Golf Digress

Physically cultured commentary on Sport and Wellness

Month: December, 2013

Stalking Points Memo – Food for Thought Edition

1. Taking the Plunge

One for the money, two for the show, three to get ready...and four to go!

One for the money, two for the show, three to get ready…and four to go!

From ABC News:

First, the cold water chills the skin, which has three to four times as many cold   receptors as warm receptors, said Michael Tipton, a physiology professor at the University of Portsmouth in England.

“You get a very, very powerful drive to breathe and an inability to breath-hold,” said Tipton, who has completed two polar bear plunges himself.

The hyperventilation combines with a sudden increase in heart rate and blood pressure, but this response typically peaks about 30 seconds after someone enters the water.

“This is really quite potentially one of the most profound physical responses you can initiate,” Tipton said, adding that it can be lessened with repeated short exposure to cold water over time.”

——————–

Yes, indeed. The profound physical response to which the good doctor describes might, in other ancient traditions not solely reserved for special occasions, be best filed under the heading of “aliveness.” Nothing is more (safely) awakening, enlivening, more intensely focusing attention on the HERE and NOW than cold water immersion – and its prospect – be it fjord, natural spring or polar bear ocean plunge. See you at the Springs!

one of the most profound physical responses you can initiate,"

one of the most profound physical responses you can initiate,”

2. Tragic Truth in Advertising

FROM WebMD:

Consumers should not use Mass Destruction, a dietary supplement used to stimulate muscle growth, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned Monday. The body-building product, available in retail stores, fitness gyms and online, contains potentially harmful synthetic steroids and anyone currently using it should stop immediately, the FDA said.

The warning was prompted by a report from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services involving a serious injury related to use of Mass Destruction. A healthy 28-year-old man who used the product for several weeks experienced liver failure, which required a transplant, according to the FDA.

———————–

Liver failure. In an otherwise healthy 28-year old. All for what, an edge? Ghastly. Perhaps a finger can be pointed beyond the individual, perhaps not, or perhaps there is something deeper at work.

3. “Self-centered, alienated, ‘narcissistic’ “?

From: Solitude by Anthony Storr (Balantine Books, 1988)

“It can be argued that some of the great thinkers listed above [Spinoza, Newton, Descartes, Kant, etc.] were self-centered, alienated, or ‘narcissistic’: more preoccupied with what went on in their own minds than with the welfare of other people. The same is true of many writers, composers, and painters. The creative person is constantly seeking to discover himself, to remodel his own identity, and to find meaning in the universe through what he creates. He finds this a valuable integrating process which, like meditation or prayer, has little to do with other people, but which has its own separate validity. His most significant moments are those in which he attains some new insight, or makes some new discovery; and these moments are chiefly, if not invariably, those in which he is alone.”

…No one even tangentially aware of or familiar with professional athletics can deny that such “selfish,” preoccupying qualities here recognized in artists are part of the make-up (if yes sometimes to excess) of the most successful athletes.

"His most significant moments...are chiefly, invariably, those in which he is alone."

“His most significant moments…are chiefly, invariably, those in which he is alone.”

Terrell Owens. "Self-centered, alienated or 'narcissistic?' "

Terrell Owens. “Self-centered, alienated or ‘narcissistic?’ “

Their creations are obviously different (and less enduring), yet I would suggest thatthey also seek to create what Storr calls their “own separate validity” from their fleeting accomplishments. They may have many motivations, not the least of which may be celebrity or riches.  They may be narcissistic in the extreme – any number of examples come to mind. Even in the team sports they must consider and establish themselves…alone. The great catch, the game-saving strike-out, the miraculous major championship hardly exist in a vacuum – the result of years of foundational dedication, coaching, teamwork, counsel. Still the act is individual.

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“Vintage” club posting alert

Writes the anonymous Craigslist entrepreneur:

“I have had these clubs for many years and just don’t use them anymore. The irons do have some rust and the drivers are real wood drivers.”

We can give the author an inch for his candor on the first point. It is apparent from the photograph that the clubs have been kicking around for some years. The disuse is obvious. I like his tack – admit just enough to give the impression, if just a whit, of truth. When he writes: “I have had these clubs for many years” what he really means is: “I have no idea where these ghastly things came from but I want them gone.” No honest golfer could possibly have had any personal attachment to these tomato stakes. That he “just” doesn’t use them anymore is precious. Oh, really? When could the last time have been that he possibly “used” these? I’m guessing never, or perhaps 1959.

But I especially like the next sentence. Yes, he is willing to admit that rust happens. Big of him. Ah, but they are real wood, let me guess: “Corinthian?” He seems to stop just short since the lie has come gasping close to reality. But the “vintage” tab? Pure genius. Um, well, maybe not exactly genius. Pure delusion? Now we’re getting somewhere.

"Vintage," you say? Who am I to argue?

“Vintage,” you say? Who am I to argue?

Pumping iron? Clyde?

Clyde

It’s true. And Walt Frazier always chooses his words carefully. On the theme of “Undergoing Adversity,” the title of the second chapter of The Game Within the Game (Hyperion, 2006), Clyde dishes:

My college coach, Jack Hartman, made me play only defense for a full year in practice when I became academically ineligible for my junior year at Southern Illinois. Embarrassed, I thought at first about arguing with Coach Hartman over what I felt was a tremendous slight. But instead I started lifting weights and working so hard on my defense that my teammates hated to see match up against them in practice. That was the turning point of my life on and off the court.

Michael Sulvane

“And yet nobody has ever tendered a satisfactory reason why.”

THAT’S GOLF! 12/22/13 SPORTSTALK AM 1300 THE ZONE (KVET-AM):

WE CALL THIS MEETING OF THE FAT SHOT AND OH NO SOCIETY TO ORDER. ANOTHER CHRISTMAS IN DECEMBER SHOW. THANKS FOR LISTENING.

The part of the Ghost of SportsTalk Present played by Craig Way cardboard cut-out.

The part of the Ghost of SportsTalk Present played by Craig Way cardboard cut-out.

IF YOU’RE WONDERING ABOUT MY ROLE, HERE’S ONE DESCRIPTION:

Spearheading the ongoing assimilation and distribution to the key demographic with information relevant to the identifier’s business and areas of interest. Primarily uses microphone, internet or other research/information resources. Attends to details and arrangements for successful external and internal coordination.

(HUH. I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS….)

MORE SUCCINCTLY, MY ROLE IS DEFINED BY THESE TWO WORDS: ‘YOU’RE AWAY.’

GIVEN THE EARLY HOUR, I TRY TO BREAK YOU IN GENTLY. OUR ENDEAVOR REMAINS TO ENHANCE OUR COLLECTIVE APPRECIATION AND UNDERSTANDING OF GOLF.

YOUR WRITER FOR HIRE, SANTA’S HELPER AND SHAG BOY, VICARIOUSLY WELCOMING YOU AGAIN INTO THE FESTIVE SHAG-ENCRUSTED CONFINES.

AVAILABLE FOR ANY SPECIAL ADVISORY ROLES YOU MAY HAVE – FOR CONSIDERABLY LESS THAN $500,000 A YEAR. CONSIDERABLY LESS.

WE’RE A PRESENTATION OF SPORTSTALK AM 1300 THE ZONE AND YOUR AUSTIN AREA CHURCH OF THE INVETERATE DUFFER. TODAY’S INSPIRATIONAL TEXT COMES FROM CHARLES PRICE AND HIS 1962 BOOK, “THE WORLD OF GOLF.” A CLASSIC BELOVED BY OUR SPECIAL GUEST THIS HOUR. BEN CRENSHAW WILL JOIN US IN THE NEXT SEGMENT.

CHARLES PRICE WAS A STAPLE OF GOLF DIGEST FOR MANY YEARS, AND I HAD THE PLEASURE OF HEARING HIM TELL MANY STORIES ABOUT HAGEN AND JONES AT A NATIONAL GOLF FOUNDATION MEETING IN THE EARLY ’90S. HE WAS THE SORT OF CURMUDGEONLY SCRIBE ONE ASPIRES TO BE.

IN THE INTRODUCTION TO THE WORLD OF GOLF, HE WROTE:

GOLF HAS BEEN PLAYED NOW FOR MORE THAN HALF A MILLENIUM THAT WE KNOW OF AND AT PRESENT IS PLAYED RATHER RELIGIOUSLY BY SOME FIFTEEN MILLIONS ON EVERY CONTINENT IN THE WORLD ON WHICH GRASS WILL GROW. AND YET NOBODY HAS EVER TENDERED A SATISFACTORY REASON WHY. ONE THING IS CERTAIN, THOUGH: NOBODY PLAYS GOLF FOR HIS HEALTH. OF ALL THE LAME EXCUSES PEOPLE GIVE FOR PLAYING THE GAME, THIS ONE IS THE MOST MALADROIT.   

THE MORE YOU LEARN ABOUT GAMES, THE MORE YOU ARE APT TO REALIZE THE NUMBER OF THINGS GOLF DOESN’T HAVE. IT DOESN’T HAVE THE EFFERVESCENT EXCITEMENT WITH WHICH FOOTBALL IS BLESSED. IT HASN’T THE GRAND STRATEGY FROM WHICH BASEBALL LARGELY DERIVES ITS POPULAR APPEAL. IT DOES NOT REQUIRE THE STAMINA OF TENNIS, THE SELF-CONFIDENCE OF BOWLING, THE FINESSE OF BILLIARDS, THE CONCENTRATION OF BRIDGE, THE INTUITION OF CHESS. YET, AT ITS BEST, GOLF COMMANDS ALL THESE THINGS – AND MUCH MORE – SOMETHING WHICH PROBABLY CANNOT BE SAID ABOUT ANY OTHER GAME AND WHICH MAY EXPLAIN WHY GOLF IS PLAYED PASSIONATELY IN COUNTRIES WHERE SUCH HEROES AS BABE RUTH AND RED GRANGE HAVE NEVER BEEN HEARD OF.

 CONTINUES PRICE – TODAY’S INSPIRATIONAL MESSAGE –

WHAT WOULD SEEM TO BE THE SIMPLE ACT OF HITTING A GOLF BALL IS ACTUALLY ONE OF THE CLUMSIEST MOVEMENTS IMAGINABLE, AS ANY GOLFER WHO HAS EVER TRIED TO THINK ABOUT IT WHILE DOING IT WILL TESTIFY. TO A GOLFER IT IS INCREDIBLE WITH WHAT DELIGHTFUL EASE HE CAN LOP OFF THE HEAD OF A DANDELION WITH HIS CLUB AND YET BOBBLE THE SITUATION WHEN CONFRONTED WITH A GOLF BALL. BEN HOGAN, MAYBE THE MOST SCIENTIFIC HITTER OF A GOLF BALL WHO EVER LIVED, HAS EXPLAINED THIS PARADOX BY SAYING THAT THERE IS ABSOLUTELY “NOTHING NATURAL” ABOUT THE GOLF SWING. SO EXCRUCIATINGLY DIFFICULT IS IT, IN FACT, THAT BOOKS WHICH PURPORT TO TELL GOLFERS HOW TO DO IT OUTSELL BOOKS ON ALL OTHER SPORTS COMBINED. “IT IS THIS CONSTANT AND UNDYING HOPE FOR IMPROVEMENT,” AS BRITISH ESSAYIST BERNARD DARWIN PUT IT, “THAT MAKES GOLF SO EXQUISITELY WORTH THE PLAYING.

-0-

How long does it take to play :24 in a big-time college basketball game?

Now it can be revealed.

I tuned into the Texas-North Carolina game on Wednesday night.

There were 24 seconds left on the clock.

Fifteen minutes and seven seconds later, the game ended, 86-83 Longhorns.

That is all.

Crystal…Lite??

Energy boost or "keeps close whiter and brighter?" Hard to say.

Energy boost or “keeps clothes whiter and brighter?”
Hard to know.

It’s hard to describe. If you’ll bear with me, there’s that gap at the bottom of the opening to the apartment clothes drawer. Along the bottom on the inside is a fitted slot. Inside the slot is a lint filter, rarely
cleaned.

I lug out the wet, heavy load of wash and get it in the top of two stacked dryers. The bottom dryer is the better. It’s filled with dry clothes waiting to be collected, cold to the touch. I put in my quarters, push the button and – ugh! The bottom dryer, with someone else’s clothes in it – starts up. I roughly open the door. Every second counts. The stranger’s clothes are removed and placed in a nearby basket. I pull my clothes from the top machine, throw them in the bottom dryer, then think to check what is indeed a thickly-covered lint screen. As I do so, oddly enough, out pops the packet pictured.

The package of “Crystal Light Energy (Caffeine, Energy, B Vitamins) Wild Strawberry Artificial Flavor Drink Mix © (80 percent fewer calories than leading beverages)” measures four inches in length. Much of the above required a magnifying glass to read. As did naturally the fine print on the back:

INGREDIENTS: CITRIC ACID, MALTODEXTRIN, ASPARTAME, CAFFEINE, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2 PERCENT OF NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, NIACINAMIDE, CALCIUM PANTOTHENATE AND BIOTIN (B-VITAMINS), VITAMIN B6, VITAMIN B12, MAGNESIUM OXIDE, ARTIFICIAL COLOR, RED 40, YELLOW 5, BLUE 1, SOY LECITHIN, TOCOPHEROL (TO PROTECT FLAVOR) – [JUST IN CASE, I GUESS, YOU KNOW, “FLAVOR” ™ MIGHT BE LOST.] PHENYLKENURICS: CONTAINS PHENYLALANINE CONTAINS: SOY.

THERE’S ADDITIONAL NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION BUT IT’S VERY SMALL. I DO SEE THAT THE PACKET APPARENTLY CONTAINS TWO SERVINGS. YUM, YUM.

JUST FOR FUN: I popped “Phenylalanine” into the hopper and up came the following from the Mayo Clinic’s Web site:

Phenylalanine isn’t a health concern for most people. However, for people who have the genetic disorder phenylketonuria (PKU) or certain other health conditions, phenylalanine can be a serious health concern.
Phenylalanine can cause mental retardation, brain damage, seizures and other problems in people with PKU. Phenylalanine occurs naturally in many protein-rich foods, such as milk, eggs and meat. Phenylalanine also is sold as a dietary supplement.

My questions: How did the packet get in the lint drawer? And, secondly, What do I do with it?

A)    Give it to squirrels. They’ll eat anything.
B)     Use it as detergent.
C)     Open it! Put it in a Smoothie and drink it!
D)    Donate it to the Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports, with a urine sample?

Suggestions welcome.

And then there’s this encouraging word from the Baltimore Sun:

“Artificial sweeteners found in river water and drinking supplies”
By Bettina Boxall

Canadian researchers think they have found a great way to trace the travels of treated sewage after it is discharged into rivers: Follow the artificial sweeteners.

The scientists found elevated concentrations of four sweeteners – cyclamate, saccharin, sucralose, and acesulfame – in water samples collected along the length of the Grand River in Ontario, Canada.

Commonly used in diet drinks, the sweeteners got into the Grand by way of the 30 sewage treatment plants that empty into the river and its tributaries.
(http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-artificial-sweeteners-river-20131216,0,4820901.story#ixzz2nqEToxa9)

The Ghost of Tiddlers Past

"Can't you just smell the male performance enhancement?"

“Can’t you just smell the male performance enhancement?”

SCRIPT  THAT’S GOLF! 12.15.13 SPORTSTALK AM 1300 THE ZONE, KVET-AM, AUSTIN, TX

THE SHOW WITHOUT ANY PLAYOFF OR BOWL IMPLICATIONS WHATSOEVER! CAN’T YOU JUST SMELL THE MALE PERFORMANCE ENCHANCEMENT? MAYBE THE STUDIO COULD USE SOME AIRING OUT…

WE’RE HERE AGAIN IN THE PALATIAL SHAG-ENCRUSTED CONFINES  SOUTH OF THE RIVER. THANKS TO BOTH OF YOU FOR TUNING IN.

BEFORE WE GET STARTED, YOU WILL HAVE HEARD THERE IS A PRESS CONFERENCE SCHEDULED TODAY FOR 1 P.M. WE WILL HAVE IT LIVE FOR YOU. COACH BROWN VERY MUCH WANTED TO COME ON THE SHOW, BUT I URGED HIM TO SCHEDULE A PRESS CONFERENCE FOR A MORE REASONABLE HOUR. THAT WAY HE COULD SLIP IN A DEW-SWEEPING ROUND EARLY, IF HE WANTED. AND HE AGREED THAT WOULD BE BEST. SO ONE O’CLOCK FOR MACK’S PRESS CONFERENCE. THERE IS STILL A FOOTBALL GAME TO BE PLAYED AGAINST A STRONG OREGON TEAM IN THE ALAMO BOWL.

Not true. The Rock is NOT under consideration for the head coaching position at Texas.

Not true. The Rock is NOT under consideration for the head coaching position at Texas.

I KNOW SEVERAL NAMES HAVE BEEN BANDIED ABOUT: NICK SABAN, KNUTE ROCKNE. NEITHER WILL BE APPEARING ON TODAY’S SHOW…

THE ENDEAVOR IS TO ENHANCE OUR APPRECIATION AND UNDERSTANDING OF GOLF.

TYPICALLY, THIS TIME OF YEAR, PEOPLE REACH FOR TRADITIONAL HOLIDAY CLASSICS, LIKE DICKENS A CHRISTMAS CAROL, OR, PERHAPS RE-READ THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS. OTHERS ARE NOSTALGIC FOR THE NORELCO SANTA, OR, PERHAPS, THAT WEIRD MONSTER ON THE ISLAND OF MISFIT TOYS, ALONG WITH THE COMFORTING VOICE OF BURL IVES, OR LINUS MAKING HIS WAY THROUGH THE SNOWY NIGHT.

I HAVE TO SAY: THE GRINCH ALWAYS MADE ME VERY UNEASY AS A CHILD. HE STILL DOES.

BUT TO SHOW YOU HOW WEIRD I AM, AROUND THE HOLIDAYS I LIKE TO REACH FOR SOME OF MY FAVORITE GOLF TALES, THE KIND THAT MAKE YOU WONDER. MAKE YOU THINK.

SINCE WE’VE MOVED TO SUNDAY MORNINGS…THAT’S GOLF, A PRESENTATION OF SPORTSTALK AM 1300 THE ZONE AND YOUR AUSTIN AREA CHURCH OF THE INVETERATE DUFFER, WE TYPICALLY OPEN WITH A VERSE OF SUITABLE INSPIRATIONAL MESSAGE. THIS MORNING, I’VE CHOSEN ONE OF MY FAVORITES, A SHORT REFLECTION FROM BOBBY JONES. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH A HOLLY JOLLY CHRISTMAS. RATHER IT CONCERNS THE MATTER OF SHORT MISSED PUTTS…JUST THE SORT OF THING THAT MIGHT KEEP OLD EBENEEZER UP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT, PERHAPS VISITED BY THE GHOST OF TIDDLERS PAST.

SO WITHOUT FURTHER YABBERING, WE TURN TO BOB JONES FOR A LITTLE REMEMBERED MOMENT OF TERROR.

LONG AGO I LEARNED THAT NO PUTT IS SHORT ENOUGH TO TAKE FOR GRANTED,” HE WROTE IN A NEWSPAPER COLUMN, ENTITLED ‘SHORT PUTTS.’ “I HAVE LONG SINCE RECOGNIZED THE FOLLY OF ONE-HANDED, BACKHANDED, AND ALL OTHER KINDS OF DISGUSTED EFFORTS. WHEN IT MATTERED AT ALL WHETHER OR NOT THE NEXT STROKE WENT IN, NO MATTER HOW SHORT THE PUTT MIGHT HAVE BEEN, IT RECEIVED FROM ME AS CLOSE ATTENTION AS I WAS ABLE TO GIVE. I ALWAYS TOOK A STANCE AND ADDRESS, EVEN WHEN THE BALL WAS LYING AT THE VERY EDGE OF THE HOLE.

“I SHALL NEVER FORGET MY FEELING AS I PREPARED TO HOLE MY LAST PUTT AT SCIOTO, IN COLUMBUS, OHIO, TO WIN THE UNITED STATES OPEN IN 1926. THE THING COULD NOT HAVE BEEN OVER THREE INCHES IN LENGTH. YET, AS I STEPPED UP TO TAP IT IN, THE WILDEST THOUGHT STRUCK ME, “WHAT IF I SHOULD STUB MY PUTTER INTO THE TURF AND FAIL TO MOVE THE BALL?” I VERY CAREFULLY ADDRESSED THE PUTT WITH MY PUTTER BLADE OFF THE TURF AND HALF-TOPPED THE BALL INTO THE HOLE. SOUNDS A BIT PSYCHO, DOESN’T IT? BUT GOLFERS CAN GET THAT WAY.”

…FROM A NIGHTMARE BEFORE THE U.S. OPEN….NO, THAT’S FROM BOBBY JONES ON GOLF, A COLLECTION THAT JUST GETS BETTER WITH EACH SUCCESSIVE READING, LIKE SO MANY CLASSIC HOLIDAY FAVORITES.

Stalking Points Memo

No. 1 “Does chewing gum make you fat? (and 5 other theories)

The question was recently posed by the Guardian. Not so concerned with gum-related calories, years ago I’d stumbled upon and wrote about research highlighting another of the posited theories, notably awareness and even heightened intelligence through chewing. The article repeated findings long confirmed, if still not especially well-publicized.

Brain scans found that chewing gum activated the hippocampus (the part responsible for memory) – a finding that was corroborated elsewhere. Scientists have also found that it can improve alertness and even reduce stress.

Not only do I walk and chew gum, I walk fairways often exercising the old hippocampus in hopes of engaging the old bean. Often, sadly, I forget having stowed a stick in the back pocket of my baseball pants where, caught up in the action, it invariably gathers dirt, melts into the paper, goes stale and takes a pounding through the washer. Perhaps the dosage needs reconsidering. http://www.theguardian.com/news/reality-check

No. 2: Nuts to you!

The news cycle hardly gave this a filament’s notice but those of you well known to grocery store security cameras for what is decorously referred to as “snacking” (and will someday, once elected, become a Class C misdemeanor) will no doubt have noticed the most recent excitement among nutters. My friends hadn’t heard so here is a brief of Jane Brody’s assessment from her “Personal Health” column in the New York Times, entitled “Snacking Your Way to Better Health.”

The more often nuts were consumed, the less likely participants were to die of cancer, heart disease and respiratory disease, and not because nut eaters succumbed to other diseases. Their death rate from any cause was lower during the years they were followed. (The nuts in question were pistachios, almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, peanuts and walnuts.)

Those who ate nuts seven or more times a week were 20 percent less likely to die from 1980 to 2010; even among those who consumed nuts less often than once a week, the death rate was 11 percent lower than for those who did not eat them.

I know what you’re thinking: Aren’t nuts fattening? Yes, an ounce of nuts has 160 to 200 calories, nearly 80 percent from fat.

But in study after study, the more often people ate nuts, the leaner they tended to be.

Oh, Superman!

Oh, Superman!

 No. 3 “…basically worse than pet food.”

A minor league baseball trainer of my acquaintance was hardly surprised to learn that basketball great Dwight Howard was snacking his way to horrible health, abusing himself with a regular infusion of junk. He appears to have been the only one surprised at his declining performance. With any luck his agent is now on the phone seeking a Hershey’s endorsement, although Howard and the Lakers team appears on their way to turning a corner, if not their record.

From CBS News:

It turned out that Howard was consuming the equivalent of 24 Hershey bars a day in the form of candy and soda — not to mention the additional sugar his body was making out of all the empty starches he was eating.

We knew Dwight had a sugar-intake issue,” said Luke Shanahan [co-author of Deep Nutrition] whose Masters in Fine Arts from the world-renowned Iowa Writers Workshop has served him well in his role as the program’s architect and co-pilot. “We just didn’t know how bad it was.”

It was bad. At [Napa Valley doctor and nutritionist] Cate Shanahan’s request, Howard had undergone a blood screening that revealed a frighteningly pathological profile. His glucose readings were through the roof, much higher than they should have been for a ripped, 27-year-old professional athlete who used to call himself Superman.

On working with the Lakers: “We’re making the shift from basically worse than pet food to actual food,” Cate Shanahan said. “We’re a country running on empty sugar, processed foods and vegetable oils,” Luke Shanahan said. “… The first step is to get vegetable oils out of your life and replace empty starches with nutrient-dense food.” From: Nutrition in the NBA: Part I: Lessons learned in L.A. help Howard’s career http://www.cbssports.com/nba/writer/ken-berger/24370416

 No. 4: Jimi Hendrix “Starting at Zero”

"While I'm playing I don't think about it. I just lay out there and jam."

“While I’m playing I don’t think about it. I just lay out there and jam.”

An intimidating, remote figure, it was a most pleasant surprise to bump into an introspective Jimi Hendrix. Here he reflects on some of his earliest, private moments. It made for astonishing reading. To think one so self-assured on stage once had to hide behind the curtain while performing.

I remember my first gig was at an armoury, a National Guard place, and we earned 35 cents apiece and three hamburgers. It was so hard for me at first. I knew about three songs, and when it was time for us to play onstage I was all shaky, so I had to play behind the curtains. I just couldn’t get up in front. And then you get so very discouraged. You hear different bands playing around you, and the guitar player always seems like he’s so much better than you are. Most people give up at this point, but it’s best not to. Just keep on, just keep on. Sometimes you are going to be so frustrated you’ll hate the guitar, but all of this is just a part of learning. If you stick with it you’re going to be rewarded. If you’re very stubborn you can make it.

On, for want of a better word, we’ll call the Zone:

You see, onstage I forget everything, even the pain. Look at my thumb – how ugly it’s become. While I’m playing I don’t think about it. I just lay out there and jam. You get into such a pitch sometimes that you go up into another thing. You don’t forget about the audience, but you forget about all the paranoia, that thing where you’re saying: “Oh gosh, I’m onstage – what am I going to do now?” Then you go into this other thing, and it turns out to be almost like a play in certain ways. I have to hold myself back sometimes because I get so excited – no, not excited, involved.

Not excited, involved. Beautiful.

From: “Starting at Zero: His Own Story,” http://www.theguardian.com/music/2013/dec/08/jimi-hendrix-in-his-own-words

“Mostly belly and ass.”

Recalling a recent academic analysis of the golf swing, a peer review of available literature on the topic (See also: Strength & Conditioning, Vol. 35, No. 6, Oct. 2013), there was certainly a lot to chew on regarding everyone’s favorite subject, Core Muscle Activation.

Once "all belly and ass," but not later.

Once “all belly and ass,” but not later.

For example:

“The golf players’ core muscle group must be physically powerful enough to produce adequate upper trunk flexion force to resist the extension.”

Eh?

There was this, however, at least a glimmer of consensus:

According to some reviewers, only 2 muscle groups are of absolute necessity during the golf swing, and without sufficient strengthening of these specific muscles, the golf player will not be able to effectively execute a comfortable, “high-quality” golf swing. These two muscle groups are as follows: the gluteus muscle group and the abdominal muscle group.

Well, yes, certainly. The above reemerged with 75-watt brilliancy stumbling upon an interesting observation of the young Lou Gehrig.

Gehrig was not yet at Columbia,where his clouts are still referenced walking across the Morningside Heights campus, but he was already a regular in the turnverein gyms of his day.

Here’s the comment that struck me. It came from Mike Sesist, described in Ray Robinson’s excellent Gehrig biography, Iron Horse:

Lou was about 158 pounds then, mostly belly and ass.”

Mostly belly and ass. Interesting, don’t you think? Glutes. Abs. Core.

The turn verein at 85th and Lexington where Lou began the transformation into the Iron Horse.

The turn verein at 85th and Lexington where Lou began the transformation into the Iron Horse.

 

5665-564

Frost-free sport stalk without the freezer burn.

Frost-free sports talk now without freezer burn.

SCRIPT: That’s Golf! Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013 Austin, TX SportsTalk AM 1300 The Zone (KVET-AM)

(SOTTO VOCE: SO I SAYS TO THE GUY, ‘YOU THINK THAT’S COLD. LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT THE TIME WE GOT SNOWED OUT IN THE CANADIAN ROCKIES. YEA…AND…)

OH, ARE WE ON THE AIR? WE ARE, AREN’T WE?

(SOTTO VOCE: I’LL CALL YOU BACK. I DON’T KNOW WHEN. LATER.)

ABSOLUTELY. ANOTHER PERFECT DAY FOR GOLF. I’M GUESSING THE FIRST TEE IS OPEN.

ACCORDING TO THE WASHINGTON POST: More than 100,000 customers in the Dallas area were without power Saturday, with about 7,000 in Oklahoma and thousands more in other states. Some 400 departing flights from DFW were canceled in the morning, the airport said. About 3,300 passengers stayed overnight in the terminals.

FEELS LIKE THE HOLIDAYS. GOSH, BEFORE YOU KNOW IT, TOYOTA-THON WILL BE HERE ONCE AGAIN.

JADED ABOUT ALL THE COMMERCIALIZATION? NOT ME.

OUR ENDEAVOR EACH WEEK IS TO ENHANCE OUR APPRECIATION AND UNDERSTANDING OF GOLF. THE GAME WE COME TO LEARN RELIES ON JUST TWO DOMINANT MUSCLE GROUPS OF ABSOLUTE NECESSITY TO COMPLETING THE  SWING: THE GLUTEUS MUSCLE GROUP AND THE ABDOMINAL MUSCLE GROUP.

IT REMAINS NEVERTHELESS A GAME OF:

  • EXPLORATION,
  • EXPECTANCY,
  • EXUBERANCE,
  • EXTRAVERSION,
  • EXPERTISE,
  • EXPERIMENTATION,
  • EXPRESSION,
  • EXPLETIVES,
  • AND, OFTEN, YES, EXASPERATION.

 IT SOUNDS LIKE THE NUMBERS ON MY SCORECARD FOR THE FIRST SEVEN HOLES: 5-6-6-5-564. THAT SEQUENCE HOWEVER WAS THE LATE SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT NELSON MANDELA’S PRISON INMATE NUMBER FOR NEARLY 30 YEARS.

COINCIDENTALLY, THIS WEEK, WE HAD ONE OF THOSE INTERESTING MOMENTS WHERE SPORT AND REALITY INTERSECT. A TOURNAMENT WAS UNDERWAY IN SUN CITY, SOUTH AFRICA AS PRESIDENT MANDELA PASSED AWAY.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS REPORTED GARY PLAYER WAS MOVED TO TEARS ON THE TEE BEFORE HIS EARLY-MORNING ROUND. ERNIE ELS SPOKE OF A PHOTO THAT HE CHERISHES WITH THE LATE NELSON MANDELA.

“It is a very sad day,” Els COMMENTED. “A very sad day for South Africa and the world.”

THIS DIRECTLY FROM THE AP DISPATCH: QUOTE: “A somber mood hung over the Nedbank Golf Challenge, South Africa’s first major sporting event since former president and anti-apartheid leader Mandela died late Thursday aged 95.

“One of South Africa’s first sporting heroes under Mandela’s presidency, four-time major winner Els had walked out of the players’ lounge a little after 6:30 a.m. to talk to reporters and share some of his precious memories of the time he spent with Mandela. Els said that since about 1996 and well into his old age, Mandela used to call the golfer every time he won a tournament.

“They were special times and the little time we had together was very special. He was just the most amazing person I have ever met,” SAID ERNIE.

“Player, South Africa’s most successful golfer and whose career so often clashed with South Africa’s dark years of apartheid, said he and three friends had prayed and then cried together over Mandela’s passing before playing a casual round first thing in the morning before the field went out.

“We all had a tear in our eyes, but it’s also a day of celebration because he’d want us to celebrate,” Player said. “And we’ve got to celebrate for what he actually gave this country. END QUOTE.