Tiger Woods has nothing on me.
Above: Alan Muskovitz edges in for an interview with Tiger Woods in 2004.
I just finished enjoying two events on television that involved participants desperate for big victories — and it didn’t involve politics
I spent the afternoon of Sept. 23 watching the dramatic finish to Tiger Woods’ win in the PGA Tour Championship, his first victory in more than five years. And I followed that by watching the Lions’ stunning nationally televised win over the five-time Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.
After seven hours of watching televised sports, I was more than your run-of-the-mill couch potato; I actually starting growing sprouts.
I probably derive more satisfaction from watching athletes perform at the highest level, having been a four-star athlete in my own right.
As a member of Southfield’s Mary Thompson Junior High School varsity basketball team in the late 1960s, I scored 14 consecutive points in one game on seven straight lay-ups against Cranbrook. How did I pull off this amazing athletic feat? Cranbrook forgot to assign someone to defend me. It’s the truth.
If memory serves me, I seem to recall that we defeated Cranbrook 48-2. And one of my teammates accounted for Cranbrook’s two points! After making a steal on the ball, he got spun around and drove the length of the court and scored on the wrong basket.
On a side note, I dreamed of being the greatest fullback in Mary Thompson football history. But during one practice, I got hit in the groin and quit the team.
In 1978, while the New York Yankees were on their way to winning back-to-back World Series, a scrappy 23-year-old pitcher by the name of Alan “Musky” Muskovitz was helping his team with the Southfield Parks & Recreation Men’s Residential B Softball championship for Drakeshire Lanes.
Legend has it that after we won that championship, my teammates and I walked into a cornfield and disappeared.
In June 2003, I stunned the golfing world by breaking 100 at Oakland Hills Country Club on my very first attempt at playing the fabled golf links. I carded a 98 that day that included no mulligans or kicking balls away from behind trees.
How did a duffer like me make his way onto that course in the first place? It just so happens that during a comedy bit on the Dick Purtan Show, a character I portrayed pretended to be a member of Oakland Hills but was in trouble for not paying his dues. The next thing I knew, the president of the club, Bob Gigliotti, called me at the radio station and invited me to play for real. What a thrill.
Bob is a great guy who went on to become chairman of the prestigious Ryder Cup played at Oakland Hills in September 2004. That friendship led to my getting media credentials for the event, where I had the chance to interview Tiger Woods.
Actually, I didn’t end up asking Tiger a question. Instead I shared with him that I shot a 98 at the club and warned him the rough was really thick. He respectfully acknowledged my accomplishment and that ended our seven-second interview.
I’m writing this column almost 14 years to the day that Team USA lost to the Europeans at Oakland Hills. Here’s hoping we were victorious at last weekend’s Ryder Cup in Paris.
I previously mentioned that I was a four-star athlete. Unfortunately, space doesn’t allow me to share what is probably my proudest athletic endeavor — winning a pie-eating contest at Camp Tanuga in 1965.
Alan Muskovitz is a writer, voice-over/acting talent, speaker, emcee and an occasional guest host on the Mitch Albom Show on WJR AM 760. Visit his website at laughwithbigal.com and “Like” Al on Facebook.