Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Week 3 NFL Picks - Part 1

The self aggrandizing golf related preambles for last week's picks were so popular that we're going to run it back for at least one more week.* The material for this week is not quite timeline worthy but should be enough to get us rolling.

So last Friday I resumed my quest for some measure of success in the goddamn game of golf (from heretofore the "GDGG") having drawn the unenviable challenge of playing a +3 handicap in the first round of the club championship. I actually played the same opponent a couple of years ago, got up early and made it to the 15th hole where his steady play and my unforced errors (are there any other kind in golf?) closed me out. I figured that if I could follow the same formula this year, cut-out a couple of the mistakes and make a few putts, who knows?

"I'm so sorry . . . I think we have a
nice parting gift right over here."
So we both hit the first green in regulation (me with a 5-wood, him with what looked like an 8-iron) and right out of the gate I have the putt you do not want - a downhill/sidehill 30 footer that is going to roll-out at least a few feet below the hole no matter what. In the moment before I hit it, I think "for the love of God don't leave it above the hole" so I give it a little extra gas and leave myself an 8 footer coming back. He two-putts, I miss and the following sound immediately plays in my head - The Sound in My Head.

From that point forward I felt like I was trying to climb out of quicksand. I made a 10 footer for par to halve the second hole but hit a bad bunker shot on three and lost with a bogey. I halved four and five with pars but then he won six and seven with birdies to my pars. I got up and down from no man's land on 8 and then he lipped-out his putt for a third birdie in a row. By the time we got to the par-3 ninth, I was two over par and four down. I felt like I was in a tug-o-war with a sumo wrestler.

We had to wait for the green to clear and I made the mistake of looking at my phone (just to check the time of course as texting and emailing are illeeeeeeegal at Bushwood). There was a text from my wife which couldn't be good because she knew I was off the grid. I couldn't help myself but I wish I had because the message was that my daughter had broken her wrist. I promptly shanked my tee shot, made double and ended the front nine five down.

- It's ok . . . I'm pre-law.
- I thought you were pre-med?
- What's the difference?
Heading to the 10th tee, I wrestled with the dilemma of whether I should keep playing before finally deciding that, unless I learned some Mr. Miyagi shit on the drive over, adding me to the equation wasn't going to make it any better. Besides, at the rate we were going, this thing was going to be over in 20 minutes anyway. (Full disclosure: I also wasn't too keen on having a big "W/D" next to my name on the scoreboard. I'm sure I'll be pleasantly reminded of this decision during a heated exchange when she hits her teens). My second shot on ten hit the hill in front of the green bounced forward but then rolled back into my pitch mark. Not knowing what the rule was and wanting to keep this thing moving, I decided to play it and made bogey. In hindsight, that may have been an indication of what the golf gods thought of my decision to keep playing. I was now six down through ten.

I won eleven and halved twelve with two more pretty incredible up and downs (if I do say so myself) as my lob wedge put a hammerlock on the award for MVP of the bag. I got a gift win on thirteen and suddenly I was only four down with five to play. Crazier things have happened right? Well maybe . . . but not today. A bogey from 115 yards out in the middle of the fairway on fourteen and it was "snap back to reality . . . oh there goes gravity . . . oh there goes Rabbit, he choked . . ." You know the rest.

Here's one for those who
only know Kim Basinger
as a trailer park junkie.
As Yoda would say, a humbling game this is. Take away the three-putt on one, the ball in the divot on ten and the gag on the last hole and I'm two down with four to play and I've got a shot. That breaks down to one bad thought before a putt, one bad break and one poorly executed shot with a wedge. But it's those tight margins of error that make it a great game right? (Right?) You can't mishit a shot and then hustle down the rebound and shoot it again. It's over. It's on the scorecard and you can't get it back. I am literally shaking my head as I write this. So brutal. But man . . . I can't wait to get to the first tee today.

N.Y. Giants by 1 over Carolina: The Pick - Giants

Two teams that stunk-out the joint in week 1 with quarterbacks who can light it up as they showed in week 2. The temptation here is to give the Panthers an edge for the home field but the Giants are a better team on the road. I'm going with the theory that the Giants found themselves in the second half last week and that Cam Newton and the Panthers are still a year away from being a playoff team.

Endnotes

* This is a somewhat artful way of saying that I don't have time to pick all of the games between now and kickoff tonight because I'm teeing it up in an hour.