OVER-RICKIED, OVER-RICKIED, OVER-RICKIED!!!
And Then There Were Two…
7:43 pm Update: Sudden death now. Back to No. 17 for Rickie and Kisner.
Will Sergio or Kisner “Cink” Rickie?
6:55 pm Update: Should Kisner lose in the playoff, he will still get a sweet payday and move from OWGR #123 to approximately #70. So I won’t feel horrible pulling against him. And Sergio, he’s already won this event. So… Go, Rickie!!!
6:50 pm Update: Reminiscent of Turnberry 2009, a big fan favorite is headed for a three-hole playoff.
5:45 pm Update: Sergio Garcia is going to be the least-cheered Spaniard coming in since Seve in 1986.
5:40 pm Update: Rickie Fowler has The Players field against the ropes. In clubhouse with two-stroke lead. Will it hold?
2:00 pm Update: Rory misses a makeable birdie putt, then bogeys the next hole. That does not help the cause one bit…
Yesterday Brandel Chamblee was crediting Tiger Woods and Golf Channel for Justin Thomas’s success at a young age. Today we learn Justin’s father was a PGA pro who was teaching the boy the game at the age of two. That would have been well before any influence of Woods or Golf Channel was even possible. I guess the son of a PGA pro who started playing at age two was doomed until he saw Woods and Golf Channel at some point in his life. “Oh, I need to pump my fist more! That’s been the missing ingredient!” Or, “Oh, I should use a 3-wood to chip from high grass around the green! Thanks, Hank Haney! Now I’m on my way!”
1:25 pm Update: Did announcer “Todd” just say Kevin and his other brother Kevin? I missed Rory’s first two holes. If shot-tracker is accurate, he got one weird birdie on No. 2. I like his pairing; Harman seems like a good match.
11:45 am Update: Woods triples the 14th hole, just in time for fans to head to the range and watch Rory get ready for his tee time an hour from now.
8:50 am Update: The online live stream is up and active. Coverage is of Woods and DJ.
7:30 am Golf Channel’s Propaganda Campaign:
“Even Tiger Woods struggled” — Charlie Rymer, discussing short game challenges at Sawgrass. It was so challenging that even Tiger Woods struggled. Such comments, such shaping words, are part and parcel of the ceaseless propaganda Golf Channel pumps out in an attempt to prop up Woods’s image, to shape the public’s perception of him. The simple truth is Woods isn’t special any more. Those days are long gone, and it’s only going to get worse for him. Reality: “Even Tiger struggled” is being replaced by “only Tiger struggled.” (While I write, John Cook informs the world, “If you take away Woods’s two double bogeys, he shot 70.”)
It wasn’t Rymer’s comment that caused me to write this. It was something I read last night. Joe Posnanski, of Golf Channel, wrote an article, “Why we still care about Tiger Woods.”
That title is straight out of Propaganda 101. “We” rather than “I.” The uncontested declaration of “still caring.” Posnanski presumes to speak for everyone, and that everyone still cares. If you disagree, you are no longer part of “we.” You don’t want to be an outcast, do you?
I read the article, which was just what you would expect it to be. Because it was such obvious propaganda, I thought of Edward Bernays. I decided to send a tweet to Posnanski:
“If Golf Channel mentioned Ben Crane in every other sentence, he’d have big galleries. We’ve all read Bernays.”
Bernays made a science of persuasion, or the manipulation of the public, of consumers. His ideas could be applied in advertising, political campaigns, whatever. Here’s something from Wiki:
He and other publicists were often attacked as propagandists and deceptive manipulators, who represented lobby groups against the public interest and covertly contrived events that secured coverage as news stories, free of charge, for their clients instead of securing attention for them through paid advertisements.
What jumps out me is the use of fake news stories in lieu of paid advertisements. I wonder what value would be placed on the free advertising Golf Channel gives Tiger Woods. “Covertly contrived events that secured coverage as news stories.” Like, oh, I don’t know… the “schedule release” of Tiger Woods a couple of weeks ago. The only event on the list that was even remotely “news” was Greenbrier, and Greenbrier pays Woods an appearance fee, so Golf Channel making a news story out of the schedule release precisely fits “covertly contrived events that secured coverage as news stories, free of charge.”
What price could be put on the “news coverage” Golf Channel provides for Woods which serves as free-of-charge advertising? How much money would a Jimmy Walker have to pay Golf Channel in order for them to start saying, “That shot is hard even for Jimmy Walker.” To write articles like, “Why We All Still Care About Jimmy Walker.” To surround mentions of Walker with “buzz” and “moves the needle.” To point out galleries cheer when he makes putts. If the golf media did that, do you think Jimmy Walker would attract more attention and get some mind-boggling sponsorship deals?
If you think of Golf Channel as the provider of free advertising for Tiger Woods — perhaps they see it as a trade for access to Woods, or some other quid pro quo situation — you can see why they ignore or cover up the negatives about Woods, why they won’t touch the Galea and Biogenesis stuff. If Senator Crook hires you to handle his public relations, you are certainly not going to report his shady business dealings or his DUIs. (Another example: Dan Olsen’s comments about Woods, PEDs, and a suspension were ignored until the coordinated, concurrent press releases of denial from the PGA Tour and Steinberg. At that point, Golf Channel interrupted their regular programming to break “the news.”)
When Woods was the game’s best player and a consistent contender, Golf Channel could get away with it. Now that Woods is duck-hooking drives and duffing chips, they just look silly and corrupt.