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APRIL 2004…..

…..will be remembered for a number of things.  First and foremost, the culmination of the college basketball season with the Final Four in San Antonio.  While the four teams in the finals were no lower than #3 seed (Georgia Tech), the officials certainly weren’t any higher than a 16 seed.  The Duke vs. Connecticut game was the real national championship game and the sad part was, the dominating players were the refs.  In the first half, Emeka Okafor, Connecticut’s star, was sitting on the bench with two quick fouls.  With four minutes to go in the second half, no team was dominant and the refs had essentially limited flow, an important part of hoops, due to 56 fouls called on both teams.  With the crowd chanting “kill the refs”, the incompetent boobs decided not to call any fouls in the last four minutes.  Miraculously, Emeka managed to dominate during those last four minutes and Connecticut pulled the game out since the Duke guards couldn’t draw a foul from the stinking officials (Duke was limited to playing with guards since all three of their centers had fouled out…all on cheap touch fouls that only a seeing eye dog could have called…oops, were the refs that blind?).  College hoops needs to get its officials on a rating system similar to the NFL where only the best officials get to the Super Bowl.

The Masters.  It was a short flight from San Antonio to Atlanta.  The drive to Augusta was longer than the flight.  This year’s practice rounds were well attended due to the rumor that this, the 50th anniversary of Arnold Palmer’s first Masters, might be his last.  The fans were great and so was Arnie.  Here’s a guy who always swung for the fence.  The champion of the blue collar bunch, Arnie has been a hero to many and certainly a hero to me.  I didn’t care that Jack, the former FAT BOY, was winning more tournaments than Arnie.  Arnie went all out and Jack played the consistent, nerd boy way.  If I die before shooting even par (72), I’m asking WJ to slip my Arnie autographed golf ball in the casket (but you can keep the magic putter, WJ).

THE WINO WALLY vs. WINO JOHN golf match of the spring!  During the 13 years of my marriage, I figure that there are very few people who have played as many rounds of golf with me as Wino John.  Because we have the dispensation from our respective wives to play 7 rounds of golf during our annual beach vacation, I figure I’ve played at least 100 rounds of golf with John over the past 13 years.  That is only exceeded by the number of bottles of wine that we’ve consumed together (1000?) and the number of Cuban cigars that we’ve smoked (??????).  Wino John and his brood decided to visit our clan over Easter this year which happens to be Masters’ weekend.  WJ and I will tee off at 1:30pm on Saturday for a fun round of golf and even more fun round of drinks afterward.  Of course, the wives will want us to show up at the house on time for dinner and we’ll have to talk about how slow the play was on the course.  Needless to say, Saturday night will be BIG CABERNET NIGHT.  Maybe we’ll get the Mondavi vertical out, but only if WJ agrees to write an article about it.

For two years at Duke (undergrad) and two years of grad school (not to be revealed due to identity theft opportunities), I roomed with Wino Ted.  Wino Ted will be in Baltimore the weekend after Wino John.  He’s bringing his clan to attend a Bar Mitzvah and then, will attempt to drink all the California Cabs from my cellar.  If Wino Ted survives this weekend, then I will journey to his Connecticut farm house and attempt to drink his French Burgundy’s over a weekend.  WB, do not even think about crashing our party!

The weekend after Wino Ted’s visit, he and I will sojourn to New Orleans for the Jazz and Heritage Festival.  This is a great event, more popular than Mardi Gras among the cognoscenti.  We have dinner reservations at Commander’s Palace, Antoine’s, and Emeril’s.  All of these restaurants are on the Spec’s Grand Award’s list.  I’ll make sure I send in a review or two.  Wino Bob, are you going to be in NO on business the weekend of the 23rd?  We could use a pro (for the wine reviews, we’ll handle the party action).

After I return from the Jazz Fest, I think I’ll have to maintain a low profile.  Otherwise, I won’t get in my 60 rounds of golf this year and I probably won’t be able to journey to Ireland for my 10 days of golf (for a description of my last golf trip to Ireland, see Wino Wally’s golf links).  It’s a good thing that I have two daughters, otherwise, I’d be setting a BAD example for my kids (it’s a good thing that my daughters won’t be allowed to date until their 30th birthday).

Wino Wally
Baltimore, MD
April 9, 2004



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