Christie: “To use the vernacular, the ball was on the tee.”

by Al Pastor

THAT’S GOLF! JANUARY 12, 2014     Script, SportsTalk AM 1300 The Zone, Austin

GOLF IS, ARGUABLY, I’LL GRANT YOU, ONE OF THE MINOR SPORTS. BUT, AS I’VE PREVIOUSLY MENTIONED, IT HAS SEEPED INTO SOCIETY IN INTERESTING WAYS, INTO THE LANGUAGE, FOR INSTANCE, AND INTO THE CONSCIOUSNESS AND CULTURE. AND OF ALL THINGS WE GOT ANOTHER EXAMPLE THIS WEEK – FROM NO LESS THAN THE CENTERPIECE OF THE BIGGEST NEWS STORY OF THE WEEK.

I HAPPENED TO LISTEN JUST LONG ENOUGH TO NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE’S MARATHON PRESS CONFERENCE, FOLLOWING THE BUSINESS OVER THAT MARATHON TRAFFIC JAM – ONE IN WHICH MY MOTHER AND SISTER, IT TURNS OUT, WERE STUCK IN. AND GOV. CHRISTIE SAID THESE EXACT WORDS: QUOTE: “TO USE THE VERNACULAR, THE BALL WAS ON THE TEE.”

Teed up, or off? And now out. A bit of oratorical golf foozling from the New Jersey governor, ready to scramble.

Teed up, or off? . A bit of easily-overlooked oratorical golf foozling from the New Jersey governor, ready to scramble.

DON’T KNOW IF HE PLAYS GOLF, BUT HE OBVIOUSLY KNEW ENOUGH ABOUT THIS USEFUL PHRASE OF THE ROYAL AND ANCIENT GAME TO ENLIST IT IN HELPING DIG HIMSELF OUT OF THE DOGHOUSE. FUNNY HOW GOLF FINDS ITS WAY INTO THE LARGER CONTEXT.

…GOOD MORNING.

IT’S THAT’S GOLF! NEVER A  COVER CHARGE. HALF PRICE DANCES… NO, YOU DON’T WANT TO SEE ME DANCE. …ANOTHER DISEMBODIED YANKEE VOICE ASSAULTING YOUR SENSES THROUGH THE RADIO.

THE HOUR’S ENDEAVOR IS TO ENHANCE OUR APPRECIATION AND UNDERSTANDING OF GOLF. YOUR HOST, SHAG BOY, AND SCRIBE: 5’ 9” 150, 16-YEAR, LIFETIME  CATAMOUNT, THROWS RIGHT, BATS RIGHT. STILL PLAGUED BY THAT NAGGING GROIN STRAIN. AS DUANE THOMAS ONCE NOTED, WE’RE ALL DAY-TO-DAY.

WE EXTEND A VICARIOUS WELCOME AGAIN TO THE CONGENIAL SHAG-ENCRUSTED CONFINES.

OUR TOPIC: THE GAME THAT – EVENTUALLY – ENDS… WITH A TAP-IN.

THIS IS, ODDLY ENOUGH, THE LONGEST-RUNNING GOLF RADIO SHOW IN THE STATE. THANKS TO BOTH OF YOU FOR TUNING IN. WE’RE CLOTHING OPTIONAL. ALL WE ASK IS THAT WHATEVER IT IS, PLEASE JUST KEEP IT ON.

IF THE NAME OF THE PROGRAM CONFUSES YOU – I REALIZE IT’S EARLY – HERE’S HOW IT WORKS: WE TALK ABOUT THE GAME OF GOLF’S MANY FAUCETS, ALL OF THEM TURNED ON.

AND HERE’S JUST THE SORT OF HELPFUL HINT THAT WE PASS ALONG KNOWING THAT NO ONE WILL EVER TRY IT. BUT SINCE IT COMES FROM THE ONLY BOOK I KNOW OF THAT FEATURES A MAN SHINING A SHOE WITH A BANANA ON THE COVER, I FELT IT WORTHWHILE TO PASS ALONG. PERHAPS YOU’RE STILL IN A RESOLUTION, GET-THINGS-DONE FRAME OF MIND.

THE SOURCE: THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER, “HALEY’S CLEANING HINTS” BY GRAHAM AND ROSEMARY HALEY. IT’S ALSO THE ONLY BOOK I CAN RECALL WHICH SUGGESTS THAT A PAIR OF MEN’S OLD COTTON UNDERWEAR MAKES A GREAT LINT-FREE DUST CLOTH. NOT SOMETHING, I CONFESS, I’VE EVER CONSIDERED.

BUT, FOR OUR PURPOSES, THE HALEYS OFFER THIS TIP FOR WHAT THEY PROMISE  “GLEAMING GOLF BALLS:”

IT’S A RECIPE. MIX A SOLUTION OF A GALLON OF WATER WITH ONE CUP AMMONIA. LEAVE YOUR GOLF BALLS IN THE SOLUTION OVERNIGHT.

TRY NOT TO KICK THE BUCKET EN ROUTE TO THE BATHROOM IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT. OR ANYTIME. I’M GUESSING YOU DON’T WANT TO SPEND TOO MUCH TIME INHALING THE CONCOCTION….THOSE ARE JUST MY OWN HINTS.

A GALLON OF WATER, A CUP OF AMMONIA, DEPOSIT YOUR GRIMY GOLF BALLS, AND IN THE MORNING: GLEAMING GOLF BALLS.

…JUST THE KIND OF TIP YOU WON’T GET FROM THE LAMESTREAM GOLF MEDIA.

TYPICALLY, SINCE OUR MOVE TO SUNDAY MORNINGS, WE TRADITIONALLY OPEN WITH A MESSAGE OF INSPIRATION.

OUR TEXT TODAY COMES FROM JACK BURKE JR., THE VENERABLE HOUSTON SAGE, A FORMER MASTERS AND PGA CHAMPION. HIS SUBJECT: “THE EYES OF OTHERS ARE UPON YOU.” I SUPPOSE, IN OUR CASE, IT IS LITERALLY THE EYES OF TEXAS.

THIS FROM HIS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED CHRONICLE: “IT’S ONLY A GAME:”

“TO SUCCEED AT GOLF,” HE BEGINS, “YOU HAVE TO MASTER THE ART OF NOT BEING EMBARRASSED. YOU HAVE TO TAKE YOUR EGO OUT OF THE EQUATION AND JUST PLAY. IT’S INCREDIBLY HARD TO ERASE THOUGHTS OF HOW YOU’RE GOING TO BE PERCEIVED BY OTHERS, AND THE CHALLENGE NEVER CEASES. YOU THINK ARNOLD PALMER DOESN’T FEEL EMBARRASSED WHEN HE YIPS A FOUR-FOOT PUTT IN FRONT OF A BIG GALLERY? SURE HE DOES. HE MASTERED THE ART OF NOT BEING EMBARRASSED YEARS AGO, AND NOW HE’S LEARNING IT AGAIN.

FINDING THINGS THAT DON’T INTIMIDATE YOU IS A FULL-TIME JOB. MOST PEOPLE ARE AT LEAST A  BIT FRIGHTENED OF MANY THINGS. GOLF CAN BE INTIMIDATING. BUT YOU HAVE TO TAKE IT ON. IF YOU DO THAT, YOU VERY SOON WON’T BE INTIMIDATED AT ALL. THERE IS ENOUGH TRULY SCARY STUFF GOING ON IN THE WORLD THAT NOTHING CONNECTED TO GOLF SHOULD BE.”

PLEASE BE SEATED.

“GOLF CAN BE INTIMIDATING, BUT YOU HAVE TO TAKE IT ON.”

WORDS TO LIVE BY FROM JACK BURKE. ‘IT’S ONLY A GAME,’ WORDS OF WISDOM FROM A LIFETIME IN GOLF.

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