Q: I was looking at the PGA Tour schedule for 2012 and I looked at the major venues. Is it possible the PGA Championship has the most enticing venue this year? Bill Bolt Aston, PA
A: For the non-golfers out there, it’s important to note that the PGA would almost never be the most enticing venue, so for the question even to be posed is saying something. I’m going to use your word, enticing, to eliminate Augusta National and Royal Lytham. That leaves Kiawah’s Ocean Course facing off against Olympic Club’s Lake Course. Two heavyweights. The funny thing is, I have a pretty strong connection to both of these venues as a golf fan. One of my earliest memories of watching golf was the ’91 Ryder Cup at Kiawah. The tension, seen most easily on the faces of the players, was something I’ll never forget. The Olympic Club last hosted a U.S. Open in 1998 when Lee Janzen became one of my least favorite players of all-time by beating Payne Stewart. Payne deserved that one too, but that’s another post. Considering I don’t want to see highlights of Janzen’s win, and the fact that I can’t wait to see what the guys shoot at Kiawah, I’m going to give the PGA the nod. Again, if you aren’t aware, the Ocean Course is one of the most difficult courses in the world. Back in the balata days, the guys in the ’91 Ryder Cup were fighting the wind and winning matches by shooting well into the 70s. They could set the course up so that 300 would win. They won’t, but they could. Cannot wait for next August.
Q: Is “Artisan” the worst word you can think of to describe a food? I just saw that Dominos now has “Artisan Pizzas.” I don’t know if I’m more insulted on behalf of the actual artisans out there, or if it’s just that every artisan loaf of bread I’ve ever gotten is about as forgiving as a bowling ball. Fuzzy Dunlop, Baltimore, MD.
A: It’s not the worst word I can think of. For example, there’s “diseased,” or “infested,” hopefully you get the idea and I don’t have to show off some of the stomach-turning adjectives in my vocabulary. I know what you are saying, though. I think artisan is a word that people have latched onto to make shoddy products sound good. I don’t think any bread maker worth a damn would attach the word, “artisan” to their work. You can either make a good loaf or you ca’int. And, the ruse is going to be up after that first bite, regardless. What bothers me most, though, is that it’s been attached to such mass-produced products. Isn’t that contradictory? I mean, Genuardi’s has their Artisan breads which obviously arrive as frozen dough balls and then are heated up in the bakery. No one is being fooled.
Q: I saw a guy on a landscaping crew in skinny jeans the other day. Just, no. Right? Candace Conner, Rose Tree, PA.
A: You have a little groundskeeper fetish there Candace? You like a burly guy in work jeans? I don’t know what is the proper occasion to wear skinny jeans. They look wildly uncomfortable. Of course, the only reason I’d ever put a pair on would be if I needed to immediately stop circulation to the lower half of my body. Then again, if my thighs were the same diameter as my wrists, maybe I’d wear them all the time and tell everyone to go pound sand. In the end, though, this is a little bit like the Amish golf question. Why do you care? Let it go. Maybe the kid was headed to $4 PBR night after work and didn’t want to change.
Q: I played golf the other day and there wasn’t any water out on the course. After the round, my H2O meter was reading about a gallon low. I swerved into the closest Wawa for a giant bottle of water and started the drive home. Forty-five minutes later I’m sitting in traffic and need to go to the bathroom pretty badly. It was never a dire situation, but my question is, have you ever (as an adult) thought you were going to have an accidente in the old pants? Jack Turkish, Plano, TX.
A: Actually, I have. For my 21st birthday my father got me Flyers tickets. He had a car take some of my friends and I to dinner and then down to the game. Since I was newly 21, I had plenty of beer at dinner and sometime before we left, I broke the seal. GRAVE ERROR. Halfway to the arena I was hurting, and there is nothing like a drive to a sporting event to play with your mind. HOW BAD IS THE TRAFFIC GOING TO BE? About 15 minutes out, my friends were enjoying the ride and I was just staring out the window willing the miles to pass. I made it, and I don’t know how close I was to giving everyone a story for life, but I never want to push it any further. This actually brings to mind one of the bravest things I’ve ever seen done. A friend was driving me down to a Phillies game a while back, and was facing a similar situation. He pulled into that Sunoco on Pattison, and they politely told him to take a walk. NO SERVICES! So, he got back in the car and still made it to the stadium. How you come back from the edge after thinking you can finally go is beyond me.
Q: What’s more embarrassing? Tucking in a jersey or having your own name on the back? Pat Peeters, Green Bay, WI.
A: They seem like two different crimes to me. Tucking in the jersey is a crime of ignorance. Putting your own name on the back is a crime of vanity. So, which is worse? Well, the other day I saw a middle aged woman leaving a store. She was wearing a Flyers jersey. It wasn’t a Flyers game night and she didn’t look like your typical jersey wearer. Then I saw it was a “1” jersey. I was like, this chick is OLD SCHOOL. A Bernie Parent jersey on a random Tuesday? That’s impressive. Then, she walked by and it didn’t say “PARENT,” on the back. A little part of me DIED right there. And, eventhough most jersey-tuckers are very sad, they usually are big fans. They’re just clueless. So, I’m going own name all the way. You didn’t play goalie for the Flyers, lady.
Q: What’s more egregious, society’s love of crap reality-TV or their love of hideously awful, mainstream, pulpy, garbage novels? Hy Brow, Vancouver.
A: Yikes, you must be a riot at parties, Hy. I don’t know how you get too picky about TV. You want credit because you are putting a dent in the sofa watching the History Channel instead of X-Factor? Get over yourself. The book thing hits a little bit closer to home. I’m sure everyone who has ever even written the first sentence of their own novel or memoir or screenplay, or whatever has picked up a book and said, ‘How in god’s name did this get published?” Then, they throw a temper tantrum and put the book in the fire. I just finished a David Baldacci book (The Sixth Man) that I got in a airport and it was easily one of the 10 worst books I’ve ever finished. The chapters were about 300 words. AT MOST. But, I’m sure it sold about 9 million copies. I guess I need to start working on dialog exchanges like, “Man, that was close,” Stallings deadpanned. “Too close,” replied Hunter. So, if you didn’t get it by now, I’m going with the books.
Q: Who was the coolest Ninja Turtle? J.R. Judge, Manassas, VA.
A: I’m trying to remember exactly how much I liked the ninja turtles. I know it was a lot, but I’ve really got to get back in that frame of mind. I watched the first TMNT movie WAY too many times. It’s embarrassing. The coolest turtle in the movie was Michelangelo. But, then there were the video games. I played the original game for NES constantly, mostly because it took me forever to beat the underwater level with the electronic seaweed. What sadist thought that up? It was a great game, and so was TMNT 2: The Arcade Game. Leo was clearly the most bad-ass in the video game. His weapon was cooler than Raphael’s and more effective than Mikey’s nunchucks. It’s a tough question, but I think the only thing we know for sure is that the coolest turtle was not Donatello.
Q: Let’s be real here, what chance do the Eagles have against Dallas this week? Mikey Eskin, Broomall, PA.
A: There’s tons of ways to look at it. The line (Eagles -3.5) says you should feel OK if you are a Birds fan. Unfortunately, there are many questions. Who is going to block DeMarcus Ware? How will they stop the run? How many TDs will Jason Witten pull in? For the Cowboys, the game simply seems to come down to containing Vick and not turning the ball over. That’s easier said than done for Dallas, though. Romo LOVES to turn the ball over. He’ll do it at any moment. It’s his thing. It’s nice to point to the Eagles’ record after the bye-week and say it is a must-win for them, but Dallas really needs this game too. Every win in the NFC feels like two the division is so bad. Because they are coming off the bye, I expect one of the better efforts of the year, but the Birds will have to win a shootout. I’d put their chances at exactly 48%.