13 March 2010
As I continued my efforts to make my post-college life as collegiate as possible, I found myself living in a house with other like-minded folks right around the time that The Sopranos debuted on HBO. Johnny and I shared the top apartment, which was little more than a flophouse for our 20-something exploits in the restaurant/bar scene in Providence. I worked at the newspaper and tended bar at his restaurant on the weekends. Good times were had. Hangovers were the norm.
But Sundays were sacred.
There was a little BBQ place on Hope Street called The Pitmaster. Pretty stupid name, but the guy lived up to it. On Sunday's we'd get a few racks and sides and watch this new show on HBO about a guy named Tony and the ducks in his Jersey swimming pool. If you were not on board with The Sopranos from the beginning it's hard to explain how magical that first season was to watch. Especially the pilot episode. Pilot episodes typically suck. A new show needs time to grow and develop. Not so here. The pilot was phenomenal.
So were the ribs.
After The Sopranos there was golf. Sega golf. John and his brother, Phil, are both fine golfers. Me, not so much. But we were equals on the Sega and equally enamored with this excellent game.
Even now that the Wii Motion Plus makes it easier to pretend you're actually golfing and EA's Tiger Woods series boasts near photo-realism, this old school golf game holds up well. It's is easy to pick up and play and sophisticated enough to be a challenge. I still own it and I still play it. The game represents a style of play that was fun first and realistic second. With no analog stick or motion controls, it relied on a time-tested button press mechanic for the swing and simple grids and gauges for the greens. It was much more accessible than today's golf games - save for maybe Wii golf - and, like the Pitmaster and The Sopranos, it's days are over.
By Victor Paul Alvarez