The start of the weekend mail
If you’re so inclined …
Q: Hey Doug: I'm assuming, based on recent posts, that if the writing gig didn't work out, you'd probably be on the PGA Tour right now (or maybe not). So, I'd like your opinion: for a major golf tournament, would you prefer the final two or three holes easy, so that birdies (and maybe an eagle or two) are possible? Or, would you prefer that they be very challenging, so that you have to play very well in order to par?
Thanks again for all of your hard work - it is appreciated!
Tim H, Windsor
A: Oh yeah, next stop the Tour for sure.
Personally, I like to see them challenged but in a risk-reward kind of way so when I’m designing my course, it finishes:
No. 16: I’d say maybe a 230-yard uphill par-3 to a kidney-shaped, two-tier green with yawning bunkers front left and back right.
No. 17: How about a 325-yard par-4 winding around water left and a huge pot bunker front right. The bailout area would be about 265 yards on the right side so they could drive it or lay up and hit wedges in.
No. 18: Let’s go with a 575-yard par-5, slight dogleg right at end so they’d have to hit fades over many trees. Oh, and I’d probably put a huge waste area down the entire left side.
Then I’d go triple-double-other and be gone.
Q: Hi Doug. With all the recent lockouts in North American sports the past couple of years, it made me wonder if this is mostly a North American phenomenon. Or whether perhaps the North American centric nature of the sports we read means that lockouts/strikes in other areas aren't reported. Do you know if there have been lockouts in say Euroleague basketball, or the like? Or any other non-North American sports leagues recently?
Sohail G, Collingwood
A: Purely North American. The only time I’ve heard of players in Europe in any sport withholding services is when basketball teams are late with paycheques; I do not know of a work stoppage initiated by ownership. I could be wrong but I checked with people smarter than I and they drew blanks, too.
Q: I stopped by Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese on Monday night after some meetings in London. I tried to get a beer recommendation from you as I entered the establishment but the mobile coverage died almost immediately when I entered the bar as it is truly a rabbit warren! I had a great time - thanks for the tip! I'll be back again soon so any thoughts on the best beverages would be appreciated. I went for the bitter - excellent.
Hugh H, Toronto
A: Not sure if this is too late but I know Cheshire Cheese is a Sam Smith pub and if you don’t try Sam Smith’s Organic Lager, you’re cheating yourself.
And, yes, cell or iPhone reception in there is tough, which makes it even more wonderful; no one (hi, bosses!) can find you.
Q: Doug. I have also found it hard to keeping up with any one TV series but have found NetFlix to be a nice alternative as long as I don't care about keeping up on the latest water cooler discussions about last night's episode. This past summer I "discovered" series such as Community and Arrested Development. Being able to watch a bunch of episodes in order when I have time or even 10 minutes of an episode if I don't, is convenient. With you being on the road you would have access to even more stuff. For a monthly price of an in room movie, you have access to a whole library of movies and TV shows.
Richard Y, Kincardine
A: Oh, we’re all set up with Netflix for the coming season; those hours in the room and at airports are going to fly by.
And Community is outstanding!
Q: Hey Doug! Withering looks: (well, for starters...) Ricky Romero and John Farrell, Patrick Roy and Mario Tremblay, Billy Martin and Reggie Jackson (that's the one I remember, but think Billy might've thrown a few others to a few others!), Mike Singletary and Troy Smith. Passions run high, lots on the line and sometimes during a game and on national television with millions of viewers watching, tempers explode. Can you recall some other infamous sideline or courtside, dugout or rinkside confrontations between coach and player? Hey - has there ever been one between reporter and player? And have you ever been tempted? :) Thanks!
Lorie P, London
A: Well, we had Sam banishing Loren Woods and Rafer to the locker room in Boston that night, prompting one of the funniest exchanges of the era. Stumpy and I are talking to Skip, he says that perhaps he and the NBA aren’t made for each other and he might just be done. We race over to get reaction from the always-quotable Jalen and when we tell him what Rafer said, Jalen looks up and says:
Two reporter ones come quickly to mind, at least ones that I saw, nothing too serious.
Perk had written something critical of AD once and mentioned Antonio’s wife. Well, AD didn’t take too kindly to that and was yelling stuff like “leave my family out of this” the next day when Perk showed up.
And, way, way, way, way back in the day, there was a player named Victor Alexander, who couldn’t play, was out of shape and, perhaps, injured, or at least that’s what he said. Craig Daniels, then of the Sun, had ripped him and before a game, Victor was searching Craig out. He wandered over courtside where we were both standing with malice aforethought and Criag, to his credit, waited there and said:
“Hey, if you’re going to hit me, wait ‘til I get a photographer over here to take a picture of it.”
Q: You’re giving Bill Maher competition. Your rather innocuous comment regarding PD days elicited some flying fingers. Nice to hear your fellow grunts are giving the HOTH some love.
Looked at the sled, what jumped out to me was Orlando has 2 back to backs with the front end starting in Orleans/Miami. What does that mean for you on a culinary basis? Do you miss the delights of those 2 great cities and get stuck with Orlando Night life? I hope not for your sake!
John C, Mississauga
A: Actually, it’s the better way. We’ll have a night off between Christmas and New Year’s in New Orleans after the San Antonio game and a night off in Miami on the second trip.
Works out great.
Q: Doug: Any new uniforms for the HOTH this season? Why all the love for Seattle, is it the city itself, climate, people, or some other factor? Finally, if there is no early season pucks, will the ACC leave the basketball court set up, or does it have to come down because of the ice? Thanks as always.
Ken B, Matheson
A: I understand the camouflage is back, or will be, but nothing new other than that as far as I know right now.
And the court will probably be up a bit more than usual but I would imagine they’d fill dead NHL nights with as many concerts as they can.
Q: Hi. Is Jamal Magloire playing for the Raptors this coming season? Did you think he was a positive contributor to the Raptors team last year_(2011-2012)?
Who do you think is the weakest link on the present roster?
Dave B, Sydney
A: Jamaal’s deal has yet to be finalized, he will likely get a small guarantee and camp invite but will have to make the team although as I’ve said before, I know they’ll talk about some off-the-court role for him if he doesn’t survive camp. And, yes, he was a very solid contributor, primarily off the court, last season.
Weakest link? Lack of a stud three.
Q: Hi Doug. Any word on how the infamous "workout warrior" Ed Davis has progressed this off season? Are you surprised Bryan could not move the fitness guru or Amir this off season?
A: No word except coaches liked what they saw at summer league. Not sure what you’re getting at with the “infamous workout warrior” crack but there’s never been a thing wrong with Davis’s work ethic. He just needed to grow into his body and get stronger.
Surprised? No. Not really.
Q: Hey Doug. I heard Colangeolo had the opportunity to trade DeRozan, Ed Davis, Jose and a first round pick for Iguodala. I probably wouldn't have made that trade either. Iggy only has one more year on his contract as well (with an option year), so they would've been taking a risk that he walks away. That makes me feel a bit better that they explored the option to get a bigger name SF's, it was just that the price was too high. I still think they should pursue Peitrus or one of the other medium-tier SF free agents still available, but I know they're out of money.
Graham V, Vancouver
A: Don’t believe everything – or much of – what you hear. But of course he pursued options, that’s what GMs do.
And it’s not just money they’re out of (all that’s left are minimum value deals), they don’t have roster spots, seeing how they’ll have 16 players with at least partial guarantees if/when they finalize the Magloire deal.
Q: Greetings, regarding the 9/11 remembrances. My morning commute from Hazelville to one of my stores in Etobicoke found me listening to the "Q" and Howard Stern. What was transpiring in New York was unfathomable and truthfully, my opinion of Howard went up quite a few notches that morning. As the morning unfolded, with all eyes glued to the live stream newscast on the computer, the scope of the event just continued to grow.
I had a sales rep scheduled for a visit at 11am that day, a regular visitor to my store. As could be expected he had heard of the goings on in New York, yet he seemed surprisingly disengaged from the unfolding drama. Al was even more "business than usual" than he would normally be. Anyway as the sales call came to conclusion, I made inquiry as to how his two kids had made it back to university for the new semester. His daughter, comfortably ensconced back at the familiar grounds of York. His son, his son had been going to university in Montreal but he had accepted an internship in New York. September 11 was the second or third day that the son had been in New York. Where was the internship? In the WTC. Mom and Dad, since hearing of the unfolding event had not been able to get a hold of their son. Dad was at my store, doing the job he always did, not having any idea whether his only son was?
As it turned out the son was on a subway car that was stopped in the tunnel just before the WTC, Mom and Dad didn't get contact until very late that afternoon. As a parent and a human being 9/11 very much did change my perspective on life and what is important.
For me, 9/11 will always be different than other days that are burned into memory. Certainly landing on the moon, Henderson's goal, the Challenger explosion and many other significant days have their place in history, but in terms of sheer magnitude 9/11 is the biggest.
An aside, now 9/11 also happens to be my little guy's birthday, a big 3 years old today. Kind of an event himself, he was but certainly a ray of sunshine on a day that has such sombre overtones.
Thanks for what you do
Doug T, Brantford
A: That’s just a good story, thanks.