After surviving a weekend in steamy New Orleans, I’ve reached the halfway point in my quest to play golf in all 50 states. Fortunately, in the 5 years or so I’ve been doing this, I’ve remained healthy, employed and the country hasn’t added any new states to the Union.
But what if something had happened, or will happen, and 25 is all I get? I mean, ice hockey does start up again soon. And that means possible broken bones, hematomas, concussions or even deep lacerations. No wonder the ladies dig us hockey players.
But I must see it through. I’ve come this far, gotta finish. I mean, look at some other things that just wouldn’t have been the same if someone had decided halfway was good enough. I’ve come up with twelve.
12. The United States: The country would look pretty small if we’d stopped after admitting the first 25 states. On June 15, 1836, Arkansas was admitted. That leaves just three states west of the Mississippi River and no West Virginia. Good thing they kept going, we all know the Pacific Coast is way better than the Atlantic.
11. Pete Rose: What if he’d just walked off the field and retired after his 2,128th hit, halfway to his record 4,256? Well, he would’ve actually quit in the 6th inning after a double in the first game of a double header on September 9, 1973. That was only his 11th season, it took him 13 more to rack up the rest. But if he’d stopped there, not only would he not be a major debate over his ban from baseball (since he wouldn’t be Hall of Fame caliber), but he’d rank 216th all-time, one hit ahead of Mike Piazza.
10. Visiting the Moon: Well, Apollo 11’s mission lasted over 8 days and 953,000 miles. That’s with all the orbits and landings and other scientific numbers. If they’d just turned back around after about 120,000 miles, halfway to the moon, we’d never have moon rocks, or a famous Neil Armstrong quote or a flag to look up at.
9. Wayne Gretzky: So you’ve already seen that all-time hits leader Pete Rose would drop 216 spots on the career leaderboard if he stopped halfway. Wayne Gretzky, hockey’s all-time point scorer? He retired with 2,857 points, almost 1,000 more than #2, Mark Messier. What if he’d hung up the skates after his 1,429th point, halfway through the 1986-87 season? Well, amazingly, he did that all before he was traded to the Kings. In just his 8th season! And those 1,429 points would still rank 16th all-time, just behind Teemu Selanne, who took 20 seasons to get his 1,457.
8. Tiger Woods: Well…. he’s kinda already stopped just past halfway to Jack’s record 18 majors. That’s not fair, he’s actually more than 3/4 the way there. Rounding down.
7. God: It took him 6 days to make the universe, and then he rested. But what if he’d kicked up his sandals after the third? The Earth would be spinning around, complete with land and sea, but no sun to light it up, no animals to dot its landscape and no men to hunt the animals. Good thing he decided not to make it a short work week.
6. I’ll finish this later, I got halfway at least.