BASKETBALL, GOLF, AND NANTUCKET

Mike Moffett

 by Mike Moffett
 Weirs Times Columnist

BASKETBALL, GOLF, AND NANTUCKET

Sports bring people together.

The Olympic Games unite countries. High school tournaments unite towns. And golf can reunite college alums, friends, and teammates―also affectionately known as “cronies.”

Such a reunion occurred for me during Columbus Day weekend. The common denominator was basketball and the common destination was Nantucket Island, where an old hoop teammate named Billy runs a successful business. The common mission included talking sports, watching sports, and playing golf.

Nantucket’s location in the North Atlantic necessitated a lengthy boat trip. So for me the first leg meant a Thursday trip to Cape Cod and a night with my friend John, another hoop “crony,” in keeping with the weekend theme of connecting with former basketball players.

A crowded Friday ferry trip brought me to the famous island―once a center for the whaling industry, but now a tourist destination for the bourgeoisie. Billy met me at the dock, along with Matt and Storm, who’d arrived earlier. These hoop “cronies” were inconveniently (for Billy) arriving at six different times, so Billy had to remain on call in downtown Nantucket village, where he gave subsequent arrivals tours of his favorite social establishments, where he seemed to know every waitress and bartender―confirming the notion that he was indeed a successful Nantucket businessman.

Eventually we were joined by Darryll, Neil, Richie, and Jeff. Billy then brought us to a wonderful establishment with a friendly, non-pretentious clientele, as well as good food, great libations, and multiple large flat screen televisions to watch the baseball playoffs. One might assume that we all were Red Sox fans, but Jeff was a Yankee fan, Darryl an Orioles fan, and Matt was a free agent. But we all agreed that we wanted the Cubs to beat the Cardinals!

GOLF ADVENTURES

Nantucket golfers: Mike, Darryll (incognito), Billy, Matt, Richie, Jeff, Neil, and Storm.
Nantucket golfers: Mike, Darryll (incognito), Billy, Matt, Richie, Jeff, Neil, and Storm.

Saturday was golf day. In preparation I’d moved my important golf clubs from my big golf bag to my smaller “travel” golf bag. But in so-doing, I‘d forgotten my pitching wedge. Rats!

We adopted a “scramble” format―foursome against foursome. I was with Jeff, Neil, and Richie. I didn’t contribute much to our team effort, perhaps because I was tired from sleeping on a couch at Billy’s house. Also, I didn’t have my wedge.

Finally, in desperation I borrowed Jeff’s wedge and hit an almost perfect approach shot.

“How much do you want for the wedge?” I asked Jeff.

“Not for sale,” he replied.

The golf carts at Nantucket’s pricey Miacomet Golf Course were nothing like I was used to in New Hampshire. They were computerized and had screens that described each hole in detail, how far it was to the pin, regardless of where you were on the course. Unbelievable!

They also warned against driving carts in the rough.

In New Hampshire, I always drive my cart into the rough, because that’s where most of my balls go. But on Nantucket, if you strayed from the approved golf cart areas, your golf cart would automatically stop. It’s true.

I drove my cart into the rough to find my ball and the cart stopped. The computer screen told me I could only go in reverse until I returned to approved golf cart territory. Talk about Big Brother/GPS watching you! We all eventually gave in to the Golf Cart Gods. We had no choice.

MAGIC WEDGE

Miacomet had no water hazards, unlike my home course in Loudon, but there was sand everywhere. I borrowed Jeff’s wedge to get out of a trap and put the ball six feet from the pin. Then on the next hole, a short par 3, I used Jeff’s magic wedge for a tee-shot and hit my shot onto the green, for an eight foot birdie putt.

“How much do you want for the wedge?” I asked Jeff.

“Not for sale,” he replied.

COWBOYS
AND PATRIOTS

On Sunday, Billy took us to a downtown sports bar to watch NFL football―four games simultaneously on big flat screens. As he walked into the establishment, a Miller Lite was immediately placed into his hand―Billy being a well-known, successful Nantucket businessman.

New England was playing at Dallas, and the Patriots were obviously the local favorite. But of course, our group had a Cowboys fan. As with Yankee fans, there’s always one in every crowd. Matt rolled up his sleeve to display a Cowboy tattoo, and then he shared that he had a son named Troy (as in Troy Aikman). He predicted a Cowboy win.

But the history was soon written―New England 30, Dallas 6.

BACK TO N.H.

The ferry boat ride back to Hyannis was not as crowded as it was on the trip over. Maybe some folks just decided to stay in Nantucket. (There are worse places to be!)

The long drive from the Cape back to Loudon was uneventful, and as much as I enjoyed the frenzied sports weekend on Nantucket, I was happy to be back in the more familiar Granite State. It was late when I got home and I just fell into bed.

I unpacked the next morning, and as I returned my golf clubs from my travel bag to my regular bag, I saw that I had the magic wedge! I must have inadvertently put it into my bag instead of Jeff’s on the 18th hole.

It was an honest mistake!

“Crony honor!”

Sports Quiz

In 1990 a Major League Baseball player hit a home run. Then his son stepped to the plate, and like his dad, also hit a home run. Who was this father/son dynamic duo? (Answer follows)

Born Today …

That is to say, sports standouts born on Oct. 22 include baseball sluggers Jimmy Foxx (1907) and Ichiro Suzuki (1973).

Sportsquote

“Don’t play too much golf. Two rounds a day are plenty. ” ― British golf champion Harry Vardon

Sportsquiz Answer

Ken Griffey Sr. and Ken Griffey Jr. of the Seattle Mariners.

Michael Moffett is a Professor of Sports Management for Plymouth State University and for NHTI-Concord. He recently co-authored the critically-acclaimed and award-winning “FAHIM SPEAKS: A Warrior-Actor’s Odyssey from Afghanistan to Hollywood and Back” (with the Marines)—which is available through Amazon.com. His e-mail address is mimoffett@comcast.net.

 


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