Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Yesterday was the last CBS golf show of our regular season, and I thought I'd caught a break when the bad weather moved in, and the PGA Tour decided they were going to go early, in order to get the round in. Nice final group too, with Furyk and Woods for me to follow. All done by 1 p.m. Eastern, a 3:30 American flight from Cleveland to Dallas, home in time for tea and crumpets, lovely way to finish.

Yeah, right. Halfway into the playoff I was ready to do a Tonya Harding on one of the combatants, and I didn't care which. In retrospect I probably would have been better off attacking Jim Furyk because at least I could have outrun Fluff.

I ended up walking up and down that hill at 17 and 18 four-and-a-half times yesterday, and on the last occasion I got a damned good soaking for my trouble. A few hours later though, I was dry on the outside anyway, buried under the lip of the bar at Hopkins International, nursing a tumbler of lighter fluid and, stranger than fiction, watching the show on TV.

I don't remember the last time I actually saw a golf telecast of which I had been a part. Anyway, there were a gaggle of interested viewers in the front row, craning their necks upward at the action, and horror of horrors, none of them knew who the hell I was. I waited for myself to say something and then ordered another biff, in exactly the same accent.

Nope, not a taker among the bastards.

"Damn that Tiger Woods," I thought. I surveyed the crowd, and listened to some snippets of conversation. To my left, there were a couple of Top Fuel mechanics who had blown the set-up of their engine earlier that day, a software rep who was trying to pick up a lady who sold phone systems, and a male flight attendant who was trying to pick up the software rep.

To my right, a couple of sans-a-belt types, one of whom was wearing an NEC shirt. All of them had two things in common. They were experts on Tiger woods, and of the opinion he would prevail over the white stiff he was playing against. The guy's swing was a joke, for a start.

I'm thinking, "This is unbelievable!" A few years ago, none of these people would have noticed the golf tournament flickering above them and now they all know who's going to win it, long before it's over.

I'm not sure which is worse, but I know one thing: Wadkins, the idiot, is supposed to be on my flight, and there's no sign of him anywhere. I hit his number on my cell phone. Turns out he's upstairs in the Admiral's club, watching it on his own, with his $500 Ferragamo loafers up on the back of the chair in front of him. I tell him to get his cashmere-clad ass down to join me in the cheap seats, because at least that way I can talk to someone who's smart enough to know I'm famous.

Nobody in this dump gives a damn about anyone but Tiger Woods. I mean, how are you supposed to act like an expert in your field, if you're surrounded by dummies who know as much as you?

Enough with this golf, bring on football.

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