Writing Samples

This page contains some sample opinions of sports, recreation and other leisure activities.


THE GOLF EXPERIENCE - a cruel addiction

Few things in life will besiege you with as many soaring highs or sickening lows as the game of golf - all perpetuated
within the space of a few hours. One moment you are tap dancing on a cloud, never wanting to peel that sardonic grin
from your face. The next instant, you seriously question whether your life is worth living any longer. Such is the range
of emotions heaped upon you during a seemingly innocent tour of the course.

I have listened fondly to screaming squeals of delight (some of them mine), yet watched with dismay the ever predictable
"club discus hurl" (never mine). I have seen grown men giggle down the fairway following a picture-perfect drive, and
witnessed those same men wail like schoolgirls after blowing a 2-foot putt. Filthy profanity can absolutely flow - no rush -
like an angry raging river. This game was never intended for delicate ears.

What brings you back time and again is the possibility, however remote, of that single special shot - the magnificent one
that makes those other pathetic ones seem like they belong to someone else. Truly, this game is the textbook meaning of
an addiction. Once you have sampled those unique crops of golf success: that marvelous 7-iron, rising over lofty trees and
falling to rest a foot from the hole, or that 15-foot putt magically dropping from view, there is almost nothing you won't
do to recapture that sensation. Almost nothing, I tell you.

Someone once said to me that a round of golf is like eighteen little games. Very cute, I thought. I mulled it over some,
and suddenly understood the wisdom in that expression. The ultimate objective is to finish all 18 holes (or little games)
with a score that will grant you a peaceful night's sleep. It serves no practical purpose to play seventeen holes splendidly,
only to explode wretchedly on the finishing one. Your anticipated evening of contentment flies out the window, you've
wasted a significant pile of dough, and most likely irritated everyone nearby. Of course, if you blow up early on, you
can head for the bar and save both time and further aggravation - a plan that works quite well!


RIVER CATS - a night at the yard

A triple play and dollar hot dog night - could minor league baseball be the better ticket? After all, some of these guys
could be playing for your favorite major league team in the near future - you just don't recognize their names yet. Pick
a typically pleasant summer evening, preferably one where a single buck gets you a mustard-loaded hot dog, and the
idea of a national pastime makes perfect sense. More on that triple play later.

The River Cats call Raley Field in Sacramento their home, and it would be hard to argue against it being one of the
prettiest parks in all of the minor leagues. Situated near the river, it comes with the sparkling view of the gold-painted
Tower Bridge and the growing downtown skyline. The stadium itself has only one major tier (no nosebleed worries),
and carries about itself a comfortable and intimate attitude. From our vantage near the left field corner we felt like we
were part of the action, and could easily hear the proud and unmistakable 'pop' of the catcher's glove - one of those
great baseball sounds you remember as a kid.

Most people probably don't know that the elevation of Salt Lake City is over four thousand feet, and many don't care.
Certainly not the River Cats, whose primary mission was to dispose of the Stingers and continue their residence atop
the standings in the Pacific Coast League. At the Triple A level, the quality of baseball is surprisingly good. Some of the
players have actually sniffed the big leagues a time or two, and that 95 MPH fastball was certainly no fluke. Just ask
the hitter.

Depending on your perspective, the activity in the stands can be just as entertaining as the game itself, maybe more, or
at the very least provide some periodic diversion. We were fortunate to sit directly behind such an act. The screaming,
laughing, and peanut throwing display was reminiscent of elementary school days when all hell would break loose any
time the teacher left the room. Only these were middle-aged adults, making it all the funnier. The participants kept
changing regularly due to the constant rotation between the beer stands and the restrooms, so things never got too stale.
Ah, now this was some serious baseball atmosphere!

blue bar

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This page last updated on January 1st , 2022.