June 11, 2012

Cheers and Jeers: June 11, 2012

CHEERS to the construction crews who worked the night shift to get Route 3 in Plattsburgh repaved. Imagine the challenge: Pave Clinton County’s busiest road, the one that is lined with shopping centers, restaurants and businesses. A daunting idea right from the start. But the New York State Department of Transportation set it up as a night job and contracted with Peckham Road Corp., and the work moved swiftly and efficiently. The crews did the paving and road markings under lights from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., with the long stretch between Route 22B and the City of Plattsburgh being completed in just about five days. There was little disruption to drivers or the many businesses lining that route. Remarkable — though, of course, it will leave some people wondering why every road-paving job can’t be done that fast.

JEERS to professional golfers, who are so pampered on the tour that they are distracted from their swing or stroke by the least influence from the crowd. They must run to the refuge of tour officials to invoke absolute quiet from the galleries that make the players’ enormous prize money possible. The great Phil Mickelson is the latest to fall victim to what he characterized as the intolerable annoyance of telephone cameras going off while he was putting. He withdrew from a tournament over it. Is he kidding? Has he ever attended a basketball game, where, with a game and perhaps a championship on the line a player must step to the foul line to consummate a foul shot with opponents’ fans shouting taunts and windmilling signs in the stands behind the baseline? Does he seriously believe it takes any greater skill or concentration to withstand a camera click over a putt than that ruckus while needing the point to tie or win the basketball game? Or how about a batter standing in against a fireballer who unleashes a baseball, coming within an inch or so of his head at 100 mph? Does that perilous situation require less concentration? Pro golfers are so protected by the Professional Golf Association tour and by custom and culture that it’s outside their conception to function in a normal sports — or social — environment. Put these guys in the sneakers or cleats of athletes in other sports and see how they view pressure and concentration. Let the fans click away. This is 21st Century America — not 1930s Scotland.

— If you have a Cheers and Jeers suggestion that you want the Editorial Board to consider, email it to Editor Lois Clermont at 

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