Sunday, September 30, 2007

I have long been convinced that you can tell a player's personality by the way they swing a golf club. A case in point is Fred Couples, whose swing is easygoing, comfortable, and even downright lovable at times. Then there's John Daly, whose swing is immensely enjoyable to watch, but there is way too much of it. Nick Price is classic type A, quick, powerful, and to the point, and Colin Montgomerie swings very carefully, with a strangely irritating follow-through. Craig Stadler's swing says, "This is me, and up yours if you don't like it."

A week or so ago, I was on my way back from Greensboro, when everyone was startled by a sudden loud rasping noise from inside the plane. I was sitting with Stadler at the time, so naturally I thought nothing of it. But then it happened a couple more times, and the flight attendant walked down the aisle with his head cocked to one side, as if he were listening for a squirrel in one of the air conditioners. This, in my experience, when combined with a few loud whining noises and a couple of violent bumps, has seldom been a good sign, but workaholic that I am, I decided to keep a close eye on the action, so that should we survive, I could report back to my readers. So with that in mind, I settled in to observe Craig's behavior during the crisis, as we bumped, rasped, and whined towards doom, or DFW Airport.

True to form, he looked at me as if he had just lipped out from three feet. "This is pretty typical," he said. "I suppose we're all going to die now. That'd be about right."

"My God," I thought. "I'm in a metal tube, 35,000 feet above the ground, sitting next to Eyeore!"

It was in that moment, though, that I knew everything would be all right, because no matter what happens to Eyeore, no matter how bad, he always comes out of it okay. As for my own part in this near tragedy, I felt more like Rabbit. "Just my luck," I thought. "I'm going to be in a plane wreck, and I'm sitting next to Stadler, right after he loses 50 pounds. Six months ago, he might have been some use as an airbag."

Hey, Eyeore might have lost the playoff on Sunday in Houston, but that's okay, everybody loves Eyeore.

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