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I know that there are certainly more important things going on in your life right now. Many of you are missing paychecks, many have yet to see their stimulus check, many can’t get through to the unemployment web site, and many have lost someone close due to the Corona Virus. I understand that, for sure, but, just this one time, allow me to feel a little self-pity and I emphasize “a little”.
This past week was supposed to be a good one – On April 25, the Lafayette Maroon-White football game was to be played and I would be in the booth to once again preview the upcoming football season. The outlook was brighter than it had been in quite awhile. Lafayette had won 4 of their last 5 games last season and they looked to be much stronger this year. The game, obviously, was not played.
On Sunday, eight of us were set to embark on our 16th straight golf trip. We call it The War at the Shore because we stay near the boardwalk in Ocean City. It is a great time – one practice round followed by 4 official rounds leading to a championship. Place of finish is important because that becomes the order for room choices the following year. Believe me when I say you do not want to finish 7th or 8th. Those are children’s rooms with appropriately sized beds and mattresses. The battle for the two master suites is intense. It includes your own bath and shower, a TV, and an oversized bed.
The scores are handicapped so, technically, we are all about even when we play. Handicaps are vociferously debated especially when a good golfer finds himself below a not-so-good (sometimes awful) golfer. The handicap debates are a source of argument and laughter at the same time.
Each day, the scoreboard is updated to reflect each player’s position. Good-natured (I think it’s “good-natured”) ribbing ensues while we all enjoy dinner, refreshment, the battle for what shows to watch on the main flat-screen TV. Trust me, I will never forget the year we watched about 200 episodes of Dangerous Catch. Obviously, my vote did not count for much.
On the fifth day, after the final round, we meet in the parking lot and the order of finish is announced, with appropriate, and inappropriate, trophies rewarded. The top players exhibit those awards throughout the year and the bottom trophies are not for public viewing. And we get into our cars and return home, proudly or quite humbly. I, more than I care to admit, but constantly reminded, am often humbled.
I am writing this because this Sunday afternoon I am going golfing. Yes, Governor Wolf opened up the golf courses for play this weekend. I am writing this now so I don’t accidentally put my score in the story.
There are plenty of restrictions – one player in a cart, no scorecard, no pencils, social distancing in effect, no touching the pins, etc. – in other words, reduce the camaraderie to a minimum. Since I am playing with three other “War at the Shore” participants, reduced camaraderie is fine with me.
So, I am done whining to you about this minor problem.
Oh, did I mention that instead of playing golf this past Sunday, my wife and I were to leave on a cruise that day?
But whining about that is for another time.
ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)
- Charles Barkley this week chose his Top Five NBA players of all time: Michael Jordan, Oscar Robertson, Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Kobe Bryant was sixth and LeBron James was seventh. It’s hard to argue his choices. Speaking of Jordan, I hope you are watching ESPN’s “The Last Dance”. It is really good even for the non-sports fan.
- The NFL is not messing around with their schedule. Late this week, the league will release their 2020 schedule and it does not include any accommodations to the current situation. September 10 is the opener and the Super Bowl is scheduled for February 7. They promise to do “reasonable and responsible” planning. That will be the interesting part.
- Congratulations to the following local high school basketball players for achieving All-State honors this past season:
- The Lafayette Virtual Tailgate Party this past Saturday went very well. Mike Joseph and I were the hosts. It was Zoomed to over 250 fans and featured Coach John Garrett, who introduced the four co-captains for the season – offensive lineman, John Burk; linebacker, Major Jordan; wide receiver Quinn Revere; and safety Otis Thrasher. I did miss the smell of burgers and sausages on the grill and the popping of aluminum can tops. That is hard to do “virtually”.
- I keep thinking that if I watch enough of the Golf Channel “how-to improve” shows, my game will, well, improve. But, as I watch, there seems to be something new to think about every time you prepare to hit the ball. There is only so much I can remember during my backswing.