What a strange, depressing day at Augusta. I love the leaderboard after two rounds, but I’m depressed that Tiger isn’t there. His dropped clubs, his dropped and the kicked 9-iron on 16, his very loud “Goddammit!” after another errant drive into the trees, his oh so sour expression for the last fourteen holes—all depress me because I’m not sure how many more Masters I have left, and Day Two this year may be signaling that Tiger doesn’t have many left either. “There is no joy in Mudville, Mighty Tiger has struck out."Now, as for the other batters, I hope Freddie can hold on for two more rounds, but he won’t. I hope Sergio can finally break through, finally realize all that potential from his youth, but he won’t. I hope Lee can get the non-major monkey off his back, but he won’t. I hope Phil can win his fourth green jacket, but he probably won’t. And I hope and will root for Rory, who will very likely win the first of many green jackets. All right, I’m now ready for Day Three.
Yesterday, in addition to Masters coverage, I had the chance to see the Diamondbacks beat the dreaded Giants and Tim Lincecum. This should be a great season for D-Backs watching, all one hundred and sixty-two games. Wow, that sounds like a long season. I seem to work my way through each year by measuring it off in sports seasons—Diamondbacks baseball from spring through summer and fall, Suns basketball and Cardinals football from fall through spring, and golf majors from Masters to U.S. Open, to British Open, to PGA, and then either the Ryder Cup or the Presidents Cup, and then bang, I’m through another year. This is my version of Prufrock’s “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons” with each spoon a sports outcome. And “I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker.” This year I even have golf being introduced to the Olympics. Ah yes, another summer Olympics. I can go back vividly to see Jim Ryan fall again as he rounds the track on his final lap of the mile that would never be; I see Dick Fosbury shock the world with his flop that became the standard technique thereafter; I see the brilliant smile of Carl Lewis winning the long jump for his fourth time in 1996; I see Bob Beamon in Mexico City in 1968, on his knees, hands over his face, as he finds out he’s broken the long jump record by more than two feet; I see Tommie Smith and John Carlos at those same 1968 Olympics raise their arms to protest all the civil rights infractions against blacks. I wonder how many more Olympics will enter my view and then recede into my memory.