One player described the use of smokeless tobacco, which is basically either chewing tobacco or snuff, as a form of male bonding, with friends passing around a tin on the range or putting green or tee.
“It’s more of a male camaraderie thing than anything else,” the player said.
He did not want to be identified because his father is a dentist, whose practice presumably includes patients with gum disease and discoloration of the teeth and tongue, all telltale signs of smokeless tobacco use.
Bruce W. Adkins, the director of the division of tobacco prevention of the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health in , W.Va., said research was incontrovertible: Friends should not let friends use smokeless tobacco.
“These guys are looking to improve any way they can,” Adkins said. “So they’ll say, ‘Let me see if it works for me’ and then they’re hooked.”
Smokeless tobacco became a taboo subject when evidence mounted that it caused an increased risk of developing oral, esophageal and pancreatic cancers.
A half-dozen players and Tour officials admitted to using it and were willing to talk about it as long as their names were not used for reasons as varied as embarrassment and their wives’ lack of knowledge.
One player whose spouse and two children know about his habit and are none too pleased is Brian Gay. A four-time tour winner from , Gay said, “My wife and daughters are on me all the time.”
Gay, 42, who played golf at , was a regular user in college. “Unbelievably, I actually quit for six months after college,” he said.
So why did he go back to putting a pinch between his cheek and gum?
“I was still hanging out with guys who do,” Gay said, “and the next thing I know they’re asking me, ‘Hey, want a dip?’ ”
Gay said he also felt awful when he was not using.
Stanton Glantz, a professor at the and the director of its Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, was not surprised. He likened the brain and nervous system of a person using smokeless tobacco to a stereo system with the volume turned up too loud. The acts like pillows over the speakers. When the person stops using smokeless tobacco, it is akin to taking the pillows away. The volume becomes unbearably loud.
“It causes anxiety,” Glantz said, “and that helps explain why these guys are compulsive users.”
The nicotine in the smokeless tobacco elevates the heart rate and . Gay does not dispute that. In fact, for those reasons he described it as “bad for you performance-wise.”
He added: “I had somebody put it in my head that you can’t be in the zone if you chew. I still do it, but I’m more aware I’m doing it. I do chew less than I used to. I probably chew more off the course than on it.”
On Thursday, during the first round of the Wells Fargo Championship, Gay put a plug of tobacco in his mouth on the first hole and spit it out, discreetly, on the second.
“And then I went nine holes without a plug,” he said. “So I went two hours without it. Off the course, that would never happen.”
Appearances matter on the tour, which markets its athletes as role models, which is why the players who do use tobacco products generally take pains to be discreet.
Gay said people in his gallery rarely seemed to notice his habit.
“Once in a blue moon someone will yell out, ‘Can I have a chew?’ ” he said.
Gay added: “If I know I’m on the television camera, I’ll be more conscious of doing it. And if I’m going along nicely, I might not use it.”
Adkins is skeptical about players’ ability to control their nicotine intake.
“One of the things that we know from lots of research is smokeless tobacco products are high in nicotine,” he said. “If you keep on average a pinch in your mouth for 30 minutes, you’re getting an equivalent amount of nicotine to smoking four or five cigarettes.”
Adkins added: “That’s part of the addiction. Neurologically and physically they think this isn’t hurting me, this isn’t harming me.”
Ángel Cabrera, the first-round leader, followed his opening six-under-par 66 with a 69 Friday to maintain a share of the lead with Martin Flores (67-68). Rory McIlroy, the 2010 champion, made the cut at one over with no strokes to spare.Continue reading the main story
Tyson Chandler, Dallas Mavericks, NBA, Dino Wright
|Chandler succeeding in Dallas. Photo Credit: Matthew Emmons/USA Today Sports|
He has carved out a very successful NBA career so far, but how did Tyson Chandler get to this point? We take a look back at his journey to the NBA.
By: Da’Vince “Dino” Wright
No. 6 – Dallas Mavericks Position: Center
Personal information: Born: October 2, 1982 (age 32)
Home city/state: Hanford, California
Listed height: 7 ft 1 in (2.16 m)
Listed weight: 240 lb (109 kg)
Career information: High school Dominguez (Compton, California)
2001 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2nd overall
Selected by the Los Angeles Clippers
Pro career: 2001–present
2001–2006 Chicago Bulls
2006–2009 New Orleans Hornets
2009–2010 Charlotte Bobcats
2010–2011 Dallas Mavericks
2011–2014 New York Knicks
2014–present - Dallas Mavericks
Tyson Cleotis Chandler (born October 2, 1982) is an American professional basketball center with the Dallas Mavericks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Chandler was the second overall pick of the 2001 NBA draft by the Los Angeles Clippers, and then was immediately traded to the Chicago Bulls.
He has also played for the New Orleans Hornets, Charlotte Bobcats, and New York Knicks. As starting center for Dallas, he played an integral role in the franchise's first NBA championship in 2011. He was also a member of the United States men's national basketball team's gold medal runs in the 2010 FIBA World Championship and the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Chandler was born to Frank Chandler and Vernie Threadgill, though he did not meet his father Frank until later in his life. He grew up in a family farm in Hanford, California, just south of Fresno, California. Chandler began playing basketball at three years old on a basket Chandler's grandfather, Cleotis, fixed on a tree. Chandler grew up doing farm work such as milking cows, sloping pigs, and cultivating crops.
At nine years old, Chandler and his mother moved to San Bernardino, California; he was already nearly six feet tall. As a child, Chandler was teased because of his height; children on his school basketball team joked that he was older than he really was, and that he had been left back several times in school.
Chandler and his family then moved to Compton, California, where he enrolled at Dominguez High School, a school known for its athletics, producing basketball players such as Dennis Johnson and Cedric Ceballos. In his freshman year, Chandler made the varsity team and played with future NBA player Tayshaun Prince (who plays for the Memphis Grizzlies), who was then a senior.
With the Dominguez Dons, Chandler became a teenage sensation; current players such as DeMar DeRozan watched him play and claimed "he was like Shaq". Detroit Pistons guard Brandon Jennings, who was a ball boy for Dominguez at the time, said, "You'd see the girls around Tyson, the Escalade he drove, and you wanted to be like him,"
Chandler earned accolades from Parade Magazine and USA Today, and was selected to the McDonald's High School All-America Team. As a freshman, he was profiled on current affairs TV program 60 Minutes.
In his junior year, Chandler averaged 20 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 blocks. In his senior year, Chandler led Dominguez to a state championship and a 31-4 record, averaging 26 points, 15 boards, and 8 blocks a game. Chandler was recruited by several universities and considered UCLA, Arizona, Syracuse, Memphis, Kentucky and Michigan. Chandler then declared for the 2001 NBA Draft as a prep-to-pro.
Tyson's impact with the Mavericks
The Dallas Mavericks became NBA Champions 2011 with the help from Tyson. While anchoring a stingy defense Tyson made Second Team All NBA averaging 10.1 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks respectively.
After winning the title Tyson tested the free agent market and was signed by the New York Knicks. Dallas began to struggle in the middle at the center/power forward spot. Instantly, Dallas went from a strong defensive team to soft in the middle.
By twist of faith Dallas acquired Tyson in a 5 player trade and he came back. On June 25, 2014, Chandler, along with Raymond Felton, was traded to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for Shane Larkin, Wayne Ellington, José Calderón, Samuel Dalembert, and two second round picks in the 2014 NBA draft.The move reunited Chandler with teammates Dirk Nowitzki, and later J. J. Barea, as well as Coach Rick Carlisle, who were all part of the Mavericks title team in the 2010–11 NBA season. Now, Dallas is an instant contender coming out of the Western Conference this year. “No more easy layups in the middle anymore, we have the enforcer to change shots and rebound!” says Mark Cuban.