Who’s ready for a mailbag? You know, I think the mailbag has gotten a little too good lately. We need to slow things down. Take it down a notch. So, what to do? How about an entire bag on golf, and more specifically the rules of golf. Who’s in? No one? All right, we’ll do the usual…
Q: Going to need a definitive answer here. What’s better on a donut? Powdered sugar or powdered cinnamon sugar? Don Glaze, Berwyn, PA.
A: Can’t I get a softball out of the gate? This is like the vanilla vs. chocolate question for donuts. I’m trying to get in a youthful frame of mind for this one. I need to go back to that morning when I was eight years old and there was the pack of donuts on the counter. Three flavors: Powder, Cinnamon and Plain. Which one did I reach for? To this day I don’t know that I’ve ever eaten a plain donut. These are the “adult” donuts. My mother used to say ridiculous things like, “I like the plain ones.” SURE YOU DO. That’s what you tell yourself when your children are shoving all the sugary ones into their faces. If I remember correctly I was a cinnamon person. That means I’d have one of both, but I preferred the cinnamon. I can confirm this suspicion with my reaction to Entenmann’s releasing the cinnamon mini-donut. For years that market was dominated by powdered sugar, but they are now available in cinnamon. I had a winning powerball ticket type response the 1st time I spotted these and then about 20 minutes later I said, how many were in that bag? GONE. It’s gotta be cinnamon in a surprisingly easy win.
Q: Don’t you think pull-out shower chairs would be a good idea? Shouldn’t there be more seats in showers that aren’t designed for medical purposes?
A: I used to sit down in the shower all the time. You’re in there to relax, CORRECT? Maybe you get clean, maybe you don’t, but first and foremost you’ve got to wind down. It’s much nicer to have the shower raining down on you than having it laser beam into your shoulder blade. I’ve stopped doing this, though. Perhaps it’s because I don’t want to drag my old bones down there anymore–so a chair would probably come in handy. Whenever I see a shower that has a built-in seat of some kind I get totally jazzed. I immediately think this the MOST LUXURIOUS BATHROOM IN ALL THE LAND. It could have a garden hose hanging out of the wall instead of a shower head and a roll of brown paper towels to dry off and I would still be in heaven. The trouble is, most people have the tub/shower combo and a giant tile seat in the middle of your tub kind of puts a damper on taking a bath. Would a pull-out chair work? I DON’T KNOW. I’m not an engineer. From a negative standpoint, I’m fairly sure this isn’t something you’d want to share with another person. Keep things in your own junk puddle. Also, cleaning could be a real nightmare. Your Gold Bond bill could go through the roof.
Q: I have a question about the last scene of Happy Gilmore. Where do the events (the falling tower, the ball on the foot, etc) fall in terms of golf legality? David Faye, Far Hills, NJ.
A: Happy Gilmore is probably the least realistic sports movie ever made and that includes “Rookie of the Year.” One of the things I hate when watching sports movies is when the actors aren’t athletic enough to pull off the role. The only flaw in Bull Durham is Tim Robbins’ awful throwing motion. It doesn’t look like he could break a pane of glass and he’s supposed to be “Nuke?” I’m not buying it. Sandler’s golf mechanics are supposed to be terrible, but the venerable Shooter McGavin has an ugly golf swing. Putting all that aside…the last hole. I couldn’t find the video to re-watch, but from what I remember Shooter’s paid lackey hits Happy with a car and then crashes into the TV tower behind the 18th. From there, Shooter McGavin must get up and down off Mr. Larson’s foot and Happy has to put through and around the collapsed TV tower. There’s a lot of talk about “playing the ball as it lies,” which is supposed to be the root of true golf. That is the case, but at the highest level, players use the rules to circumvent that general rule ALL THE TIME. The rules of golf are incredibly complex and I don’t know them that well, but buried in a 400-page decision book are things that allow you to not hit the ball OFF OF PEOPLE, or through a collapsed TV tower. In terms of the foot, a person’s body part is a “moveable obstruction.” The ball would be picked off the foot, the person would then hopefully move their foot and you’d get a free drop. Balls land on gallery members’ laps in regular PGA Tour events on what I’d call a semi-regular basis. It’s not a big deal and it wouldn’t have been for Shooter. The TV tower is a bit more complicated. It would most likely be considered an immovable obstruction, in which case, Happy would have been allowed to drop in a position that gave him a clear path to the hole. So, from a rules of golf standpoint, the final scene takes an already ridiculous movie and elevates it to another level. That said, if someone happens to hit you with a car, or calls you a jackass in your backswing–that’s RUB OF THE GREEN. Play on, or wait for the guy to be ejected.
Q: Let’s say you have no choice but to live with someone who either a) smokes in the apartment, or b) has a strange pet (non-mammal). Which do you choose? Bo Constrictor, Tempe, AZ
A: I don’t want to alienate all my chain-smoking readers, but smoking is really the worst. It’s just awful. GET A NEW VICE. I’ve never truly lived with a smoker, but as someone who attended college I can almost imagine what it would be like. It’d be a nightmare and the main reason is the smell. I think my family thought I had taken up smoking the first time I came home from college, because all my clothes smelled terrible. You know, I jump into the car in a pair of jeans that probably hadn’t been washed in QUITE SOME TIME, and everyone wanted to throw up. The sad thing was, I didn’t even notice until I got into a clean air environment. And, that was just from occasional exposure. I can’t imagine hunkering down with someone who was puffing away inside the house. What’s more disgusting, an ashtray or a spit cup? I DON’T KNOW. As far as the pets? My college roommate had a snake, which I found troubling, but most of the time the snake was in the cage and I set down guidelines. If he tried to “prank” me with the snake, I’d throw his laptop out our 4th floor window. You deliver that with a straight face, and your roommate isn’t a douche–you can safely live with a snake. If it was something like a ferret, though? A stinky ferret or a bird? God, I might have to start burning a few Pall Malls. In the end, I’d take the pet though, and if it got dicey, I’d just try to create a “ferret and non-mammal free” zone for myself.
Q: Are you going to miss the replacement refs now that they’re gone? Enrico Palazzo, Los Angeles, CA.
A: I don’t think so. Even if you have a morbid sense of humor about the whole thing, isn’t 3 weeks enough? How many ways can you blow a call? And trust me, the regular referees will continue to miss their share. I think that’s the one unintended benefit from this whole thing. The NFL officials are going to be treated like royalty…right up until they blow that first call. Then…the usual bitching. Complaining about the refs is a part of watching sports, but it had moved past that familiar, comfortable point with the replacement officials. When watching a home plate umpire MURDER the strike zone, I get angry, but I know he at least knows the rules. He knows what he SHOULD be doing. The replacement refs were out of their depth. It reminded me the time I had to referee intramural basketball in college. I don’t know all the rules in basketball. I don’t want to pay attention THAT CLOSELY. So, I did a horrible job. There should have been intramural reffing just for the kids who liked whistles.
Q: GQ recently compiled a list of the worst sports decisions of all-time. Believe it or not, no Philly blunders made the list. What’s the worst Philly sports decision in your lifetime? Harry Catz, Gladwyne, PA.
A: Letting the Phantoms leave town? No. That’s not it. This is a pretty obvious answer to me, so obvious in fact, that I’ll offer some runner-ups from the other franchises. Phillies–Trading with Dallas Green. It wasn’t so much that they traded Ryne Sandberg. Every team has a guy like that who got away, it was not realizing that Green was in a better position to swindle them than any other GM. What, the Cubs were the only takers for Larry Bowa? Of course, once the Phillies promote Sandberg to manager, we’ll retroactively be awarded the 1983-1985 WS titles and will probably go undefeated in 2013. Eagles–Rich Kotite. The Eagles were a good team when Kotite took over. I’m not one of these guys who thinks Buddy Ryan should have stayed. He was great, but he didn’t coach offense. Kotite was supposed to be the remedy, but he ended up wasting the rest of the window that Eagles team had. Flyers–Handling the Lindros situation. Twenty years later and still without a Cup, I wonder if the Flyers would coddle Lindros a bit more. Take the BS from his parents, be more cautious with his injuries…not run him out of town. Should never have ended that way. That brings us to the grand champion–the Sixers 1986 Draft trades. The Sixers shipped off Moses Malone (for Jeff Ruland), a player they traded FOR to win a title and also sent the 1st overall pick (soon to be Brad Daugherty) to Cleveland for Roy Hinson. Why is this the worst? Because years later the impact was still being felt. I remember getting into the Sixers in the late 80s/early 90s. At some point it became obvious they were never getting over the hump, and the reason was those trades. I remember my father trying to explain to me that at one point Jeff Ruland was considered a good player, but the Sixers got much worse and started the end of the Barkley era with a couple ill-advised moves in 1986. Worst decision ever.
Q: I don’t think there’s any way Weeden can beat the Ravens tonight, but can he cover? Bernard Cozar, Sandusky, OH.
A: Well, Weeden went #1 in D.A. for the 3rd time in 4 weeks. That’s lofty. The Ravens are short-weeking after a monster win, but we are talking about the Browns. The only concern is that the Ravens’ D isn’t quite what it used to be, and twelve points is a healthy spread. What does the self-proclaimed, “Mr. Thursday Night” think?
Big Dub, Record: 8-6-1
Baltimore (-12) over Cleveland. This game appears to be a trap game for Baltimore after an emotional win. But the power of Weeden undoes everything. The only thing I fear here is Baltimore’s run defense getting exposed a little bit. I’m putting my perfect Thursday Night record on the line with another Game of the Year. I’m nominating this pick as my pick of the week with a flawless prediction of Baltimore 30, Cleveland 6. Weeden throws 3 picks and 1 is a pick 6.
There you have it. Check back tomorrow night for a special prime-time edition of the Friday picks. And for those about to hit the fantasy football waiver wire, my D.A. list for the week has been posted.