By Glynn Moore
Morris News Service
Each spring, the Final Four and the Masters Tournament bring joy to millions of sports fans.
These events simply remind me how uncoordinated I am in basketball and golf.
I'll never sink a hole-in-one or the game-winning basket in a court-long hurl as the clock runs out.
I learned long ago that the only way I'll ever do well in the sports arena is to get a seat near the concession stand.
My golfing history, for example, consists of scratch-and-dent, left-handed clubs, a big backyard and a heavily bruised neighbor.
As for basketball, the last time I saw a court up close, I was lying on
my back, gasping for breath, while my ninth-grade coach looked down at
me and gently suggested, in his best guidance counselor voice, that I
try out for something other than his team.
Yeah, right, as though I had options. In high school, I was tiny, too
fragile for football, too slow for track, too clumsy for baseball.
Through sheer determination and a shortage of good players, I did snag
a spot on a summer softball team sponsored by my hometown's biggest
factory. I wasn't as talented, though, as Judy, whom I had grown up
with - though, in fairness to me, Judy was one heck of a slugger.
In college, the closest I got to sports was a bowling class that
fulfilled my physical education requirement while keeping me indoors
during the numbing north Georgia winter.
Bowling class started at 7 a.m. I rarely made it to the lanes, however,
because on a typical day, I would drive eight miles from my house to
town, work a couple of hours in the supermarket job I had had since
high school, drive 40 miles across a mountain, attend classes scheduled
around my on-campus job of burning brush and writing parking tickets,
then drive 40 miles back to the supermarket, work until closing, drive
eight miles home and perhaps make it to bed before nodding off.
Consequently, I had to withdraw failing - from bowling! I had never
withdrawn from anything, certainly had never failed, and now I had two
strikes against me.
(OK, so that's not the best bowling metaphor.)
Once again, bowling had messed up my life.
Having worked all my life, you see, I had never been near a bowling
alley until my first year of high school - when, after dropping like a
fly on the basketball court, I found myself with free time on my hands .
One day after school, the coaches took us bowling in the nearest town
that had lanes, and in my first game I broke 100 - a score I've never
been able to improve on.
Back at school that night, I caught a ride from my good friend Mickey, whose grandfather was picking him up.
Halfway home, the road split; I lived to the left, Mickey to the right.
His grandfather stopped at the intersection, let me out and said,
"We'll see you, Glynn."
His car had disappeared down the road before I could say, "Huh?"
It was dark and cold, and though it was only four miles, I cursed bowling all the way home.
(The next day, Mickey and I con-cluded that his grandfather thought I
lived nearer than I really did. I don't think he knew me well enough to
dislike me yet.)
I swore off bowling for a long time after that.
To this day, about the only person with lower bowling scores is President Obama.
I heard he's better at basketball and golf than I am, though. I guess that's why he's president.
Reach Glynn Moore at (706) 823-3419