I was looking through my old scrap books just yesterday, as my wife is in the process of updating them. It was quite a disturbing experience. My God, but I used to be thinner and better looking. Faded yellow newsprint images of a slender young Irishman, and stories of the high points of my career, mixed with the front page tabloid lows of my personal life, adorn the massive cardboard pages, each one like a slice of my life. As the newsprint becomes less faded, I gradually get larger, my face more corrupted by the travel and the aging and the stress, and all the things one does to combat them. I work in TV, but possess the perfect face for radio.
I’ve noticed I’m not alone, though, in my “Picture of Dorian Gray” decline. All of my colleagues from way back then look a little different these days. I came across a youthful Darren Clarke between the pages, some 10 years or so into my career. He was then a chubby youth, but already in possession of the impish grin we saw so much of just a couple of weeks ago when he won the Andersen Consulting Match Play Championship. He and I are Ulstermen, and I have followed his career closely, from the time when I was actually capable of beating him. I am one of those white guys who looks like his ass has fainted, but the same could hardly be said of Darren. We used to tease him, telling him that with a backside like that, he could kick start a Jumbo Jet.
The inevitable Ryder Cup comparisons always come up when two such players go at it head to head as Darren and Tiger Woods did, and it’s kind of a pity that we don’t see more of it throughout the season. If we did, the U.S. golf viewing public would be treated to more great players like Darren, and the U.S. media would be less inclined to make the American Ryder Cup team such overwhelming favorites every two years. The players know the truth, just ask Hal Sutton or Tiger.
It’s a funny thing, now that I have a camera pointed at me from time to time. I tend to spot all of my flaws. Just the other day, I received a bunch of photos of myself from CBS. You know, publicity shots that I sign and send to those poor souls that have such pitiful existences they feel the need to have me staring at them from the bathroom wall. The thing is, in this latest batch, I look halfway decent.
Of course, it turns out they were airbrushed.
Bye for now.