Golf season ends, writing begins

October 15, 2016

carstairs-slide2I admit it. I haven’t been posting a lot lately. Too busy outside hitting the links. Golf is another of my passions. What do I like about chasing that little white ball?

What does the game of golf do for me? This the most often asked question from non-golfers. Well thinking about it I came up with the following,

  • It’s a great excuse to get outside for fresh air and nature.
  • The walking part is fantastic exercise. I always walk never ride the power cart.
  • Challenges my physical and mental skills. Not only is golf a physical game but it requires thinking and concentrating.
  • Golf is a social game. Great way to develop and maintain friendships.
  • Most of all it’s just plain fun.

Now having said this I stress that I am an average player, but one who plays well enough to find it enjoyable. I make an effort to emphasis fun and not get frustrated. When I was younger I took it far too seriously. I’m enjoying the game more than I ever have since I retired.

If you’d like to try this great game here are a couple of suggestions, 1) take basic lessons from a reputable pro and practice what you learn, and 2)rent or borrow clubs the first few times.

Finally just enjoy being alive and outside playing an interesting game.


On Any Given Day – Giants Upset Pats

February 3, 2008

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Above: Dave Tyree of the New York Giants scoring a touchdown. 

The perfect season is no more. Super Bowl XLII ended with David slaying Goliath. The underdog New York Giants played a magnificent game. They showed true heart in their win.

This is another example of the truism of, on any given day anyone can beat anyone. I believe it came down to the Giants wanting it more than the Patriots in this case.

The members of the 1972 Miami Dolphins are surely celebrating because their perfect season of 17-0 including the regular season, playoffs and the Super Bowl still stands. I think it will never be broken. The Patriots had a fantastic season and won 18 games without a loss, but by not finishing the string, that accomplishment will be forever tainted.

Although not a high scoring game it had great defensive plays, wonderful offensive drives and high drama. It should do wonders for the ratings of future Super Bowl games.

Finally to both teams I salute you for providing wonderful entertainment and for the incredible effort.


Vince Lombardi: Super Bowl Coach Personified

January 28, 2008

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I am a huge fan of the Super Bowl and of the National Football League (NFL). This Sunday Febuary 3, 2008 will mark the 42nd Super Bowl. This championship game started January 15, 1967 as a battle between the established NFL and the upstart American Football League (AFL). The AFL was a direct competitioner of the NFL. Eventually the AFL was merged with the established league. This merger took place after Super Bowl IV. Of the first four Super Bowls, the NFL won the first two, and the AFL the next two.

Today marks the day the Green Bay Packers hired coach Vince Lombardi so I thought I’d write about how this man had such a great impact on the Super Bowl. He was hired by the Packers on January 28, 1959. At the time the Packers were a losing team having finished with a 1-10-1 record the previous season. This was his first head coaching job in the NFL. For 4 years prior to this he was assistant coach of the New York Giants.

The first season with the Packers he lead them to a 7-5 record, and the next year to the championship game where they lost 17-13 to the Philadelphia Eagles. He won his first championship in 1961 when they defeated the NY Giants 37-0. In total his Packers won 5 NFL Championships (pre-Superbowl era) and the first two Super Bowls.

sbi_ringticket.jpgAfter the second Super Bowl Lombardi retired. He just could not stay retired though, and in 1969 he accepted a head coaching job with the Washington Redskins. The first season he coached the Redskins to their first winning record in 14 years. His overall coaching record now stood at 105-35-6 without a single losing season.

(above: Ring and ticket from Super Bowl I)

Vince Lombardi personified football coaching in the 1960s, and was perhaps the greatest coach in NFL history. Tragically, he died September 3, 1970 at the age of 57 of intestinal cancer. The NFL inducted him into the Pro Football Hall of Fame the next year. Most significantly, the Super Bowl Trophy was renamed the Vince Lombardi Trophy in his honor.

His beloved Green Bay Packers have appeared in four Super Bowls and have won three. This season they came close, but lost to the NY Giants in the NFC Championship Game in overtime.

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Above: Lombardi Trophy, awarded to the winner of the Super Bowl Championship being held aloft by winning players. 

I’ll leave you with some quotes about and by Vince Lombardi.

“He made us realize that if the mind was willing, the body can go.”
— Forrest Gregg, Green Bay Packer

“He made us all better than we thought we could be.”
— Jerry Kramer, Green Bay Packer

Vince Lombardi Quotes:

“To achieve success, whatever the job we have, we must pay a price.”

“Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit.”

“It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.”

“People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society.”

“The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual.”

“Winning isn’t everything – but wanting to win is.”

I think you’ll agree a lot of what he said made sense, not just to the sport of football, but to everyday life. Vince Lombardi was a truly remarkable man.


Crosswords – My Wonderful Addiction

September 6, 2007

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Time for me to lighten up a little and talk about some fun things.

The crossword puzzle – I just can’t stop doing them.  Everyday they are published in newspapers and even on-line now.  Temptation is everywhere it seems.

I started thinking who invented the crossword puzzle so after some quick research here are some facts:

– The first crossword was published on December 21, 1913 in the New York World newspaper. They became a regular feature of the paper.

– Arthur Wynne, a Liverpool journalist, was the inventor.

– At first it was called a “word-cross” puzzle. Later the name was changed.

– The first book of crosswords was published in 1924 by Simon & Shuster. 

– Crosswords became the craze of 1924.

– The word “crossword” was first in a dictionary in 1930.

– New York Times crosswords are the most prestigious and known to be the most difficult to solve.  Take it from me they are very tough.

– In Britain the Sunday Express newspaper was first to publish a crossword November 2, 1924.

– During World War II British Intelligence recruited several crossword experts to work on code-breaking.

In 1944, prior to D-Day, the Allies were stunned by the appearance of crosswords in The Daily Express Telegraph that were using top secret code names related to the “hush-hush” planned Normandy landings. “Overlord” in particular was of great concern because it was the code name for the entire operation and known to only a few people.  The author of the puzzles was arrested and interrogated.  After an extensive investigation it was found that the use of these words was only coincidence.  Believe it or not I guess!

I remember as a child in elementary school racing to get the morning paper before my Dad so I could attack the crossword.  It is one of my favorite memories of him.  He too was a compulsive crossworder.


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