That was an ending?
So, I had stockpiled the final season of The Sopranos on my DVR. Late last week I decided to begin watching the final episodes of the HBO series so that when Sunday's final episode, "Made in America' aired, I would watch it live.
What a waste. The crescendo was building toward a violent, perhaps dramatic conclusion. Meadow Soprano, after failing to successfully parallel park her car (What was that?) in several attempts, was walking into a burger joint to meet her family, Tony, Carm and A.J. who were munching on onion rings.
You just knew something was going to happen. Tony, or one of the family members was going to get offed, or perhaps, Meadow trips a bomb and the whole restaurant blows up. You knew something was going to happen because my clock said it was going to. It was the final show of an incredible eight year run, there were minutes, perhaps just seconds left, so the finish would be fantastic.
The ending didn't work for me, even though some are calling it genius. As Meadow is expected to enter the restaurant, viewers hear the door open. Tony, as he had done for all the previous entrants, looked up from his onion rings to see who is coming in the door. As his eyes raise, the screen goes black.
America, we've been had. If you are like me, the first reaction was to check the satellite/cable box because it seemed that was the problem. In the next second though, you knew what was going on and that the show's creator, David Chase, had just done a huge goon job on you.
Still, you held on in those five or six seconds when the screen was black, and the sound off, that the picture would restore and some measure of closure would surface. Then the credits began to roll, but still no sound. It was as if Chase wanted you to think your TV was malfunctioning and that you did indeed miss something while the screen was black. I would guess he's enjoying his little joke today, the dirty rat, and that is putting it in a family context.
Really, what could be more annoying?
Well, how about the eighth hole at Oakmont Country Club in Pittsburgh where the U.S. Open Golf Championship will be played this week. The eighth hole is a par three which may measure as much as 288 yards this year. Obviously most, if not all, players will have to hit woods on the hole, many will likely need to hit driver.
The Oakmont course will measure over 7,200 yards and be a par of 70. Defending champion Geoff Ogilvy, who benefitted from Phil Mickelson's meltdown on the 72nd hole at Winged Foot last year, said this year's champion could be double digits over par if certain conditions persist.
Ogilivy's comments came last week after he had played a practice round at Oakmont. He acknowledged that in the two weeks remaining before the championship the USGA could make any number of changes which would influence scoring one way or the other, but when he was leaving the course he thought the winner could be nine or ten shots over par. He did point out that if par on the course was 71 or 72, that number becomes less of an 800 pound gorilla.
Still, the U.S. Open always stirs the debate of whether the USGA is trying to identify the best players in golf, or embarrass them. Either way, we can count on a conclusion.