Tuesday, April 16, 2019 was just another day. I read a newspaper. (Remember when we all did that?) And the top stories included these items. An essay by Thomas L. Friedman (New York Times Opinion Columnist) (see photo below) with the heading: “Tiger Woods and the Game of Life. Golf is all about how you react when you get a bad bounce.”
His column was unusual because Mr. Friedman’s day job “is writing the foreign affairs column for The New York Times.” He said: “It’s hard for nongolfers to appreciate the scope of Tiger’s physical and psychological achievement, after he went through four back surgeries and (much tabloid exposure). Winning a 5thMasters was an exceptional achievement.”
“The biggest takeaway for me is the reminder of the truism that golf is the sport most like life, because it is played on an uneven surface. Good and bad bounces are built into the game, and so much of success in golf is about how you react to those good and bad bounces.”
“Golf is played under pressure and every shot must take into account four things: physics, geometry, geography, and psychology.” Mr. Friedman evaluated Tiger’s performance in a unique piece of writing.
There were other stories that caught my eye on April 16th. In baseball, all players wore number 42 on their uniforms to honor the memory of Jackie Robinson who integrated MLB on that date in 1947. That story brought to mind the contributions of other baseball men of color (eg, Curt Flood and RobertoClemente) who also played significant roles in the integration of baseball. And there was this quote by James Baldwin in 1962: “To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.”
April 16 was the birthday of two “famous people” I admired: Peter Billingsley (“Ralphie”, the youngster in “A Christmas Story” –now age 45) and Kareem Abdul-Jabber, age 72; I assume he needs no introduction).
Pulitzer Prizes were announced on April 16th. And, in France, Notre Dame de Paris burned. Plus, somewhere in The United States, a man with the Initials DJT must have done something he thought outweighed the importance of all these events. As usual, he was wrong.
Yes, Tuesday, April 16, 2019 was just another day. Important, and complicated, and difficult to keep in perspective.