Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Fall Of The Tiger

Tiger Woods, you made the game of golf that much harder. The wins will be harder to come by after this debacle of a personal life you are going through. Tiger, you will be under more pressure and public scrutiny than you've ever been before. Women will throw themselves at you, because they know you are vulnerable. Hecklers will heckle you more than they've ever heckled before, because they know you are vulnerable. Sponsors will require more from you than they've ever required before, because well, you know. The conservatives in the game of golf, and there's a lot of them, will have you under the microscope more than ever. The expectations will be higher, the pressure will follow. Tiger, the pars and birdies are going to be that much harder to come by. The wins are going to be few and far between. The majors are the real question. You had none last year, zippo. And when you tee it up in January you will carry more distractions to the golf course than you've ever experienced before. You will face many of the demons that your competitors face today. Those negative thoughts that get into people's heads when they get out of their comfort zone. You are out of your comfort zone Tiger.

It's not a good feeling is it? I'm sure the Golden Bear is smiling today. I don't blame him.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Apple Cup Week

This is the week that signifies the entire season. Throw out the records, the injuries, the rhetoric about coaches, and most importantly, the won-loss record. The pride of the State of Washington is on the line. There's a reason why the Cougs have to put on a purple jersey when they mess up in practice. Coach Wulff is a lot smarter than people give him credit for. It builds a hatred for those guys in the purple jerseys and serves as a year long reminder. I remember when Don James got pegged by an apple in Pullman while walking the sidelines prior to the game. He picked it up and took a bite out of it. The Cougs took a bite out of his Dawgs on that Saturday in November. That was back when they filled up Martin Stadium, not anymore.

Even though the tickets go for $90 it won't be hard to find one. I scalped a ticket to the UCLA game last year and I think it cost me $20. I have a feeling this won't be any different. There's a certain electricity in this game un-matched by any sporting event I've attended. You have the typical Husky fans that never went to school there who have adopted them as "their" team. You have the faithful Cougs who, like me, wanted to get away from home and go to a college town for the college experience. You can't really go home on the weekend because it is so far. It worked. I met my wife there, and like me, she hasn't missed very many of these since we graduated in 1987. I think the Cougs will surprise some people on Saturday. They've been preparing for this one for 11 games. They will play their best game of the year.

Don't get too excited.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Everything Ducky-For Now

The Oregon Ducks were impressive in their win over USC on Saturday. But let's not let them get ahead of themselves, like they often do. Oregon fans are already chanting "B-C-S", pretty premature don't you think? Last time I checked there are still some pretty tough teams on their remaining schedule including Arizona on the road and Oregon State in the Civil War. But this isn't how Duck fans think. They win a big game and they think it's their ticket to the National Championship (which they have never won by the way, but you would never know it by the way their fans act). The Ducks are extremely vulnerable. The Pac Ten is a very tough conference. It's the conference of champions.

Will this be the Ducks' year? Don't bet on it. They will find some way to implode. They always do.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Summer in the Tri-Cities

The feel of summer is creeping away. The Water Follies and Tri-Cities Boat Race Weekend is the trademark of summer here. It's usually the hottest weekend of the year. But shortly after, that summer 'feel' tends to slip away. The winds pick up, much cooler nights, and that awful feeling that winter is just around the corner. I've learned the older I get, the faster time goes, and this summer was no exception. Our recent camping and boating trip to Clarkston and the Snake River was the best possible way to end another great Tri-Cities summer. While we were able to escape the 108 degree day in the Tri-Cities, we found a much cooler spot at Chief Timothy Park in Clarkston with a cool 106. We thought about making t-shirts that read, "We survived Chief Timothy." Today, I woke up to a slight drizzle and cool temperatures. "We might hit 80 degrees today", said the weathercaster on KNDU TV. What a bummer.

Another ho-hum Tri-Cities summer.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I Remember

I remember when he chipped in to beat Jack Nicklaus in the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. I remember when he made just about everything he looked at in his younger years. I remember he always made the six footer coming back after a rare miss. I remember one of the best tips I ever received from anyone was when he said in Golf Magazine to put the ball a little farther forward in your stance with long irons. I remember like it was yesterday but unfortunately it wasn't. I was pounding golf balls at Sahalee dreaming of being the next Tom Watson. That was 35 years ago. I thought he was in his prime back then but maybe I need to re-visit it. But what I will most remember is the four days of stellar golf in the 2009 Open Championship at Turnberry.

I remember.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Alaska Experience

This world is a lot larger than I thought it was. Thank you Alaska for helping me realize it. This is arguably one of the most picturesque places anywhere. As we descended into Juneau and Gustavus for a once in a lifetime fishing experience, I saw the beauty I've been hearing about for a long time. A short time after we checked into the Glacier Bay Country Inn, we saw a Moose in the man made grass runway just outside the dining room of this cozy lodge. Two days later a brown grizzly bear was playing in the same area. This is Alaska. You can't mention Alaska without talking about the sport fishing. For those who think whales are close to extinct, think again. For those who think bald eagles are an endangered species, think again as well. Let's not even go into the salmon thing. We limited in kings our first day and they were stacked up like a cord of wood. A sea lion ate one of them as I was reeling him in just 30 yards from the boat. This is a normal occurrence in Alaska. The very next day a sea lion tried to steal one of our halibuts but we were able to scare him off enough to save our prey. The wildlife is in abundance with whales, sea lions, seals, otters, bald eagles, and every kind of bird imaginable. We ate like champions and were treated like royalty. We also flew home feeling like heroes in the fishing world.

This is Alaska.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Birthday Month To Remember

First it was the Masters. Then, a trip to Edgefield for a little bit of everything; beer, wine, music, food, par-3 golf, and most importantly, friends. When we've had enough of that we are headed to Livermore, California for more golf, wine, food, entertainment, and of course, friends. It's all part of turning 50. The big 5-0.

Sounds like a birthday to remember. It ain't so bad.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Jim Sterk Needs To Go

My wife is not happy. That doesn't bode too well for any of us when that happens. No more Apple Cups in Pullman. I would not want to be WSU Athletic Director Jim Sterk when he comes face to face with her. It's not gonna be pretty. In another stupid move, the future Apple Cups will now be played at Quest Field in Seattle, the home of the Seahawks. Not far from Montlake. What a nice move Jim. So much for the renovation of Martin Stadium. What a nice way to show loyalty to the hard working business owners in Pullman who rely on this weekend. For some, it makes their year. It never ceases to amaze me with all the constant stupid moves this guy makes. I used to work on the committee that helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Cougar Athletic Department. The Cougar Golf Classic used to be a great event until Jim Sterk showed up. The likes of Mike Price, Joe "the toe" Danello, Mark Rypien, Tim Rosenbach, Clint Didier, Pat Beach and Rueben Mayes used to make their way to Meadow Springs Country Club for the annual event. It was a reunion of former NFL greats, high profile Cougars. Sterk didn't feel he needed us anymore. He thought the school could do a better job. They sure have done a better job. Last year, the most high profile celebrity at the Cougar Golf Classic was one Paul Wulff. The same guy who was hired by Jim Sterk.

What more can I say.

Monday, April 13, 2009

CBS Blasted for Masters Coverage

CBS should be ashamed because I am. You would think Tiger and Phil were the only players on the golf course. Angel Cabrera, Kenny Perry, and Chad Campbell were just out for a Sunday stroll on an Easter Sunday at the 73rd Masters. It was like the leaders didn't even exist. How many times did you hear, "just a minute ago", "while we were away", or "here's a replay of Perry's putt on 9"? We saw very few live shots of the leaders because CBS was too busy following Mickelson and Woods. The media is so hung up on someone challenging Tiger that they forget that there are other players making a name for themselves, and then when success follows these so-called no names, they don't know what to do. I was relieved when Tiger and Phil holed out their final putts on 18 because then we could watch the leaders, and not on tape. Of course we had to wait for the interviews of both Mickelson and Woods before we could go back to live action again. "While we were watching Tiger and Phil, Angel Cabrera won the Masters in a playoff over Kenny Perry and Chad Campbell".

CBS, the most taped network. Has a nice ring to it.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

An Angel on Easter

Richland, WA.

It's great to be home. I'm back in my comfort zone for the final round of the 73rd Masters, the couch. The big question on everyone's mind is who will it be? Who has the nerves to withstand the pressure that goes with being in position to win a green jacket. Will it be 48-year old Kenny Perry, who has been close to flawless thus far in his quest for his first green jacket. Or, will it be an Easter Sunday to remember for 2007 US Open Champion Angel Cabrera. Traditionally, the winner usually comes out of the final two-some which includes both of these guys. You know the producers for CBS Sports will be focusing on the pairing of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, both at four under and in need of a low number to post early, hopefully putting pressure on the leaders coming in. You kind of get the sense that this tournament is being set up for something special on this Easter Sunday. Will someone come out of the pack and shoot a blistering 29 on the back nine on Sunday? Or, will the leaders plod along and make it too difficult for the earlier groups to make up such a wide margin.
As I walked the grounds of the entire golf course on Tuesday, I tried to get some pictures of players I thought would be there in the thick of things come Sunday. I did the same thing at the 1998 PGA at Sahalee, the course I grew up on. Angel Cabrera is going to be tough to beat. So is Jim Furyk. Yes, it's Sunday at the Masters and I'm making predictions, and back in my comfort zone.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A Player's Dream

Augusta, Georgia

I saw history today. I saw a 73-year old shoot 78 at Augusta National in the Masters. I saw Gary Player make his first birdie in his last Masters. It gave me the shivers. I know, it doesn't take much for me to have the hair on my arms stand up but this was something special. Sporting his Masters green instead of the traditional all black, Player stiffed a wedge from 75 yards to six feet on number two and then proceeded to roll in a down hill curler. It was fitting for a guy playing in his last Masters. Gary Player is playing in his 52nd Masters, hard for anyone to believe. He wasn't the only story today, former Masters champion Sandy Lyle can still flat out move it. The 51-year old bombed drives and showed us a sleek short game on his way to a ho-hum even par 72. We also can't forget about the big story of this year's Masters. Greg Norman fired a two under par 70 today, after earning a trip to Augusta as of result of his impressive performance in last year's British Open. It was shades of the 90's. " I've always been connected to the gallery", he said. "I played my way back into the golf tourney".

I will hit a milestone this month when I turn 50. This trip was a great prelude. I haven't played in 52 Masters. I don't bomb drives. I'm not connected to the gallery. This week I got a good glimpse of what heaven is like, and I think I like it.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tuesday at Augusta

The azaleas are in full bloom. Amen Corner is as pretty as it's ever been. This is Augusta National. A lot of people don't know this, but Augusta, Georgia is the second biggest city in the state. Some of the biggest names in golf are here for another edition of the Masters. I am normally planted on my couch for this weekend tradition, but not this week. Today's practice round enabled me to see some of the game's best, including Fred Couples, Greg Norman, Adam Scott, and Nick Whatney. Big surprise that I would follow Freddy but I wanted to see his mindset after taking the gas last week in Houston. Couples and Norman packed it in after four holes, I don't blame them. It was a cool, windy day, not typical this time of year. Freddy was doing his normal stretching trying to loosen things up, including his ailing back. Vijay was on the range, Boo was working the crowd, and I was enjoying a beer for only $2.75. I knew there was something special about this place.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Day One

Augusta, GA.

It started off with a bang. Electrical problem on our flight out of Pasco. We missed our connection flight out of Salt Lake but managed to find our way to Atlanta just after five o'clock eastern time. We arrived in Aiken just before the national championship game...b-o-r-i-n-g. I have one thing to say, it is a much different world in the deep south. Practice round tomorrow and golf on Wednesday at the legendary Palmetto Golf Club. We ran into a bunch of players today but because of contractual obligations I'm not able to share what happened. More tomorrow.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A Special Place

As a tiny little 11-year old I had dreams of winning this tournament some day. They say dreams do come true. We all know this one won't. But for me, heading to The Masters in Augusta, Georgia on Monday will be like a dream come true. I have been watching this tournament religiously since 1970, but it will change this year when I have the distinct pleasure of setting foot on the grounds of Augusta for the first time. Magnolia Lane, and Amen Corner, which consists of holes 11, 12, and 13, and one of the most exciting stretches in all of golf. The true meaning of Augusta has nothing to do with golf. It has nothing to do with Tiger chasing down Jack's 18 major wins. It has nothing to do with Freddy starting a new streak of consecutive Masters Tournaments without missing a cut, after missing the cut line in 2008. It has nothing to do with one of the new, younger players picking up their first major win. It has to do with one thing, tradition. The tradition called spring.

Bring it on.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Important Things In Life

A friend of mine told me the other day, "he's definitely not as cute as he was last week". She couldn't have said it any better. She was referring to the ever popular former Cougar Coach Tony Bennett. Some of us guys think we know everything about sports but I managed to listen to some of my female friends regarding Bennett's departure and I learned a lot. My wife: "I want to know what Sterk said to Tony after he said he was staying and giving up $100,000 of his salary. Something went terribly wrong. I really want to know what Sterk said to him." My friend Jody: "He's coached Division 1 for three years and they are paying him that much money? Something is wrong with this picture". And the topper from my friend Traci: "I heard you are going to the Masters!! Wear a bright shirt!!!"

Sometimes we need to be reminded about the important things in life.

Monday, March 30, 2009

How do you title this one?

It happened when us fellow Cougars least expected it. After a mediocre season Tony Bennett decided it was time to pull the plug at WSU. Tomorrow he is expected to be named the new Head Coach at the University of Virginia. Ralph Sampson's old school. Why do these coaches have to lie so much? Tony assured everyone he had no intentions of leaving Pullman. Great school system, he could go home for lunch, he could build a winning program in the Palouse. His wife loves it there, or does she? Something has happened that has prompted Bennett to move elsewhere. Is it Athletic Director Jim Sterk, or new President Elston Floyd? Is it lack of support? We probably will never know. It would be nice to thank him but for what? This is almost as bad as when Dennis Erickson denied he was going to the University of Miami. Bennett is going to the A-C-C. His eyes are really on one job, in that same conference. When Coach "K' retires at Duke you know Tony Bennett will be the first in line. Based on his coaching down the stretch this year, don't cross your fingers. Holy St. Mary's.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Good Bye P-I

On the eve of its last day, it is hard to say good bye. The paper that helped spark my interest in sports will be no more as of this time tomorrow. And it won't be the last paper to go. I have many memories of the Seattle P-I, all the way back to my childhood when I learned to read. I probably could have shined more in school had I not focused so much on the sports page, but heck I wouldn't have the knowledge I have now either. When I grew up the P-I was a morning paper and the rival Seattle Times came in the afternoon. My Mom wasn't a morning person so we got the Times, but it didn't stop me from finding the P-I. She still gets the Times by the way, and she reads it cover to cover. I have spent most of my adult life in Eastern Washington and I can't imagine being without our hometown paper, the Tri-City Herald. I remember Sonny Sixkiller, D.B. Cooper, Warren Magnuson and Moon, and of course Dixie Lee Ray. Warren "Maggie" Magnuson once said about the former Governor, "She's cute, if she'd shave I might kiss her." I vividly remember former Husky coach Jim Owens and the three yards and a cloud of dust. Boy have things changed. Now they might get two yards. I probably should write books on serial killers like Anne Rule does, because it's somewhat of a passion for me to read about psychos like Gary Ridgway, Kevin Coe, and of course Rule's former friend and colleague, Ted Bundy. If it weren't for the Seattle P-I we probably wouldn't have the t-shirts that read, "Ted Bundy was a Husky". Although I read three to four newspapers a day on-line, there's nothing like reading the hard copy of a daily newspaper with a fresh, warm cup of coffee, at least for me anyway. While I'm writing this many of the journalists at the Seattle P-I are meeting deadlines for their last assignment with the legendary paper. I can't imagine their tears, their pain, their memories, and most importantly, how the Seattle P-I has made all of them better people, and me too. Thank you Seattle P-I, you will be missed. The coffee just won't taste the same anymore.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

49 Years Young

He still has it. The swagger, and that magical sense about him. Smooth as silk. For 71 holes at the Northern Trust Open he was in the hunt. One errant shot means the difference on the PGA Tour and Fred Couples did something on Sunday you don't normally see. A seven-iron on the final hole sprayed dead right catching one of the towering Eucalyptus trees that line the right side of the 18th fairway at Riviera. Another huge check and more reason to hang out on his couch and count his money. Phil Mickelson was victorious in the end but Fred Couples still has it, at 49 years young.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Tribute to "A-Train"

We lost a good man here recently. A man that defined what is important in family. Al "A-Train" Nall passed away after Christmas, but not before making a lasting impression on a lot of people in a very positive way. Most importantly, that lasting impression will be carried on by his family, something extremely important to him. It was a very moving service for me and my wife as well. Richard, I commend you on an outstanding job of representing the family. I'm sure "A-Train" is very proud right now.

Your Friend,

T. Moore

Friday, January 2, 2009

Define Your Place

Define your place. Sounds a little deep but it's not. If you are struggling with a plan, or don't know exactly where you are with your business plan for 2009 give us a call. Sometimes it helps to get a third party opinion or some direction on "honing" in on a target audience, your customer. Another way of defining it is being more efficient. A simple 30 minute brainstorming session might be all you need. We focus on results with our clients. More people in the door. More people seeing your logo. Most importantly, more people knowing who you are, what you are doing, and what you are all about. I like to refer to it as branding 101. The results should follow.


Tom Moore