Thursday Thoughts

Chris interjects, “That’s Tiger-like.”  Yeah?  Except for Woods missed the cut in seven of his first seven PGA Tour events.

The Dinah Shore: Golf Channel is providing plenty of good coverage of the LPGA’s premier event.  Three-and-one-half hours of Morning Drive (7:00 am EDT), then an hour-and-a-half of Pregame (10:30), followed by three hours of Dinah Shore live coverage (noon), three hours of Houston Open live coverage (3:00 pm), then back to the Dinah Shore for three more hours of live coverage (6:00 pm).

Golf Channel Praise:  I criticize Golf Channel a lot because they push an agenda, and they lie and deceive to do it.  They ignore and minimize the accomplishments of many players (past and present) in order to glorify a rather unglorious golfer.  Nothing praiseworthy about that.  My praise is for their live coverage.  I especially like how they shift Morning Drive around to accommodate live coverage of the European Tour events.  Rather than show European events tape-delayed, they’ll move Morning Drive earlier or later, as needed, so we can watch the Euros live.  In these days of online scoreboards, it’s important to viewers to have that live coverage, even if it causes inconvenience to the Morning Drive crew.

And, to speak to the immediate, as detailed above, today’s lineup could not be better.  Extended Morning Drive into Golf Central Pregame into nine hours of live coverage of two tournaments.  With thirty minutes of Golf Central wrapup.  It all adds up to 14-1/2 hours of live television.

Golf Channel Criticism:  The lack of focus on Rory McIlroy in the leadup to the Masters is inexcusable.  I think you could also label it bizarre.  There are so many angles with Rory this year.  He’s going for three majors in a row, which is a huge deal in and of itself.  As well, if he were to win, it would mean he is one major away from the “Tiger Slam,” which the golf media made out to be the most amazing occurrence since the Big Bang.  We all know the American golf media wants to turn everything into a Tiger Woods story, and they could certainly do that with Rory’s major streak, saying things like, “We thought Woods’s feats could not be equaled, but here’s a guy who might do it!”  Whenever Woods had a majors-winning streak going, the golf media damn well made a big deal of it, so it’s odd that they are — there’s no other word for it — ignoring Rory’s two-major win streak.  They used to bitch about “parity,” but now we have an OWGR #1 who is riding a two-major win streak — and they hardly cover him.  In fact, I still hear them refer to the “parity” on the PGA Tour.

Then there is the career grand slam.  Recall what a huge deal they make out of that with Phil Mickelson every year when the U.S. Open rolls around.  That’s because Phil had U.S. Open heartbreaks, you say?  Well, what do you call Rory’s meltdown at the Masters in 2011?  Golf Channel should be all over that.  They should be showing Rory’s post-meltdown press conference over and over and over, mixed in with his redemption at the U.S. Open two months later.  Such a redemption story is the heart and soul of golf.

Particularly ridiculous is what Golf Channel is covering instead of Rory: the 100th version of the “Will Tiger, a total crap player at this point, play or won’t he?”

One More Point on the Matter:  This idea that “Woods playing will be good for Rory because it takes the focus off of him” is TOTAL BULLSHITE.  All it does is take earned attention away from a deserving player and give it to an undeserving player.  They came up with that bullshite narrative in order to justify their Woods obsession and to placate the people who want to see the world #1, two-straight-majors-winning player get his fair share of coverage!  If not covering a player made them perform better, do you think the golf media would obsess over Woods the way they do?  Add the “Tiger playing would help Rory” meme to the long list of Golf Channel lies.  (Rory’s biggest win, the U.S. Open at Congressional, came at a time when every eye was on him.)

Brennen Makes Convincing Case For All Male Golf Media:  Christine Brennen’s latest piece of “journalism” does her fellow femmes a great disservice.  Her article is entitled, “Brennan: Tiger Woods needs to play Masters next week.”  Needs to.  Nagging woman stereotype, anyone?  Of course, the real problem is her focus on a player undeserving of the focus.  Anyway, let her own words condemn her:

Play it because watching you remains one of our favorite pastimes, whether it’s to cheer you on or root for you to finish last. You’re relevant. You still matter to people.

You should learn from your colleagues.  Yesterday your stablemate at USA Today, Mike Foss, told us Woods is no longer good for golf.

More from Brennen:

If Tiger doesn’t show up, the Masters will carry on, of course, but it won’t have the same energy. Rory is young and interesting and going for the career Grand Slam, but he doesn’t come close to moving the needle the way Tiger does.

Yeah, it won’t have the same energy: it will have positive energy instead of negative.

As for “moving the needle,” it is largely the golf media that decides if a needle is going to move.  Maybe if you wrote more about Rory instead of a 39-year-0ld whose post-op is going poorly, well, gee, maybe your needle-moving math would reverse.  I’m no advertising exec, but isn’t the idea to put your product in a favorable light as often as possible?  Gee, think that could work in sports reporting?

So, Christie, baby, stop pumping out the drivel.  Instead, get in the kitchen and make me a sammich, woman!

Chris MissedDiMarco:  Someone points out on Morning Drive that Lydia Ko has not missed a cut in her first 48 LPGA events, including those she played as an amateur.  Chris interjects, “That’s Tiger-like.”  Yeah?  Except for Woods missed the cut in seven of his first seven PGA Tour events.  (Damn, those are Michelle Wie-like numbers there.)  So, other than Lydia starting 7-for-7 and Woods starting 0-for-7, her numbers are very Tiger-like.

Brennen, DiMarco, and Crouse, Oh My! Let’s not shortchange Karen Crouse of the New York Times, who wrote:

Ko has never missed a cut on the L.P.G.A. Tour as an amateur or professional, a Tiger Woods-like streak that reached 48 starts last week at the Kia Classic.

Like I said above, Woods missed seven of his first seven PGA Tour starts.  And Ko, the number one player in the world, is only 17, the age Woods made his PGA Tour debut.  So she has 48 made cuts and has six LPGA wins two or three years earlier than Woods made his first cut.

Do you see, folks, why I am so emphatic in pointing out the ineptitude and bias of the American golf media?

Calm Down, Lanny:  I’m a bit agitated this morning.  I need some calming music.  How about that nice tune Golf Channel has been playing in their Masters promo?

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One Response to Thursday Thoughts

  1. Sports-realist says:

    To mention Rory as a sideline is why the golfchannel can’t be taken seriously….The narrative you point out is well stated….Rory is #1 in the world going for this THIRD major in a row..Let’s count how many times this has happened in PGA history, um not many…..Now perhaps had he won in the last number of weeks, they’d be more excited, BUT, compare how Eldrick was/is treated, even now, when ‘Withdraw-gate’ is the new way to play the game when you suck…. Rory was one of the favorites to win the British and PGA last year….Rory has won wire to wire TWICE in majors….Rory has done enough stupid interviews and silly commercials and is used to the #1 status to NOT be affected by the pressure or whatever…….Ofcourse, Rory could always adopt a child and say he wants to focus more on his family…

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