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Silverman: We could all use a mulligan in 2022

Like golf, life is full of highs and lows. From politics to climate change and criminal justice, we could all use another chance

Last year was abysmal. That’s no way to start a decade. We need a mulligan.

First tee anxiety has been felt by many golfers. Bets have been set, trash has been talked, the next group is watching and so are the pros from the pro shop window. Maybe you were late and had no warm-up. Perhaps your smart phone is vibrating in your front pocket.

Your balance is off. The fairway looks as narrow as your driveway. Your first shot goes way astray. Perhaps a severely shoved slice or an ugly duckling hook. You’re unlikely to find that brand-new Titleist you just besmirched. Bad feelings abound. And now, you must swing again. 

Craig Silverman

But wait. An angelic playing partner tosses you a Callaway and loudly announces, “Hit another. We agreed to a breakfast ball before you arrived.” What a reprieve.

You put that second ball on the peg and stripe it 300 yards, showing your true capacities. A nice neighbor kid runs out to return your Titleist 2. You tip her a lucky two-dollar bill and go on to shoot your best round ever. All you needed was a second chance.

Golf is full of peaks and valleys. So is life. Good fortune and bad luck are supposed to balance out. Mulligans tip the balance in our favor. Second chances are the best. Expect a year with so many “2’s” to bring second chances galore.

Many legitimate excuses justify mulligans post-2021. Trump’s insurrection startled us. Our smart phones distracted us. We were isolated. We thought COVID was over, and it wasn’t. We suffer anxiety.

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Last year started bad and ended worse, especially in Denver/Boulder/Lakewood/Aurora. We’ve lost our balance. Too many people shot. Our world is on fire. Literally. 

Our delayed first snow came a cruel day late as 2021 ended. Perhaps that sweet snow in 2022 will be a harbinger of new life and luck breaks. Changes must be made. We need refreshing.

Old names and labels sometimes need discarding. Erase the past if you can. Goodbye Facebook. Hello Meta. Good riddance 2021. Nice to see you 2022. 

Consider apparently successful second chance tactics employed by Mark Zuckerberg, a right-wing Colorado slush fund, a terrible Texas trucking company and the despised NFL Raiders. Simply change your name, and act like nothing wrong has occurred.

Zuckerberg keeps hacking with his profit-centered algorithms, confident nobody’s paying attention because we’re all distracted by the social media vibrating in our pockets. And he’s correct. Meta is too close to MAGA for me. Yet many still use Zuck’s products. Expect stock value to rise in 2022, as it did in 2021, and the two years prior.

The Colorado Sun shined light on Unite for Colorado, a dark money political slush fund benefiting every Republican band-waggoneer willing to sell out to Trump. When caught flagrantly violating rules, these rich Republicans declared their usual mulligan, morphing from Unite for Colorado to a new organization named Advance Colorado Action.     

Consider similar sidestepping name-change mulligans in the profit-centered trucking industry. Castellano 03 Trucking unleashed its poorly maintained Texas big rig on the poor people backed up on I-70 above Denver. Four people were killed. How does the trucking company survive? 

Thanks to 9News, we learned the trucking company simply closed shop, waited a bit, and opened with a new name and the same crappy trucks. The new name is Volt Trucking. How revolting. 

2021 was crazy bad for the Raiders in their multiple mulligan municipality of Las Vegas. Their once-respected head coach and star receiver disgraced themselves and exited. Even the great John Madden was done with the Raiders in 2021. 

But 2022 dawned anew. On its second day, the Raiders broke a 20-20 tie with two seconds to go and now seem playoffs bound. Sin City has been the last stop for many seeking second chances. Sometimes, deuces are wild, and you’re dealt a handful of twos. 

Gov. Jared Polis made his own bad luck as 2021 ended with his reckless reprieve for Rogel Aguilera-Mederos. Now, he must sweat the rest of the story, as prosecutors and victims explain what really happened. What fun Advance Colorado Action will have with this unforced error, intervening in an international cause célèbre.

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Perhaps Polis’ imperious move can be sold as a cost-cutting measure. Colorado saves penitentiary expenses and can eliminate those pesky expensive trials. We may not need prosecutors or judges anymore. Social media and Kim Kardashian-West can decide criminal justice matters henceforth. And for free. She’s rich.

Perhaps our Colorado Judicial Branch, which endured a calamitous 2021, could change its name to the Kardashian Justice System. Colorado would get copious clicks on social media. Didn’t a Kardashian participate in a famous California double homicide trial? How’d that work out? 

The Juice is fully loose again in 2022. He’s king of second chances. Simpson’s now free to search for killers on golf courses everywhere. If OJ gets mulligans, why can’t we?

“Every moment of your life is a second chance,” wrote wise golfing philosopher Rick Price. May we be blessed with many mulligans in 2022.


Craig Silverman is a former Denver chief deputy DA who also has worked in the media for decades. Craig is columnist at large for The Colorado Sun. He practices law at the Denver law firm of Springer & Steinberg, P.C. and is host of The Craig Silverman Show podcast.


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