But there are childhood skills that come in handy almost daily, and one of them is running with a football and another is leading a three-on-two fast break. Each teaches you to anticipate where the opposition is going and to go where they aren’t.
That skill is essential at Augusta National Golf Club. I had been walking the course Thursday morning, following golfers such as Fuzzy Zoeller.
Three things strike me about Fuzzy. The fans love him, he has a putter the size of an NBA forward and he has not been working out.
After more than an hour with the Fuzzman and other golfers, I head from No. 14 to No. 1. As I do, I encounter a herd. It was like the folks that show up for an 8 a.m. Saturday morning yard sale at 7.
They keep coming. Run on $1.50 sandwiches? No. It is the personal entourage of Tiger Woods. There are thousands of fans. Everybody is moving in one direction, everybody but me.
It’s fun. I lose the first two guys, one of whom wears a Clemson cap and the other a Georgia cap, with sharp cut to the right. The old guy dressed like a grape? See you. The woman with the sweater tied around her shoulders. Bye, bye.
But now I am trapped. There’s a guy with a cigar, a guy with a Titleist cap, a big man in a big straw hat, a woman in a Red Sox World Champions cap. There are too many to lose with a stutter step, so I gamble and move to the extreme right and find a lane and suddenly I am free.
Man, I am Jimmie Johnson (the 2007 Jimmie Johnson).
Spoke too soon. Here comes a woman in her mid-60s with hair the color and texture of steel wool and she is in my way and even though she is tiny it is evident she won’t move. I suspect she has a deed.
To avoid a collision, I move left. Compromise also is essential. I think I learned that in social studies.