Beached wail

Stop the Presses column by Chris Graham

I don’t know why I ever left.

“I’m not leaving. Ever. I mean it,” I said to no one in particular, sipping a strawberry daiquiri on the beach.

It was … a revelation.

“I could do this forever, literally,” I said, again to no one in particular.

In my one hand was the daiquiri. In the other was a book, my second of the week.

I had just gotten done with a 20-mile bike ride to the main strip at Virginia Beach.

And I was about to pig out, literally, on a heaping plate of pork barbecue at a restaurant 50 feet from the condo my wife and I were staying in.

“This is how life is supposed to be.”

For the record, I wasn’t talking with the missus about this because she was back in the condo taking a nap.

This is what you call takin’ it easy, ladies and germs.

“What do you mean, you want another cowboy hat?” she had asked me the night before.

While I was shopping for my second cowboy hat of the vacation trip.

All my life, I had gone ohfer on cowboy hats – and now suddenly, I couldn’t get enough of them.

“I need an orange one. To wear to football games,” I explained.

The logic made sense at the time.

As did the logic of playing 54 holes of miniature golf one evening – before spending a couple of hours at an arcade playing air hockey and a football game that tests one’s ability to throw the ball through an array of targets.

“I could get up in the morning,” I laid out the plan for our future as we watched the sun set, daiquiris again in hand, “take the dog for a walk, come back, get my laptop, write here on the beach, of course breaking for lunch, then call it quits around six, and …”

You can tell that I gave this a lot of thought, can’t you?

Oh, yes – this is the plan.

Take over the media world, publish 10 bestsellers, maybe make a run at the White House, then retire at 50 and live the good life.

It’s going to be a busy next 16 years – but it’s going to happen.

UVA Basketball Fans!

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Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25. The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe, and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018 through to the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

Dick Vitale on Team of Destiny: “This is a hoops story you will LOVE! Jerry and Chris capture the sensational and dramatic championship journey by Tony Bennett and his tenacious Cavalier team. UVA was Awesome Baby and so is this book!”

Ralph Sampson on Team of Destiny: “Jerry and Chris have lived and seen it all, even before my time. I highly recommend this book to every basketball fan across the globe. This story translates to all who know defeat and how to overcome it!”

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