While reading the latest issue of Sports Illustrated, I came across an article that seemed to mock some of the sports feats the former North Korean leader had supposedly accomplished during his lifetime.
Given North Korea is a very secretive country, I dare say most outsiders have little to no idea what really goes on inside those borders. They might very well do things a whole lot differently over there than what some of us have come to regard as the norm. This might also include the world of sports.
According to their Ministry of Information, which I think in this country is called CNN, or maybe ESPNews, Kim shot 38 under par, including 11 holes in one, the first time he played a round of golf. That had to be outrageous propaganda that only a fool would believe, you say? Not so fast.
We think of a a round of golf being 18 holes, with such holes ranging from 100+ to 500+ yards. There's par 3s, par 4s, and par 5s. Maybe in North Korea, a round of golf consists of 36 holes, on a putt-putt course, with tee to hole distances ranging from 1 to 3 feet. And they're ALL par 5s. So it could have happened.
The first time he went bowling yielded a 300 game? Don't laugh. It's possible. Depends how they play the game. It was never claimed he actually used a bowling ball. Think of a set of barbells, with the weights the same distance apart as the gutters on a bowling alley. Give the bar a good kick to get it rolling, and presto, all the pins will fall down -- every time. For the life of me, I can't imagine what their equivalent of a "ball return" would look like, though. That would be quite a piece of machinery. Then again, maybe they had a general in charge of just simply rolling it back to the foul line.
Kim talked on an invisible cell phone, that he himself had invented? Only thing I can figure is he must have been the same guy that invented my remote control, because that sucker has a way of disappearing once in a while too, for no apparent reason. Abracadabra -- now you see it -- and now you don't. It's magic -- or something.
Maybe SI didn't look deep enough into what may have actually happened. Besides, who are we to poke fun at such a guy?
Some of us still believe Mickey Mantle once hit a baseball 585 feet. Modern day players are stronger, have custom-made bats, and the balls themselves are allegedly "juiced". Yet even muscle bound guys like Bonds, McGwire, and Canseco, juiced or not, ever hit one anywhere NEAR that far. 450 is considered a "monster shot", and that's a long ways from 585.
Remember the late Wilt Chamberlain's claim of "having his way" with over 20,000 women? Many people bought into that. Assuming he was "hard at it" from being a teenager until the day he died -- do the math. Yearly, monthly, weekly, daily, whatever, and you might find something very difficult to believe about that.
Throw in Al Gore inventing the Internet, the late Michael Jackson's miraculous mid-life physical transformation being an act of God, and some of the Detroit Lions' faithful already booking air fare and motels for the next Super Bowl in Indianapolis, fully expecting their team to be participating -- and it seems some people will believe just about anything.
Me? I'm sticking with sure things. Kim Jong-il is dead. A guy named Paul Kampe (the on-line coordinator for this newspaper) will groan when he reads this. We'll be seeing reruns of Tiger Woods highlights whether or not he actually plays in the next televised golf tournament. Jerry Sandusky has an image problem. Copying Charles Barkley's golf swing will never be recommended by a club pro giving lessons. Lebron and Kobe will get more media coverage than the entire NHL combined. Soccer will not displace the NFL as the predominant professional sport in America next year. New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan will still be fat tomorrow. Someone named Kardashian will be in the news again soon. The next caveman commercial is in the works. (Whatever happened to that duck anyway? Was that his dinner a while back?)
After consulting with experts, there can be only one logical course of action. I'm cashing in all my assets to invest in a can't miss venture. Thousands of copies of Regis and Joy's Greatest Hits CD. Surely, they will be worth a fortune someday. The only thing better than that would have been if Shaq was singing back-up vocals. Had THAT happened, that recording might well have gone quadruple platinum virtually overnight. They wouldn't be able to make them fast enough to keep up with demand.
Yes, but Kim was a sawed-off little runt with goofy looking hair that absolutely dominated his country's airwaves for what seemed like forever, you say? Before you laugh too hard -- reread the paragraph above. It can not only HAPPEN in America -- it DID.
And here we thought the North Koreans were silly. Turns out -- it just might be us. Or at least me.