LOUISVILLE--First, I'd like to say that I never felt more at home anywhere than I do right here in Kentucky, not even back in Scratch Ankle, Florida, and certainly not in those stone-cold, godforsaken places like Carnoustie where they talk funny, eat things I wouldn't bury in a sack and think camouflage is two kinds of plaid side by side. Heck, I don't even have to carry my own Skoal here--I can get a dip from half the folks in the crowd if I want one. Plus, I'm pretty sure these are the only concession stands ever where you can get a real American hot dog, a Snickers bar and a can of Code Blue White Tail Doe-in-Heat, not to mention that I'm pretty sure most everyone is bathin' with Dead Down Wind shampoo and conditioner. So, it's a good place to be this week because all I'm missin' is the early wood duck and teal season.
And, B., we're doin' this for the U.S. of A. Most of what happens early in the week, as near as I can tell, is Cap'n Zing and Mr. Nick takin' turns in front of the media slap-fightin' like Nathan Lane and Robin Williams in that famous movie, "The Birds." It doesn't have much to do with us players, though a bunch of people laughed when I said my team pants was the most expensive pair I ever owned that wasn't lined, which is true, and that it felt like I was wearin' silk underwear in a deer stand, which it does. I'm used to havin' my slacks whistle Flatt & Scruggs when I walk. Anyway, Cap'n Zing had four picks to fill out our team because he wanted to select the guys with the hot hand, but, sad to say, there weren't none. Maybe next year--I really hope we get to play again next year--he can pick the European guys Mr. Nick don't want. Myself, I miss Monty. He thinks I'm cute as a koala bear, plus he knows so little about Americans he thinks Cheerios are donut seeds.
No. 3, which I didn't much appreciate, the Euros started slow-playin' us with all those anthems right out of the blocks when we just have the one, if you don't count "America the Beautiful." All in all, the opening ceremony was like an outdoor Charlie Daniels concert with skywritin', mimes, mics that don't work, marching bands and crop dusters. But, I'm real thankful at least it was the end of the necktie portion of the week. There's no denyin' we'll miss Mr. Tiger tomorrow, but it's not like we can exactly frog walk next door and dig up Secretariat, you know. Like I said before, we got a new pack of hounds, and now we're gonna find out how they hunt. Cap'n Zing says I'm not lacin' 'em up until the afternoon. On a regular week, that'd give me time to get a line wet, but this ain't no regular week. So, bring on those volcanic-ash-snortin' European Rooskies and let's run hard.
--Jim Moriarty (subbing for Boo Weekley)