Who’s Mr. McGuinty?
So I missed my first flight to Toronto and left a day later getting in at 7:30am on the 4th, just in time to make it over to Chris Pronger’s Celebrity Golf tournament.
Of course, Gord “Andretti” picked me up in his boss Rick Silver’s (of the National Poker Tour in Toronto) white stretch limo that he lets me use when I’m in town.
Gord got me to Lion Head Golf course right on time as usual, but what happened next was a little bizarre. The entrance into the Golf course was blocked off by protestors with picket signs and all.
I had absolutely no clue what was going on, but read signs like:
“McGuinty kills animals”
“Liberals are racist”
“McGuinty should be ashamed” I had absolutely no idea who this McGuinty dude was, but apparently he pissed off a lot of people! The protestors surrounded my limo and started shouting at me through the tinted windows. It finally dawned on me that they must think I’m McGinty! It was straight out of a Seinfeld episode. Gord rolled down his window and was handed some literature. As for me I had no clue what to do. I didn’t want to get beat down or anything, but they just wouldn’t move and the cops did nothing to help. Finally I rolled down my window and said, “Who’s McGuinty? I have no idea what’s going on here guys, I’m not from around here.” Luckily a few of them recognized me and where like, “Hey, you’re the poker guy! Cool, let him through guys.” I went from thinking I was in for a beat down to actually signing a few hats. Once inside I headed to the locker room to prepare. I met Pronger and we talked a little bit about his recent trade to the Edmonton Oilers which he seemed excited about. The team’s made some nice acquisitions and should be decent this year, especially with a monster like Pronger back there on defense. Then I met with the group I’d be playing with. A very cool group to golf with for sure. It was a charity event and every group that paid for the round would play with a celebrity of their choosing. Since a few of these guys were poker players, I became the obvious choice I guess. I forewarned them that I was going to stink it up out there, but they didn’t seem to mind. I gave them all of my best excuses from, “I haven’t played in forever” to “I just flew in this morning.” These guys were good and luckily for me the tournament was a best ball event. My goal was to try and contribute at least 3 shots on the day that they could use. Well, it didn’t take long for shot number one. From 41 feet on the fringe I drained a 41 foot putt that had a serious break. Sweet! That was good for birdie for the team and we were off to the races. By hole number six I knew that I really had my putter working and was feeling confident with it. From about 125 feet I nailed a putt to within one foot! Then Petey walks right up and nails the putt for birdie. I’ll take an assist on that one since I showed him the line. We finished up strong making birdie on 17 and eagle on 18 for a team total of -11. A nice score, but well back of the eventual winners who shot -15. After Golf we had dinner and several people said a few words. Mike “Pinball” Clemens the former running back from the Toronto Argonauts said a prayer before we ate and everyone bowed their heads. I thought that was nice to see considering how taboo that sort of thing has become these days. Then Mario Forgione, the owner of the Hamilton Bulldogs and organizer of the event said thank yous to all of the celebrities in attendance. He actually singled me out and thanked me for making it out there despite all of the problems I had with my flight, etc. I thought that was really nice. The speech that really got to me came right after Mario. A young nine year old boy got up there and delivered a speech that had everyone in tears. He was a paraplegic that obviously had trouble speaking, but did such an awesome job telling about a 10 minute story about himself and how thankful he was for everyone being there to support the various charities that help improve his, and other sick kids