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Pine Grove champion no match for Wizard of Oz troll

Sweet(s) Talk

Dickinson County residents Jim Markell (left) and Paul Bujold (right) stand beside former Iron Mountain resident Brian Bongi, at Grand Canyon University Golf Course in Phoenix, Arizona on Feb 1. (Kristie Markell photo)

Sweet(s) Talk …

Some area golf news, of course that took place in warm climates away from this region. A couple of former area golf course club champions got together in Arizona a few weeks ago. Kiwanis Ski Club treasurer Paul Bujold joined Jim and Kristie Markell on a trip to Phoenix, Arizona, to visit former Iron Mountain resident and Mountaineer fanatic Brian Bongi. They of course went to Bongi’s favorite Phoenix golf course and hit the links: Grand Canyon University Golf Course. In a recent phone conversation with Bongi, I discovered that the former Oak Crest Club champion defeated both Markell and Bujold in a round of golf. Bongi wanted to be sure that everyone back in our area knew that he beat Markell by two strokes and beat Bujold by 100 strokes.

“A 4-foot-2 Wizard of Oz troll that had two kidney transplants, skin cancer and a heart attack beat the Pine Grove Club champion,” he said.

I see Bongi didn’t leave his sense of humor here in Iron Mountain when he moved out west. …

Speaking of out west and Brian “Mr. Cub” Bongi, he also reported that in a recent round of golf with his 12-year-old granddaughter, Lilee Payne, she got her first hole-in-one. She accomplished the feat with Bongi by her side, at Grand Canyon University Golf Course, on a 140-yard Par 3 and used a three wood. I also received an unconfirmed report that Bongi and Miss Payne won a recent golf tournament together. …

Staying on the topic of “Mr. Cub” Mountaineer fanatics with the last name of Bongi, Brian’s much older brother and East Vulcan resident, Dick — don’t call him a Packers fan — Bongi a few months ago told me that “you’re way off on this one” when I constructively pointed out that in my opinion Chicago Cubs shortstop Javier Baez isn’t the best shortstop in the National League, let alone MLB as a whole. I said I felt at the time that Baez was a top five overall shortstop in MLB. Well, of course, like all other nauseating-type Cubs fans who feel the sun rises and sets on the Northside of Chicago during the baseball season, Dick Bongi feels that every Cubs player at every position are the best player in the NL, or in some cases MLB, simply because they play for the Cubs. And especially if the player(s) were on the Cubs roster in 2016 when the team won its first World Series in over 100 years. To start with, 2016 was five years ago, and the Cubs haven’t won a playoff game since 2017. Dick told me to reference the MLB.com rankings for context during our conversation. For sake of moving along with this topic, I’ll say that MLB.com foiled Dick’s plan because Baez wasn’t ranked No. 1 by MLB at that time and isn’t now. In fact, prior to spring training beginning, MLB.com put out a list of its Top 100 players in baseball, regardless of position. Ten shortstops were ranked ahead of Baez on the list. I guess that there in fact was a No. 1 for Baez ranking — two 1’s next to another, No. 11. So I have to say, you’re right Dick, I am way off on this one. …

A couple of tidbits I found on social media …

… A quote from Carney-Nadeau athletic director and Hall of Fame basketball coach Paul Polfus (the late Raymond Bray dubbed Polfus the “Facebook Philosopher”): “Being critical of others is really not that hard. If you want to find flaws in another person or what they do, you can find it. In many ways, being critical of others is a self comment on your own life. We think we make the picture hang straight on our wall by telling our neighbors that all his pictures are crooked.” Interesting perspective. … Another interesting but incredibly funny perspective came from this analogy: “People shouldn’t say any kid is too old to believe in Santa Claus; there are grown adults who believe that Jim Harbaugh is capable of beating Ohio State and that Michigan is still a ‘Football School.'” Sorry, Michigan fans, I couldn’t resist. …

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