ANDY THOMAS: Three Cheers for Patriots, et al.
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Today there's a lot to cheer about, including the fact that another election is over.
The biggest cheer goes to the Pinecrest Patriot football team for completing their varsity season, even though it was winless. After threats of quitting by the principal, athletic director and coach, these boys continued to sweat out 11 football games in which they scored only 46 points while their opponents racked up 507 points.
While we cheer for the end of electioneering, let us hope that the new school board will pay attention to its voting public and begin to address the Pinecrest (and other Moore County) football problems. It would be nice to hear someone from the group answer the petition of some 1,100 Pinecrest supporters to wake up and not only face the issue but also do something about it.
Another accolade goes to Delta Air Lines for announcing that it not only will continue its flights from the Moore County Airport next March, but also will adjust its flight schedules to be more reasonable.
The early morning red-eye flights out of major U.S. cities to connect through Atlanta were rough. I know I personally had to awaken at 3:30 a.m. to get ready to make it to Newark for a 6 a.m. flight to Atlanta. Hopefully this market for air travel will attract more travelers to and from the Sandhills.
Allah should be praised for the decree to put Saddam Hussein to death for the multiple atrocities he committed in Iraq before our commander-in-chief invaded and his troops caught the wicked man. Yelling at the judge in the courtroom? Apparently there's no such thing as contempt of court in Iraq. But what will be even better is a swift execution of his hanging sentence without a lot of useless appeals and red tape. Git 'er done!
Applause for Ted Haggard's demise. Mr. Good Guy thought he'd live a double life, previously fooling his 14,000 worshippers into believing in his holiness and untainted spirituality. I took special note of this since he and his New Life church are in my hometown of Colorado Springs.
Colorado Springs has a surprising population of more 360,000 and has attracted many rather unusual religious sects, including the Abundance of Life Church, Acts One Eight Church, All About God Ministries, Bayfield Sabbath Keepers, Bibles for the World and others with equally curious names.
Haggard reminds me a lot of Jimmy Swaggart, the Louisiana evangelist who cried his confession of sexual improprieties over national TV. Do these folks think God is looking askance when they sin like this? These modern-day Elmer Gantrys ruin it for good preachers like Joel Osteen, Robert Schuller and Billy Graham -- who are, I hope, still legitimate.
I want to applaud Steve Hurst and his team of Pebble Beach players who came to Pinehurst last week and beat the Pinehurst team by a comfortable margin. He and the California players took back with them the East-West Cup for the very first time.
This was the third contest involving the two clubs. Pinehurst won the first matches, here in 2004 and there in 2005. It was great playing Pebble, Spyglass and Spanish Bay. The format is like the Ryder Cup, with four-ball matches the first two days followed by individual match play the third day.
The folks from California have been good competitors and very cordial each year. It's fun when you play hard and then socialize with your opponents. Several friendships result each year.
Three cheers for John Kerry's "joke." It showed his true colors. A comedian he is not.
Cheers for Lori Corica and her gang of helpers at the new Beverly Hills Weight Loss & Wellness facility in Southern Pines near the Fresh Market. Through her program and coaching, I have been able to shed 30 pounds in a little over two months. Lori has a great record of successful clients and is quite inspirational herself. She loves her job and being able to transform fatties into more attractive and healthier people.
Three cheers for coaches Bill and Izzy Johnson of Southern Pines, who coached golf at Dartmouth for many years. Bill and Izzy entertained a group of Dartmouth alums recently, telling stories relating to their coaching experiences.
Bill lived up to his reputation as raconteur extraordinaire by relating a few interesting and humorous tales. One was when he picked up Jack Nicklaus at the airport and drove him back to the Dartmouth campus, as he and his son Jackie were looking into Dartmouth.
Bill took Jack into one of the dorms and asked if he could take Jack into a room to see what it was like. The roomies were busily preparing for a football game, drinking a concoction made simply from chocolate ice cream and vodka. Gary went to school elsewhere, supposedly because of the short golf season in Hanover.
One of Bill's favorite sayings was, "He who hoots with the owls at night cannot soar with the eagles at dawn." Another was "A dogleg is just two straight shots in different directions." Coach Bill won many awards, including membership in Golf Coaches of America Hall of Fame.
Andy Thomas lives in Pinehurst. Contact him at email@example.com
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