by John Walters
Woods, Errant Driver
In golf parlance, woods and drivers are synonymous: clubs used to strike tee shots. One of the many ironies (irons, another category of golf club, which is not the same as a golf club, which is why golf lingo is so confusing to the unbaptized) of Tiger Woods’ near-catastrophic Tuesday morning auto crash is that he is a Woods whose most potent weapon in golf was his driving ability (long off the tee) but whose most infamous episodes off the course have all involved poor driving.
But this is all kabuki. The takeaway from Woods’ horrific no-other-vehicles-involved roll-over auto accident is that he’ll likely never golf competitively again. Hopefully, for he and his family, he’ll be able to walk without a limp. Woods suffered comminuted (multiple) and open (bone breaks skin) involving his tibia and fibula, the two major bones between the knee and ankle, in his right leg.
This just two days after speaking on TV to CBS’ Jim Nantz about his potential return for the Masters following yet another back surgery.
He’s alive. And that’s good (who needed a Kobe comparison 13 months later, in the same general area?). And if it’s disrespectful to speculate about his golf future, it’s not irrelevant. Woods won 14 majors by the time he was 32 (Jack Nicklaus, with 18, holds the record). He was lapping the field in terms of Who’s the greatest golfer of all time?
Woods is now 45 and that total is 15.
Nicklaus won his 18th and last major at Augusta, in 1986, at age 46. Tiger may never approach the tee in a major again. At least not as a competitor.
Thank You, Coronavirus?
As we ease into the Bidency, to fewer presidential tweets and to a Commander-In-Chief who expresses empathy (even for people who are not political allies), it is important to remember something: the coronavirus, while already taking more than 500,000 American lives in less than a year, may have saved democracy.
Over-dramatic? Hyperbole? I don’t think so.
I was listening to Kara Swisher’s podcast, “Sway,” in which she interviewed Sacha Baron Cohen. He was discussing the reason behind his now well-known speech to the Anti-Defamation League in 2019:
Baron Cohen told Swisher that he decided to accept the award from the ADL and to give the speech (as himself and not in character) because it was one year away from the presidential election “and I saw that Trump was going to win.”
And he probably was. What changed, and what SBC could not have foreseen, was the coronavirus (an act of God, as the Christian Right might refer to it, except for the fact that they wanted Trump to win). If you think of the coronavirus as the nuclear bomb in the war against American Fascism, then maybe we can think of all those souls who perished as the foot soldiers who gave their lives for the cause.
And if you want to extend the metaphor, you may remember that the men who gave America the atomic bomb were German emigres horrified by Hitler and Nazism. Well, in the same way that the Axis powers were ultimately undone by their own practices (read how Hitler had given strict orders not to be awakened on the morning of the D-Day invasion, and who was going to upset Der Fuhrer?), Donald Trump could have made the fight against the virus his most heroic moment. Instead, he handled it as immaturely and irresponsibly (in other words, completely in character) as possible, and we see what happened.
Does Joe Biden or any Democrat win the election without the virus? I don’t think so.
There’s an entire other item that could be written about how sad it is that it took a pandemic to unseat Trump—what is WRONG with Americans?—but we’ll save that for another day. The good news is that he’s gone. While so many Americans died needlessly, none of them died in vain.
It’s Okay To Say, ‘I Don’t Know’
Here’s Clay Travis one year and one day ago going near-Trish Regan on the coronavirus. Listen, you don’t get to be a multi-millionaire sports blogger/gambling “expert”/social media bully/T-shirt salesman by telling your audience, “I don’t know.”
What will make you millions is to take the words of Winston Churchill and put it into practice toward your own mercenary ends: “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to put its pants on.” After all, that strategy continues to work for Donald Trump.
So it’s left to poor folks like myself to hold onto the receipts and remind people how hubristic and irresponsible someone like Travis is. And he don’t care because it’s time for him to give you his “bet the mortgage” March Madness picks.
Curb Your McCarthyism*
*Kevin or Joe? (Answer: Does it matter?)
Two things on Reddit/Wall Street Bets/Robinhood/”stonks!” and crypto:
- First, on Tuesday afternoon I checked the GameStop (GME) stock price because I realized I hadn’t given it a thought in about a week. It was around $41. Then yesterday GameStop announced that CFO Jim Bell would resign effective March 28 (taking a $2.8 million severance). And what happened? Shares of GME went from $41 yesterday to $160 as of the open this morning. That’s not bad.
- Yesterday I was finishing up at my minimum-wage gig and was all alone in my department when a regular customer approached. Now, picture a dude about my age but 6’6″ who looks eerily similar to Lon Chaney, Jr. He always seems like a nice dude but a little socially awkward (not unlike your scribe). Anyway, his first words to me are, “Do you know anything about Bitcoin?” Before long he’s talking to me about crypto and XRP and the lawsuit with the SEC and Wyoming being the leading state for crypto transactions and I realize he doesn’t even have a shopping cart. The only item in his hand is a Starbucks cup. And I think to myself, If this gentleman is that well-versed in crypto, is the future already here? Or, is he a nut case and am I a nut case and should we both just be planting tulips?
The Maher The Merrier
I understand that a lot of people don’t like Bill Maher and I think I understand why, and it’s not just because he is so militantly atheistic: it’s because he’s intellectually smug (often I’m guilty of same flaw, minus any reason to back it up). Bill Maher is basically a non-affable version of John Oliver (maybe he should try a British accent). But above, well, I agree with EVERY LAST THING he says. Not just about “gig economy” and “side hustle” but how pols promote FAMILY above everything. As Maher says, If you wanna be part of a family or raise a family, that’s great. You do you. But there’s no law that says family is paramount to the individual. This tired trope of family (and military) above all is just one more way some pols try ti exercise control over us. And it works with those who don’t think too deeply. But it’s all authoritarian. And that’s all I have to say about that.