Mark Martin won two NASCAR events since April, including the Southern
500 in July. Martin is a geezerish 50. That’s 84 in NASCAR years.
Tom Watson was the best golfer in the world through
71 holes at Turnberry in the British Open, less than a year after a hip
replacement. Watson is a codgerish 59. That’s 66 in pro golf
I’m a geezer and I say this for geezers everywhere
“WAY TO GO, GUYS!” We geezers like to say things in capital letters,
easier to read… and hear.
It would have been nice had Tom, or “Toom” as the
Scots were yelling, sunk his 5 footer on the 72nd hole but I’m proud
anyway. Had he sunk it, it may have triggered heart attacks everywhere.
We geezers can only take so much. Had he sunk that putt we would have
returned to golf course in droves and be shouting to the
whippersnappers “Get off my green.” We would have been making
ridiculous bets thinking we’re going to go all Tom Watson on these
youngsters. We would have dug out the Sans-a-belts and the plaid socks
and set golf fashion back twenty years.
Mark Martin is still driving strong at 50. Martin
has always been my hero, ever since he had the guts to drive the 6 car
sponsored by Viagra. It takes a special kind of race car driver to let
your self be aligned with erectile dysfunction. Mark did this without
blinking and showed he could be a potent driver in the big blue car. He
could even be scary to the driver in front when that driver looks back
and sees big blue on his tail with the sign “Viagra” in his rear view
mirror. Mark was so good at driving the Viagra car that for four years
in a row Martin finished second in the Nextel Cup series. We find
that ironic because that’s what Viagra is supposed to help you do –
Many thought Watson would wear under the pressure
and the grind of a truly unforgiving course. “He’s
got a gimpy hip,” they said. “When the wind comes in, his game will
shrink,” they assumed. “This course tires out young men. Imagine what
it will do to an elder.” Watson never tired. He gave every
shot his all. He’ll be ever enshrined in the Geezer Museum.
Geezers everywhere will tip our hats to these guys,
wipe a tear from behind our giant oversized glasses and wheeze in
unison at the mention of their names. We’ll stop in the two car
dealerships Martin owns in Arkansas and trade in our clunkers. We might
even visit the senior citizen lot area of his dealership. That’s the
section easy to recognize because every car in the lot has its left
turn blinker on... and where all the cars have tri-focal windshields
and big pockets in the door for our fruit. We’ll might even dust off
the clubs and maybe buy a new set of golf balls to put in the trunks of
these new cars.
Then we’ll put on our sweaters, go to the course in
103 degree temperatures and drop like flies. Guys will approach a green
and find a geezer lying face-up in the sand trap. They’ll feel
fortunate that their ball is lying in the wrinkles of a grizzled face
and not buried deep in the sand. For these easier shots even the young
golfers will bow toward Kansas City and say “Thank you Tom Watson.”
And that’s what we say: Thank you, Tom Watson. Thank you, Mark Martin.