Wednesday, June 17, 2009

1st of many...

There are a number of phrases in the English language I honestly thought I would never find myself writing. Among them would be things like, “the warmth and humor of Barry Bonds.” (Remember him?). Or, “The modesty of Phil Jackson.” (More on that on another day).

But the number one phrase I thought I’d never write is this one: “Welcome to my blog.”

I learned to read by grabbing The New York Times before my parents woke up and working my way through stories on the Mets and Jets and Knicks and Rangers. I’ve worked for newspapers all my life and still do—proudly—even in these very difficult times for our business. When people ask me what I do I usually say, “I’m a reporter.” That means I deal in facts, often laced with opinions when I write columns, but not in rumors. You will never read on this blog, “I hear that…” We all hear things and in today’s world, in the world of the blog in particular, anything is apparently fair game.

Not for me.

What I hope to do here each day is write about something that’s on my mind. It may be something that’s funny like yesterday when one of the cops at Bethpage told me he didn’t think my credential let me into the clubhouse (it did) but it was okay with him if I went in because he knew I was, “a Long Island guy.”

Some days I may get on a soap box on the hypocrisy of the BCS or how foolish the Atlanta Braves look forcing Tom Glavine into retirement because they didn’t want to spend a million bucks to bring him up to the big leagues. Other days I might just tell stories—old ones, new ones. Occasionally I may rail about the internet not working in a hotel—as was the case this morning. It’s amazing how the world has changed. In the old days all I needed in a hotel room was a bed, a working TV and an air conditioner that didn’t make noise. Now the first thing I check is to see if the internet is working.

The U.S. Open begins tomorrow morning. I’ve probably done 40 radio interviews in the last three days, most of them connected with the book I wrote with Rocco Mediate about his life and last year’s remarkable Open which is called, “Are You Kidding Me?” which is Rocco’s description with one word missing (rhymes with ducking) of that week. All the interviewers ask about whether Rocco has a chance to make another miracle run here (Yes he can though it isn’t likely. He hasn’t been playing real well but this is his kind of golf course).

They then ask the same two questions: What about Tiger and what about Phil?

Do I have any brilliant insight into either one? No. For one thing Tiger doesn’t let anybody inside his life although he’s great at making it SOUND like he’s telling you a lot. I do know he was very unhappy when people were whispering that he wasn’t the same player after his knee surgery.

He was right. I mean the guy wins once and doesn’t finish out of the top NINE in five stroke play events and people are questioning him? That’s like the Republicans I know who started questioning President Obama halfway through his inaugural address. Tiger is still Tiger. He’s going to blow past Jack Nicklaus and keep going because he wants to put the record so far out there it will be almost impossible for anyone to come and get it.

Curtis Strange, who won two U.S. Opens made a great point last night: “If you were to write down the 10 greatest shots of all time in major championships, Tiger’s probably hit eight of them. He then went on to say that the chip-in Tiger pulled off on the 11th at Memorial on Sunday, “can’t be done. You can NOT do what he did.”

So enough about Tiger slipping.

As for Mickelson, all you can say is that he and his family are going through a nightmare millions go through. I’ve been through it in my own family. BEST case scenario it will be a nightmare for Amy and for him and those around him. I would think the waiting until July 1 might be the worst part of it all. At least once you get started you feel as if you are moving towards what you hope is the finish line.

It will feel like a Rangers playoff game in Madison Square Garden this weekend if he somehow gets in contention.

Okay, that’s it for today. I have now written my first blog. I hope there will be many more to come but I do feel right now as if I should go take a shower.


MichaelGRaymond said...

I recently finished "Caddy for Life" and enjoyed the human tale with the insight into how men can become more than friends. I don't get many chances to read books for pleasure but on a recent vacation with long flights and layovers was the perfect chance to "knock it out". You can contact me if you want to hear of an unusual good thing your book did for me.

Sammy said...

I love reading Feinstein and am looking forward to seeing his cynical take on golf and other things. John, why aren't you on espn's sports reporters anymore??? I miss you there...

Ted said...

Can't wait to read more John!