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Sports Talk: Masters week mysteries

Masters week is here again with all of its glory. There's nothing a non-golfer like myself can add to that saga. There is one phenomenon about this week however that I've always been curious about.

What is it that makes anyone that has ever held a club die to go out and play several rounds of golf during this particular week? I've heard others complain about the high green fees and unavailability of course time in this area during Masters week. I'll comment that I didn't realize that they played golf and the response will often be, "not since last year's Masters."

I can only speculate but maybe the presence of the pros competing so close by fires them up. It could be the beauty of the Augusta National that everyone is aware of even if they don't attend the tournament. I know many of the folks playing are visitors in town for the Masters and they like a personal fix.

Football may be the only sport where I've seen a similarity. At any college game there will always be middle-aged, potbellied guys like myself zinging footballs through the parking lot. All the tailgate parties and windshields are at their mercy. I always wonder if these guys ever throw the football in the yard with their kids on a weekday afternoon. Most of them seem lacking in practice.

On the other hand I've never seen a basketball goal in the parking lot of a gym so fans can go one on one and slam dunk before the opening tip. I've never seen games of pepper, 300, or fungos being hit outside Turner Field. Kids do take in their gloves in hopes of catching a foul ball.

Do hockey fans fight in the concourses during breaks in NHL Stanley Cup action? Do patrons at Wimbledon reserve tennis courts to hit backhands at one another prior to the matches? What about wrestling? Do guys, and gals, practice fake body slams on the hoods of their cars before the bell. Do boxing fans strap on a set of gloves in front of pay-per-view in case of an early knockout? Do NASCAR fans race one another down I-95 from North Carolina to Daytona in February?

And finally I think of cockfighting. Does this special breed of fan wear sharp, shiny spurs on their wrists as they gather around the pit? You know, just in case.

Obviously I'm being overly cynical. These questions pop into my mind every year at this time. Only true blue golfers could really rationalize an answer. That's why they keep the clubs in the car trunk. They're always ready and it beats cold storage for 11 months and three weeks.



Web posted on Thursday, April 8, 2004


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