You may claim that really great sporting events involve teams named Heat, Spurs, Dodgers, Yankees, etc.
But for the pure sports aficionado, there is nothing like a round of golf called the "Texas Death Match." Named after a pro wrestling event where the grapplers are chained together and only one emerges from the ring alive, a TDM at our club involves truly inept golfers trying not to be the last person to miss a shot.
In the game in which we routinely play, there are:
a. A retired judge who regularly hits tee shots of 290 yards, and putts of roughly the same distance.
b. A grocer who once was a very good golfer, but since meeting the members of our group has developed an uncanny ability to hit short pitch shots off the hosel of his club. There are many people 90 degrees to the right of his intended line nursing bruises.
c. A retired medical technician who, despite incredible strength, has developed a hitch in his backswing that makes Charles Barkley's swing look smooth. He at least has the grace to shout out - when he misses the ball - "Strike One!"
d. A lawyer who does a Tiger-esque fist pump when he holes a 20-footer for a 7 on a par 3.
e. A Realtor whose booming tee shots are offset only by the three-foot putts he leaves two feet short.
f. A retired "valve salesman" (whatever that is) who has a short game that has been the object of at least two federal programs for the disabled and one intervention by a priest who thought the poor man's wedges were possessed.
g. A newspaper publisher whose soaring drives sometimes carry as far as 40 yards in the air unless they encounter such obstacles as "Sissy's Ridge" or the dreaded Mt. Bradley.
Perhaps the only saving grace is that the eloquent newspaper publisher has taught the entire group some golf terms that are usually reserved for the "No" column on censors' lists and describe physical actions that many of them had thought anatomically impossible.
It is hard to put into words one's thoughts upon missing a two-foot putt. However, some of the words our publisher has shared with his golfing group have helped to bridge that gap.
Last weekend after the publisher had missed a tricky 12-inch putt and shouted, "Oh you worthless piece of cr**, son of a b****," the Realtor cruelly replied, "Oh, c'mon, tell us how you really feel."
Texas Death Matches - and their participants - are brutal.
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.