Calling Dr Naismith: CODE BLUE- CODE BLUE!

January17/ 2000

Sunday was Island Paradise Day in The World of Sports.  Puerto Rico and Fiji primarily. Our Basketballers got beat without the help of East German referees and Vijay Singh took the PGA Championship.  What’s next?  Will Iwo Jima win the Little League World Series and Bermuda take the BCS?  We’re the Land of The Free and Home of The Brave … Francis S Key left out “Humble” for a reason.

   Look at it anyway you please with all the “excuses” you want to hide behind.  PUERTO RICO??  It’s famous for rum and being a hurricane buffer … and the 2nd home of the Expos.  It produces a lot of MLB players but it is not a global basketball hotbed. The Clippers’ Summer League team should be able to beat Puerto Rico.  Puerto Rico wins Olympic basketball games as often as the Washington Generals beat the Globetrotters.

   The US of A has the latest “Greatest Coach Ever du jour” in Larry Brown.  Now poised for a real record … only coach to win a NCAA crown, NBA crown, coach Davidson for a week, and lose to countries that don’t even win 3 On 3 Tournaments.  PUERTO RICO?  If it was one of those Eastern European places that produce lottery picks no one can pronounce, that would be sort of OK … but PUERTO RICO.  Didn’t Bill Gutheridge coach their “national team” one year back in the 80s.  No doubt he taught them how to beat Larry Brown.

   Since most everybody likes Tim Duncan lets set him aside and lay our collective national blame and shame on the “bling bling thugs” led by Allen The Answer and Stephon.  LeBron and Carmello have yet to do anything to really upset Joe Fan … defined as “all us white guys” who just know if we could jump we could actually compete in basketball above the junior high level.

   I don’t follow the NBA any more than I “have to” to be up to date in most sports.  I didn’t even know that Allen Iverson’s arm sleeve was to hide obscene tattoos.  I thought it was a brace of some sort!  Half the guys on the Olympic team I could not tell you which NBA team they play for OR when their free agent option year comes up. Nor do I care to know.  

   Excuses … the “top NBA stars” opted out of The Olympics.  The team does not get to practice enough as a unit.  The NBA players are too smug and apathetic (especially when they learned an Olympic gold medal is not “diamond-studded”).  Basketball around the world is catching up via coaching clinics and satellite NBA telecasts, etc.  yadda yadda yadda … to which I simply say – PUERTO RICO!

   If I could survive UNC’s BB loss to Weber State and last Fall’s FB loss to Duke, I figure I can handle our Olympic BB team losing to Puerto Rico and whatever National Geographic trivia quiz country beats us next.  My self-worth is not tied to Olympic Gold.

   Over the past 70 years, America has twice “rebounded” when we fell behind other countries in areas we thought were “ours” … Germany pulled ahead of us in the 30s as an industrialized world power … but Rosie The Riveter and Company cranked up and kicked Kraut butt.  In the early 60s, Sputnik jacked our jaw in space travel … but a few monkeys and Alan Shepherd got us going and Ol’ Neal planted that American space boot on the moon first in 1969.  Will American pride come through again? … or have we become a nation of excuse-makers?  Is it easier to fall back on excuses instead of “knuckle down buckle down do it do it do it”.  

   One thing’s for sure … The NBA Champion better not tout itself as The World Champion any longer.  PUERTO freakin’ RICO! (and without Butch Lee!)


   Basketball WAS invented in America in Dr Naismith’s YMCA in Springfield; but Golf was started in England or one of its “suburb” countries.  It’s hardly our divine right to dominate golf.  But FIJI!  

   I happen to like Vijay Singh.  Back when he won his first “major” … The PGA in the mid 90s … he was a moody reclusive sort.  He’s not like that any more.  His polite gentlemanly manner emerged as he has become one of the true worldwide stars of golf.  


   Sunday’s final round was of special interest for me.  I’ve spent considerable time around Justin Leonard, probably as much/more than I have around any PGAer.  If you were glued to your set for the 5-6 hours of coverage on Sunday you witnessed Justin’s full range of emotion … 2 degrees either side of “fog a mirror”.  Justin Leonard may be the one PGAer who can make Davis Love III come across as a “party animal”.  


   Justin is a “nice guy”.  He is a gentleman and I know for a fact he loves his grandmother a great deal.  A Texas Longhorn, he also liked Mack Brown at least as of a year and a half ago, which is the last time he and I discussed Mack.  But the boy is duller than a rubber knife.  How “dull is he”? When he described his Ryder Cup winning putt to me I fell aleep before the ball went in the cup.

We got to see more of Lake Michigan than 97% of us had ever seen.  At least the top of it.  Was that The Good Reuben James anchored offshore?

   Between the droopy cap, dark glasses and uber-stoic countenance, he even had me waiting eagerly for the 86th Levitra commercial with that 40ish brunette hottie wearing her hubby’s shirt and walking the FCC tightrope on erectile enhancement.

   That fine lady has the potential to replace the legendary “international film star Rula Linska”.  

   I was with some Pfizer execs on Monday at Westchester Country Club.  Pfizer has NASCAR’s Mark Martin as their Viagra spokesman.  Me and the Pfizer guys all agreed this new Levitra gal has Ol’ Mark beat worse than PUERTO RICO whipped those NBA 2nd teamers. 


Swagger’s Stumper

John McClane, and his wife Holly, had two yuletide “adventures”.

One took place at a major airport.

Name the airport?


   “Queen For A Day” was hosted by Jack Bailey.  Untouched reruns of that show would make a great SNL skit.  The housewife whose “tale of woe” moved the audience applause-meter the furthest got a crown, a fake ermine robe and a washing machine.

   I spent Sunday and Monday in a retro pre 2000 time warp.  I flew up to NYC for 36 hours WITHOUT MY CELL PHONE.  I simply forgot it.  I actually made a “collect call” to alert the Mizzus and Kid that I was OK.  I went “cold turkey” on the game of golf 9 years ago and survived … but 36 hours “cell-less” was hell!

   Speaking of tests of will power … I just did an entire column without making fun of Triangle sports fans or mentioning a certain local sports administrator.  I AM THE MASTER OF MY DOMAIN!

   BLS will be at The Carolina Golf & Country Club on Wednesday at 12:30 … Charlotte West Rotary … Guests/Visitors are welcomed to attend.  CG&CC is off Wilkerson Blvd near Douglas Airport.

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