry squeezed just a smidgen too hard with his right hand on two shots between 6:35 and 7:15 Sunday afternoon. …… and nose-picking palookas from Spokane to Fuquay snort that “he choked”.

   Kenny Perry will be fine.  He is a heck of a nice guy and long ago won the respect of his fellow PGA pros along with over $28,000,000 in career earnings..  Everyone in Franklin KY still loves him (unless they had a bet on him).  Unlike Scott Hoch who is also forever linked to a “Masters choke”, Kenny enjoys a better public image.  Greg Norman is also known for “choking at The Masters”.  Greg recently married Chris Evert which is not actually as spiffy as you probably think.

As a direct result of this past Sunday,  Wednesday ProAms just became even more insufferable for Kenny Perry.   Now the “four middle-aged computer salesmen named Joe” will agonize “should we ask Kenny ‘how it felt’ or not?” …… I’m pretty sure that’s what Dan Jenkins meant by “an inexorable fate”.


Mark “The Bird” Fidrych died on Monday in his yard near Worcester MA.  Mark “The Bird” was a genuine eccentric sports character in the mid 70s.  Sports needs more “genuine eccentric characters”.  The line between “eccentric” and “obnoxious” is a thin one.  NFL wide receivers never seem to “get it”.


Board Monkeys using Facebooks to impress 18 y/o semi-literate blue chippers is the latest NCAA teapot tempest.  Student loonies resist all levels of authority because to do so is “a tradition like no other“.  This will be fun to watch for a day or so. …… I think anyone who starts a Facebook to impress a recruit should be declared “a Somali pirate” and “taken out with a single head shot”.  In fact, if those SEAL snipers are taking requests, I happen to have a list ……


According to Dan Jenkins ….. what was Marvin Tiller’s nickname?

 For “24” fans ….. last night at 9:20 Missus remarked that she was actually starting to like Larry The FBI Guy …. uh oh ….. at 9:50 Tony killed Larry (we think).

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