Marshall Mallicoat

Thoughts on sports



The inner workings of a miniature golf course amount to a secret gospel.

Miniature golf is to golf what reality TV is to reality.

In golf, you swing lowercase L's at the tops of semicolons.

At the bowling alley, they give you golf pencils to keep score.

My grandfather owned both a set of clubs and a bowling ball. My father has neither.

I've invented a new drink that's half-Arnold Palmer and half-Shirley Temple, called the LBJ.

Guessing a woman's age is a kind of golf.

Other Sports

Baseball is basically unwatchable, but it works on the radio.

The counter-insurgency is Whac-a-Mole, the drug war Three-card Monte.

Capitalism has wrought the moneyballing of everything. The Dutch work 6 hours a day, then ride bikes home. Americans work for 6 hours, spend 2 hours on Facebook, then crawl through traffic for 45 minutes.

Someone who sits very still at a desk all day, looking at small numbers on a screen, is a kind of athlete. It takes endurance. You need training and preparation to do it without hurting yourself. These are grown men with all the hair rubbed off their ankles by socks, and prostates the size of clenched fists. They will show you their game face.

The highest compliment you can pay a man is to call him a machine. Men strive to make themselves into weapons. This is done through emotional distance, rituals of control, and repetition.

On Sportsmanship

I was a high school wrestler for one day. I was on the swimming team but quit. After failing to induce vomiting in the bathroom, I lied about having vomited to get out of practice. At a strip mall dojo, I put my fist through the drywall.

In job interviews, I extemporize on my temperament as if I were a race horse. As long as they let me down easy, I don't care if I don't get a call back. To be listed among the also-rans is enough for me. I'm like a retired greyhound who's too skinny to lie down on hardwood floors. I understand back pain—what I lack is context for my back pain.

I saw a picture of the man with the biggest hands in the world, posing with a basketball. But he doesn't even play basketball. He just holds it for photographs. It's like that guy who says he's crazy about football, only he never watches the games, doesn't know the rules, it just pops into his mind every once in a while.