February 24, 2008

A Wie birdbrain heralds SpringÖ

A very wise man who shall remain nameless but goes by the initials "Nguyen Thanh Hoang" once said to me "one bird doesnít bring spring" and I can accept that, but on the other hand, I will happily take any relief from the cold I can get even if itís only for a few days.

Da Lat weather in Ha Noi...what more can anyone ask for?

For those of you who are a bit confused by this statement, kindly remember that itís Thursday when this column is written and if you were in Hanoi, youíd know that itís the first time that it has been sunny and warm in well over a month.

If youíre in the south and wondering what the big deal is...shaddap. Youíve got it good 52 weeks a year and have nothing to complain about except the occasional tropical downpour. Hey, 20cm of rain once a day is a small price to pay for all that warm weather.

When I woke up this morning, I was suspicious as itís the first time in two months that my shoulder didnít hurt, so when I opened the curtains and saw the sun, I practically danced around the room knowing that nothing was going to bother me today, not even the birdbrain motorcyclists or taxis driving on the wrong side of the road.

Ok, the one yo-yo who stopped her motorbike in the middle of the road to chat on her mobile phone did push the limits a bit, but I consoled myself with the knowledge that eventually a large speeding truck would come her way.

There is no doubt in my mind that the weather plays a major role in the way you feel emotionally. If youíre stuck with grey miserable weather for an extended period of time, youíre gonna feel horrible. Just ask the people in the northern climes like Sweden, Finland and Iceland where suicide rates are higher than US Postal workers.

During the recent cold weather there were still people out on the golf course trying to convince themselves that they were having a good time. Self-delusion can only take you so far, but there are always a few who actually relish the frigid temperatures and enjoy hitting a golf ball that feels like a frozen rock. Their comments usually range from "a bit nippy today, what?" to "you donít sweat much in this weather."

Given a choice, Iíll take sweating like a pig over freezing my fat ass off anytime.

Speaking of sweating, Michelle Wie tees off today in her first event of the year and while her coach David Leadbetter pronounced her wrists "healed", our favourite little pea-brain was already working up a sweat and making excuses before she even hit her first tee shot.

According to Dr. Wie, "wrists injuries never completely heal."

Ok, I will allow the readers a brief moment to snicker, guffaw, choke on their coffee or shoot cornflakes out of their nose while wondering if Wie is breathing pure air or secretly smoking bananas.

Professional athletes in contact sports like football (both US and soccer), basketball, rugby and Aussie Rules suffer far worse injuries than little birdbrainís sprained wrist, yet they comeback and have stellar careers.

Phil Mickelson traditionally breaks his leg skiing at least once every three years and heís still high on the money list, Paul Azinger recovered from cancer and is still playing and Jim Furyk has a swing that only Picasso could love.

I broke the triangular cartilage in my left wrist and kept playing for two-years through the pain (not of my own choosing as I had a doctor who insisted it was "tendonitis") before surgery. Guess what? Itís healed and I still hit 300-yard drives. Ok, my putting still sucks, but I couldnít putt before the wrist injury either.

It seems to me that only losers make excuses for poor performance before they even hit their first shot and, with comments like that, Wie continues to lose peopleís respect.

But Iím not even going to let Wie ruin my day, nor the fact that we have 2-3 more cold spells to deal with before the real warm weather actually arrives here in the north.

So, if youíll excuse me...I hear a bird chirping and a golf course calling my name.

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