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I'm Back

January 18, 2010 - Al Stephenson
The Florida golf trip is history. It was a little cold the first couple of days, but warmed up as the week went on. We managed to get in four rounds of golf and I'm happy to report that six birdies were carded by yours truly. Of course there were some "other" scores, but I'd rather not talk about those.

It was nice to see that very little happened in the world of sports while I was gone. Well OK, there was the Mark McGwire admission of steroid use, Gilbert Arenas pleading guilty to felony gun possession and Lane Kiffin fleeing the Volunteer State for USC. Believe me, I will broach those subjects in the coming days.

Today I just want to say thanks to my friends. We spent six nights at the Hotel Hoffman. Tom Hoffman put us up at his place and was a truly gracious host. Thanks buddy.

We golfed with the likes of John Marshall, Bill Eynon, Roger Johnson, Dick Johnson and Rod Dell. It was great to see the Tampa boys again as well. Thanks to Ray Woolever for taking us to Southern Hills Country Club for a great round of golf. It was nice to play with John Watson, Al Vonberg and John Mitchell. Thanks also to Paul Morgan for taking Foxy to the airport after our last round of golf.

We managed to get to Fox Crossing, our favorite little watering hole. The folks there are always glad to see us and it amazes me that they remember us since it was only fifty-one weeks since our last visit.

On the way home we stopped off at Bill and Cor Custer's home in Fairfield Glade, Tennessee. Custer's Last Stand, as they call their retirement home, is georgeous and the hospitality there matches it. Cor, the lasagna was awesome. Thanks.

We watched the Saturday night NFL game with the Custers and I found out that Bill has a couple of pet peeves when it comes to the game of football. He has seen enough Gatorade showers for college coaches. I agree. His biggest complaint, I soon found out, is one that I share and inadvertently brought up.

With some six minutes to go in the Ravens-Colts game and the outcome of the game already known, the Ravens punted the ball. The Colt returner took in the pigskin and was tackled immediately. The tackler then gave the crowd his best body builder pose. It set me off and Bill was right behind.

We are both tired of NFL players strutting their stuff after making what amounts to a routine play. As Bill put it, "why is he celebrating, he made the tackle which is exactly what he is supposed to do!"

I agree Bill. When a player has to draw individual attention to himself, particularly when your team is getting its collective arses handed to them, it's just plain wrong. It is a team game. The object is to win. Take your butt back to the bench.

The view from my seat (seething over the individuality of current NFL players) suggests that today's wealthy egotistical football players need to learn a lesson from Barry Sanders. Mr. Sanders, after scoring a touchdown on a scintillating run, calmly handed the ball to the official and walked back to his bench. He was (pay attention here Chad Ochocinco) just doing his job.

Again I would like to thank all my friends for making the first of four golf trips for 2010 another rousing success.


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