Thursday, April 20, 2006

My City by the Bay....

Mixing a little business with pleasure this weekend - and since Deoborah's b-day and mine is a week apart (in a week's time) I asked her to come up to San Francisco where I had a meeting to re-meet the City we discovered while working for a major airline some 17 years ago.

In those days while I was in SF "doing deals" she could just come up on stand-by on the airline and meet me whereever. That's when we fell in love with California and spent many days out here in Napa, Monterrey et al. In fact I'll be in Monterrey for acoinvention in two weeks as well

We have an office in the Oakland area but it makes it very easy to blow into SF and up to wherever we want - so we're doing it this time. The typical sutff around town on Friday and Napa on Saturday.

And I just found out its Gay Pride week as well.

Maybe I can go boo Barry while I'm here.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

The Masters

It’s Master’s Week and maybe most of you are going Wha? Why are your husbands/boyfriends huddled around the TV like the Pope just came into town – well maybe not exactly like that – but it is an holy deal – and you don’t know really why.

It’s because the Master’s is the Holy Grail of golf – if you win it you are a Knight forever. It is that special; and I think I just categorized it better than any other professional fucking sports writer.

I’m not going to go though the history - pick up your local sports page – they will tell you. What I will go though a bit is what happened 20 years ago to this day – the most amazing Master of all – and I saw it while reveling in the man himself.

Jack Nicklaus. The only really great golfer.

In college we would revere the weekend by donning green and drinking gin and tonics – anything to reflect the green jacket they would give the winner – it started for us that soon! Brad, Rock and Cecil.

I was in may apartment in Houston working on a golf flyer for a friend’s golf tournament when I saw 46-year old Jack Nicklaus come back from 6-down on the back nine to roll in a 20-foot birdie putt to birdie the 17th hole and win the “86 Masters .

One of the greatest sports wins of all time.

Nuff said. Watch on Sunday.

I wrote the above on Friday after seeing everybody crammed in the Oakland Airport bar trying to see who was doing what in the late second round. It reminded me of the universal appeal the tournament has. Some guy next to me said some no name was in the lead and that former Houstonian Fred Couples at 46 years old was still in the hunt. "In-fucking-credible" he said.

Now its minutes before the final round on Sunday. Saturday's play was delayed by weather so they had to finish the third early Sunday. Couples is in the final pairing with Phil Mickelson with Tiger only two back. Freddie can actually take over the title of oldest player to win the Masters from Jack if he wins today (by three months). They in fact just replayed Jack's win onTV a few moments ago - wow 20 years ago - that seems like a lifetime. And one of my favorite years. But that's another story.

This Sunday that has been set up for the Master's is one of the best in recent years with alot of names and storylines near the top of the leaderboard. Its shaping up to be historic again. The gin-and-tonics are ready. I can't wait.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Pride of the Yankees

On last Friday night two forces collided. Deborah’s love for anything black and white on TCM (Turner Classic Movies) and my sports. Deborah would like to go asleep to TCM while I would be happy to go asleep to ESPN.

So on Friday night one of the greatest movies of all time came on – “Pride of the Yankees” - its black and white –its TCM and it sports. The greatest sports story of all time. No kidding.

If you don’t know – its about Lou Gehrig – the Iron Man – he got recruited right out of Columbia to play for the Yanks (in order to pay for his mother’s surgery). He replaced Wally Pipp at frist base (one of the all time trivia quesitons) and played a successive 2,130 games that was not surpassed on until Baltimore’s Cal Ripken surpassed it in adjulent applause in 1980 or something,

The movie is something else – what a great cut of the day this provides us. European
immigrants providing their son everything and wanting their son to be above all things – an engineer. Ohh god. Kiss of death – that engineering thing.

And because Lou’s Mom gets sick he decides to sign with the Yankees to pay her hospital bills. And the rest is history.

Lou Gehrig became one of the most prolific sluggers of all time – and teamed with Babe Ruth they formed the most formable batting duo known to man and the baseball world. And they kept the newspaper press world happy all of the time.

And one of the greatest thing of this movie is the REAL Babe Ruth was in it. You could see the greatest sluuger of all time in real life.

Hey Deborah – the Babe is in this movie.

Oh yeah – who plays him ?

No the Babe is in this movie.

Yeah but who plays him?

No it’s the fucking Babe and he’s right here. Gary Cooper is eating his hat right there. (Gary Cooper – what a great real life American).

Then he got sick.

And he gave the speech known around the world.

While knowing he was dying within months he told the Yankee stadium throng gathered that day that he was the “luckiest man” who ever lived. In probably the most televised and repeated speech of all time.

Never braver words have ever been told,