“May I mow my dog in the banana patch?”
Around 11am Saturday, April 10, 2007, that sentence would have made perfect sense to me. But let me back up a little bit and explain.
That day marked the 13th Annual CBS SportsLine Golf Scramble. There’s really only about six to eight real golfers in that company, so imagine that it was like Caddy Day like in Caddyshack — only it was Dobish playing Bill Murray’s role. A pond was good for him.
Since we aren’t great golfers, this was pretty much just an excuse for a get-together for free food, drinks and fun — with heavy emphasis on the last two.
I was all set to start the tourney with what I hoped to be one fun foursome. But I went with Jamey Eisenberg, Corey Guerrera and Ashley Frisch instead. We were Team Gator (three alums and me, a USF guy). Frisch is all sorts of fun. She’s getting married in a few months to Corey. I hear they’ve registered at ABC Liquors, if you wanna buy ’em something. I’ve got dibs on the his/hers keggerators.
Corey’s a good man as well. He reminds me a little of Fred Savage — if Fred Savage were stung by a thousand bees. I think Corey starred in “The Wonder Bread Years.”
And Eisenberg? He’s kinda like that guy at your work that’s always smiling — but you’re pretty sure he has a couple of dead bodies in a freezer at home.
We showed up at the course at 7am, which is usually around the time Dobish just gets the party started. He’s a nighttime guy at SportsLine, which means the sun is really just a rumor to him. So he came prepared with two pitchers of punch — one with what tasted like tequila, grapefruit juice and Pine Sol, and the other I believe was vodka mixed with the runoff of a downtown sewer … Yet I kept coming back for more, strangely enough. I had a couple good shots of it before the first tee. Along with lots of beer. That should give you an idea of how the day started.
I am the Kyle Petty of golf. I am the guy that has played golf for a little over 20 years now, but I’m still being outplayed by the guy that “just learned the game.” There’s a long line of great golfers in my family, but it’s like I’m allergic to the hole. I gave up a long time ago trying to become a better golfer. I’ve just accepted my deficiencies — sort of the way Emack has accepted the fact that he has a bad haircut. It just is.
George Wakeling, easily one of the best golfers at our company, once joined me in a round of golf, with hopes of correcting my slice. He spent the next six weeks in therapy and he still can’t even swim in the gulf now without yelling, “KEEP YOUR HEAD DOWN!!!” He’s Australian too — so you know what that means. (I have no idea, but I’m sure there’s some sort of stereotype out there for Australians that I’m missing.)
Corey and Jamey were expected to be the anchors of our team, while we crossed our fingers for Ashley and me to make a couple shots. Even that little hope was almost gone just one swing into the tournament.
I whiffed to start our round.
I’d say I topped it a little — it did come off the tee — but I’m pretty sure that was from the wind of my club paired with the wind from the laughter from the team behind us. Then Ashley dropped a 12-foot par putt on the first hole. So I was officially the weakling. That’s OK, I figured, I only had 17 more holes of “No, Gonos, that’s a good shot. You might be able to find that one!”
But after that first hole, I settled down. We actually ended up using like seven or eight of my drives on the front nine! I have a Jackie Mason-like slice. I literally aim about 45 degrees to the left on the tee box to try to land in the fairway. I’ve seen male hair stylists that were straighter. But on this day, my slice was more like an opening parenthesis than a McDonald’s arch. Life was good.
It’s a good thing I started hitting well because Ashley became quite ill early on in the round. I’ve never heard of someone getting sick before they drank, but THAT’s how committed she was to this team. Actually, she had some Taco Bell the night before that upset her stomach. Come on. That’s like saying Dave Richard looks like he ate two men named Dave and Richard. Isn’t that obviously the end result?
The highlight of the first three rounds was watching Ashley make a puke bunker behind her cart for the next team to play through. “This mud puddle smells like a Chalupa!” At one point, Ash was taking care of business in one of the few restrooms on the course, when Dobish parked her cart in front of the bathroom door, keeping her imprisoned in what I can only imagine was a wonderful smell. She finally had to go home, so Brother Frisch graciously came and picked her up. I heard they went straight to Arby’s for some Beef-n-Cheddars for breakfast.
So I’m hitting the ball pretty well off the tee. On a Closest-to-the-Pin par-3, I knocked a shot within about 20 feet from the hole, beating out George Wakeling. Just like in real life, I had him by about four inches.
I’m feeling good! It’s like 10:30, I have a nice buzz going after a few more beers and visits to Dobish’s battery acid punch. We even met up with another group of golfers that actually looked happier than us! Rubio, Kate and Jocelyn looked like they had been drinking some of Grandpa’s cough medicine by the time I got to them. Fazal, their sober counterpart, had the look of Damien’s babysitter. You could tell he was enjoying their antics (Rubio brought some spiked watermelon and Jocelyn had a 55-gallon drum of vodka with her), but Fazal was also checking to make sure all of his insurance premiums were paid up — just in case.
At one point, I even got to watch one of the females do some impromptu jumping jacks for us! I won’t say who, as not to embarrass her, but her name does rhyme with Jocelym. I believe it was at that point that I texted a marriage proposal to her.
Then, that lovable, zany, goofy, practical-joking foursome behind us (Michele, Prouty, Robb Monteiro and Corey “Buckeyes + championship game = THE runner-ups” Tiger) decided to undo Jamey’s strap on the golf cart, so his golf bag would fall off as soon as we took off. From what I gather, this group was also using joy-buzzers, whoopee cushions and itching powder on people. (Actually, the golfcart strap is a classic move, but I have to act bitter and I’ll tell you why.)
Once the clubs fell, I turned right, to see what the commotion was, Jamey steered the cart left — and I was immediately deposited onto the fairway of Hole No. 10 without much fanfare. I landed on my back and my head bounced on the ground like a Letterman watermelon thrown from a roof — at least, that’s what it felt like.
I sat there blinking for what seemed like an eternity — or the length of this blog, whichever is shorter. I remember thinking that I needed to punch someone. After watching stars and cartoon birds circle around my head for a few minutes, I came to. Why Corey was giving me mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, I’m still unsure. But somebody’s got some ‘splaining to do to Ashley.
The back nine was a blur. Concussions are funny that way. Literally. From what Jamey tells me, I asked him what happened about nine times. My head was pounding and evidently, Jamey and Corey both feared that I had a concussion. They were pretty scared — so much so that they were barely able to finish the last nine holes in a reasonable amount of time.
Even now, pieces of that morning are a little fuzzy to me. Was Jamey really going through my wallet? Did Corey really tell me that he’s already married to three women in Utah?
I don’t remember the final hole really, as well as a handful of the other ones, and somehow I got my spikes off, my clubs into Jamey’s car and walked into the clubhouse. I’ve actually had several concussions in my life — which should explain a lot.
I do remember Wakeling emceeing the awards ceremony (someone beat me on the closest-to-the-pin, cheaters) and at one point I yelled, “Happy Halloween everybody!” The food was good I think and I didn’t win any awards — although it’s the memories I’ll cherish — or lack thereof. I just wish someone would have told me my pants were missing.
Who won the tournament? No clue. Cheaters.
Oh, and if I end up suggesting to pick up Jason Tyner in your Fantasy Baseball league because he’s going to hit 40 bombs, just blame it on the concussion.
And that text message marriage proposal? I accidentally sent it to the wrong person. But Rubio said yes, and we’re going to have a fall wedding and you’re invited.
All in all, I had a great time Saturday … or at least, that’s what I’ve been told.
David Gonos spent 5 years as a CBSSports.com Senior Fantasy Writer and three more years writing with SI.com. Over the past 17 years, his work has been published on NFL.com, MLB.com, FanDuel, FoxSports.com and USA Today. Since 2001, he has been tracking down the Top 50-plus Free Fantasy Football Draft Tools online. You can contact David Gonos here.