I think I met God today.
God is an older gentleman who’s hard of hearing and has a knee brace. And yes, he was on a golf course.
Dad and I don’t golf much. But it’s a thing that’s become more and more commonplace in our lives, either as a result of my maturing or as a result of his growing acceptance that with or without him there, the restaurant can survive an afternoon in early winter. Regardless, I really like golf with Dad.
We go to a little course in Clearwater; always have. It’s changed ownership a few times over the years, but the trademark course annoyances haven’t changed. For as long as I can remember, there’s always been the long par 4 second hole with the pond on the left that beckons for your company. There’s been the hole with the punk tree right before the trap to the right of the green. And there’s been the short, deceptive par 3 that only remains in my memory because it’s the first one with an Igloo cooler of water on particularly steamy summer days. Save a line of trees here and a filled sand trap there, this has always been our little course.
We played our little course today, on November 4, 2012. Not a particularly noteworthy date for me, but it was for Dad. November 4 was his mother’s birthday, and she would have been 80 today had she not passed four months ago. Dad hadn’t mentioned that until after the round, but it seems at least tangentially relevant to this story.
After playing eleven holes of par-for-Peterson golf, Dad and I were feeling surprisingly optimistic: the weather was unseasonably nice, we were armed with fresh Diet Cokes from the bar, and we were on pace to make it home in time for football. We noticed that, after starting out from the clubhouse after nine holes, an older gentleman was on pace to drive us off the course. So, like any decent group of massively mediocre golfers, we decided to let him play through.
We finished the hole and pulled aside, waiting for him to catch up. Dad and I got involved in some conversation or other, and didn’t notice the old man’s flop shot sink into the hole from the fairway.
When he saw the man marching up to the hole without a club in hand, Dad was impressed. I was jealous.
“That’s a neat way to golf,” Dad yelled to the man.
The man didn’t hear him. It could have been because of the sounds of helicopter blades clipping the wind in the small airpark next to the course, but the man still couldn’t hear after the sounds of the chopper began to taper off. Finally, he heard.
“That’s a neat way to golf,” Dad repeated a third time. “Without a putter!”
The man smirked. I thought he was being smug. But it turns out he was just as humbled by physics.
“You know,” he said. “Every now and then a blind squirrel finds a nut.”
We let him play through, and he was on the green in one stroke. I’d like to think he two-putted after that, but I know he was probably cutting through our little course like butter. Still, it’s a nice thought.
It came Dad’s turn to tee off on the hole he’d played hundreds of times before. The same hole he played when he’d pay me a nickel for every intact tee I could find in tee boxes, and a dime for every ball I could fish out of ponds and from the other side of the chain link fence along the second and third fairways.
He hauled off and split the fairway in two. Bounced once, rolled up the green, and plummeted into a hole that seemed so impossible 112 yards ago. I did all the requisite millennial customs: took a cell phone video of him discovering the ball, snapped the proudest photo I’ve ever taken, and posted to every social networking website I’m a member of. By the time I was done, the old man from the previous hole was nowhere to be seen.
We finished the round, complete with a predictable I-can’t-believe-what-I-just-saw inability to concentrate. Then, we went home, where Mom was waiting with a beer on ice for Ace Peterson. It was a day that played out like a child’s storybook, absolutely devoid of any conflict or difficulty. It was a perfect day that unfolded like it would if you were imagining it in a daydream while waiting to tee off.
I’m probably making too much out of this. Aces happen every day in golf courses around the world, and old dudes in knee braces can get a lucky bounce from time to time.
But, if there is a God, I think I know where he spends his Sunday afternoons. Not a bad gig.comment (0)
I have been extremely derelict in my duties these past few weeks, but I have a good excuse. Two of them, as a matter of fact!
First, like the rest of the state, I have been glued to the television watching the Orlando Magic try to get the big orange ball into their hoop.
I’m actually kidding.
In reality, I cannot stand that all of a sudden folks are jumping onto the Magic bandwagon just as fast as they did with the Rays last year. Now, I understand that there may be some hardcore fans of Orlando basketball, but from an admittedly cursory look at Facebook status updates and newspaper coverage, it seems to me like that most of my comrades from the Tampa Bay area have either been very secretive about their allegiances or this is another case of spontaneous bandwagon jumping.
Don’t get me wrong. I have been watching the games and I would like to see the Magic win it all in the Finals, but I find it humorous that folks can get so enthusiastic one week about something that they didn’t know anything about the week prior. And to anyone reading this who has had a legitimate love affair with the Magic prior to this playoff run, please forgive me and remember that the bandwagon tirade doesn’t apply to you.
A side note, though: Dad and I were discussing the extremely amusing prospect of starting a short basketball league wherein all players must be 5’7” or shorter. But that is neither here nor there.
The second reason that I have been so suspiciously absent is that I have begun my second tour of duty in Dunedin. Much to my delight, we still have many of the regulars, but Calvin doesn’t show up any more. Maybe he got promoted to AA.
I will now leave you with a video of the great D-Jay busting all sorts of moves this weekend. If you are in town, be sure to come out to a game. The $6 tickets and mascot revelry makes up for the abhorrent play of the team.comment (0)
Great news, everyone!
Thanks to the benevolence of the God above, the heavens parted tonight and poured down upon the fields of green that we so commonly call the Southwest Recreational Center.
You know what this means, right?
The Red Devil Gators didn’t lose. Oh, it was glorious: I didn’t strike out, overrun a fly ball, or commit my usual fourteen errors. Yes, it was undoubtedly the greatest game I’ve ever played.
Now it’s time for the playoff push. I hope the good Lord decides to spring another 40 days and 40 nights of rain on us again – I think it’s time for some spring cleaning.comment (1)
In light of the recent Heisman Hoopla surrounding Alachua County’s Prince Charming (and my best friend!) Tim Tebow, I figured it was about time to release this photographic evidence that Timmy is immortal. So without further ado, I present to you History of the World According to Tim Tebow, Part One:
Philadelphia, 1787 – After hours of grueling debating and arguing, Tim Tebow presides over the signing of the newfound American Constitution. John Hancock tries to be an attention whore and is stiff armed into oblivion. When leaving, Tebow mentions that they should really add something about the right to bear arms, because his biceps are a thousand times more powerful than any musket of the era.
Kitty Hawk, 1903 – On a blustery day that winter, Tim Tebow creates a new flying machine, but humbly allows two sibling bicycle repairmen to take credit for his invention, fearing that the government might force him to use his machine for evil. A century later, Tebow will find out how to take to the air in a different way.
Iwo Jima, 1945 – High atop Mount Suribachi, Tim Tebow and six other soldiers raise the American Flag in a moment captured for American antiquity. It is after this war, however, that Tebow decides to abstain from further combat, for fear of breaking the hearts of girls around the world. The United States would regret issuing his leave in later conflicts. Whoops.
Times Square, 1945 – After beating the Japanese with two bombs comprised of Tim Tebow’s concentrated semen, blood, and elbow grease, Tebow returns to America and is photographed kissing this girl. She would later find out that she is pregnant, as did every other female within a fifteen foot radius of Tebow when this photo was taken.
Cuba, 1958 – Forever a proponent of freedom, Tim Tebow leads a revolution against Dictator Fulgencio Batista. In order to cause Batista to flee the country, Tebow does a pile driver into his sternum and rushes for seven touchdowns while penetrating the entire Cuban cheerleading squad.
London, 1969 – Tim Tebow, in England to plant his seed to field a potential rugby team, is asked by the three remaining Beatles to fill in for the recently deceased Paul McCartney. Reluctant at first, Tebow accepted when he found out that if he posed as Paul McCartney for the rest of time, he could marry and bone a model half his age. Not to say he couldn’t bone her anyway, of course.
Tiananmen Square, 1989 – In an everyday show of bravery, Tim Tebow stands up to a line of military tanks. He had actually just stepped out from a burning apartment building filled with Chinese babies and their attractively vulnerable mothers and was on his way to not take a nap because Tim Tebow never sleeps. Upon seeing the Seminole-esque red stars on the side of the tanks in the square, Tebow briefly stood in front of them before melting the war machines with his gaze of hatred.
But no, really. Congratulations, Timmy!
I love you.
…Too much?comments (4)
Well, much like last year, the Red Devil Gators’ season has come to an end in what you would call a “less than ideal” way. We lost our playoff game tonight, but it wasn’t all for naught.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we made it into the second round of the playoffs – having played only two games. See, two of our four regularly-scheduled games were rained out. We won one of the games we played and lost one in a very close fashion. Then, the team that we were to play in the first round of the playoffs decided not to show up for our round one game. So there we were earlier this evening, with our pride and ambition almost bubbling over. Then our season ended the same way it did last year: we lost a playoff game to a team comprised of what I can only guess are thirty year old alumni in a hotly contested match up officiated by some of the worst umpires on earth.
And I don’t mean for this to sound like sore loserdom or anything, but I swear to God: the first base umpire was watching the game on the field next to ours the entire night. I am disappointed to know that my university’s recreation department does not have higher standards for such a paid position. Of course, sucking at everything in life is sort of a prerequisite when becoming an umpire on any level.
Ah well, c’est la vie. We wouldn’t have won even if Mr. I-Could-Give-Two-Flying-Flips-About-Your-Game were paying attention.
Either way, we will be back, because Red Devil Gators Softball never sleeps.comment (0)
My German Political Theory Professor: Yes, well, as we all know, the US Women’s World Cup soccer team lost last night, unfortunately. It is a shame, too, because I was really hoping for a US versus Germany final. By the way, Germany, of course, won.
MGPTP: Yeah, well, come on. You guys won the war.comment (0)
Well, folks, the experiment is over. Until next fall, of course.
This semester was the highly anticipated inaugural season of what was supposed to be the world’s finest Slow Pitch Coed Intramural Softball team. We all had high expectations, that’s for sure. But, somehow, things went terribly, terribly wrong.
We did not win a game all year. We had been outscored by as much as 19-3. I forsook my catcherly duties by throwing the ball into right field when I was trying to throw to first base. But somehow, the Gods of intramural fate smiled down upon the disappointing Red Devil Gators by helping us to recruit some great infielders. Our luck did not end there. Despite having not won a game all season and finishing the year with four devastating losses, we were granted a playoff birth by way of the wonderful caveat that you had to literally sign up for postseason play.
There we were, without three of our best hitters in both Mikes and Stephanie. I played catcher while Angus braved the entire game, pitching the best he has ever hurled. Tim, Bonnie, Dhyana, and Heather took to the outfield. And around the horn we had Katie, Greg, James, and Bryce. It didn’t look good for our seasoned veterans, as we had to play Ad Society, a team with a heavy-hitting lineup of right handed monsters.
But we held our own. We batted first, which is likely what led to our demise; after each of our half innings, we were leading our foes. It was just that last inning when we couldn’t hold the lead. Angus pitched beautifully. The infield was a well-oiled machine that, had the umpires not been completely ridiculous in the way they called plays at first base, could chew up and spit out any opponent. The outfield played far better than I had expected, making use of the concept of a cutoff man better than they had all season. All in all, it was the greatest game we had ever played as a team; unfortunately, we were one run short of glory.
So, here’s to those warriors, those lonesome losers, those Red Devil Gators.
Just wait until next year.comments (2)
You know, having a blog like this means that I have a medium through which I can reach an audience (however miniscule). And that means that I can do what every human with a penis has done at some point in his life: I can tell you all about my meaningless opinions about sports!
The Devil Rays will go .500 this year. They’ll still finish third or fourth, but they’ll win over half of their games.
The Lightning will make it into the playoffs as a wild card but lose in the first round.
Much to my chagrin, the Buccaneers will go 7-9 because they lack an offensive line and special teams.
Kasey Kahne will finish first this year in NASCAR. Not because I know anything about NASCAR, but because his name is Kasey and he drives a Dodge. I get sentimental.
The Florida Gators will remain NCAA Men’s Basketball champions, at least until next year’s season starts.
Maybe someone in the country will realize that the NBA is ridiculous and that no one should watch it.
But seriously. See how you don’t care in the slightest about what I just said? See how my opinion, the thoughts of one inconsequential speck on the face of a seemingly infinite universe, will never have any effect on how the sports world plays out?
That’s always been my take. Which leads me to ask: how in the world do bozos like Jim Rome (yeah, I said it) and Stephen A. Smith (who, by the way, has not totally convinced me that he knows the English language) get their own shows on ESPN?
Isn’t three hours of Rome’s incessant blathering about how anyone who disagrees with him is an idiot enough? During any given radio broadcast, Jim Rome has what most scientist estimate to be 45 seconds of actual new information and opinions. He then repeats this. Over. And over again. And if you raise issue with one of his points, you’re an idiot. He then lets us listen to him make these exact same points WHILE you watch him on TV! How lucky are we?!
Anyway, the point remains: people’s opinions about sports don’t matter. And if you don’t agree with me, you’re an idiot.comments (4)
I know I said that I hated Valentine’s Day. And I still do. But friends, I think I fell in love yesterday. With the US Olympic Women’s Curling Team.
Don’t get me wrong. I think (much to the chagrin of some of my eastern European counterparts at school) that the Olympics are a big waste of my time. It does nothing but interrupt my regularly scheduled week of new television shows and makes girls lust after gnarly snowboarder types.
But after watching the US fall short of beating the team from Japan in what appears to be some strange game of giant shuffleboard on ice, I came to appreciate the hotness that somehow comes from Bemidji, Minnesota.
And here’s a fun fact for you: Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox were from Bemidji. Not only can this little corner of northern Minnesota produce the hottest things to hit the ice since Emilio Estevez in The Mighty Ducks, but it can also captivate a nation with folk tales that make absolutely no sense whatsoever.
Thank you, Bemidji. You get the gold medal in my book.comment (1)