As if my summer couldn’t get more surreal, I’m in Scottsdale, AZ. Now why on earth would anyone travel to Arizona in late August? That’s what I’m wondering, too, but I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to play (a friendly but cutthroat) round of golf with Dallas Mavericks point guard Jason Kidd at TPC Scottsdale Whisper Rock — you know, the club where the likes of Phil Mickelson, Geoff Ogilvy and Paul Casey (just to name a few) call themselves members.
So, I’ve been trash-texting with J-Kidd the past week (prompting him to even call me Gary Payton), and he’s insisting I give him strokes. He’s a 10 handicap and I haven’t kept a handicap since 2001. I guesstimate I’m around a 5, but I’ve been shooting in the low 80’s all summer (at super hard courses from the men’s tees, mind you). But Jason has home course advantage and he’s, you know, a real athlete. I said we’d decide the strokes issue after I watch him take a swing. I’m happy to give him one or two a side, but how embarrassing will it be for him when I still beat him? That said, I could very well put my foot in my mouth.
And we have a friendly little wager on the line. Jason said I had to come up with it, since I’m the guest. I grappled over a deviously amusing plan the past week because I mean, clearly we weren’t going to play for money (the NBA has strict gambling rules, anyway). So instead, it has to be something clever with the loser experiencing public humiliation. Naturally.
Here’s what we agreed to:
*Loser must admit defeat and superiority of the winner on video at the end of the match on the 18th green/19th hole.
*If Jason wins, I have to start every blog post for a week with something like, “Jason Kidd is an excellent human being, an incredible athlete and an even better golfer.” Also, when the Mavs play the Knicks, I have to attend the game wearing his jersey (as a dress).
*If I win, Jason gives me and WUP a shout-out in a game interview on TV, preferably the first nationally televised one of the season. He also throws in courtside tickets when the Mavs play the Knicks (but I’m hoping I’ll get those either way — I mean, wearing the jersey wouldn’t be nearly as funny if I were in the nosebleed section).
Wish me luck!