Tuesday Thoughts

12:45 pm  Just Sayin:  The Greenbrier Classic (with Tiger Woods) pulled a 2.5 Nielsen on Sunday.  The John Deere (with Jordan Spieth) pulled a 2.8 Nielsen on Sunday.  As for golf “dying”:

Jordan Spieth‘s playoff victory was the tenth final round telecast this season to hit a multi-year high in the overnights, and the third straight.

Including majors and WGC events, 14 of the past 18 Sunday PGA Tour telecasts have now had an increase in overnight ratings — with this week’s 133% jump easily the highest of the season. Overall, 29 of the past 36 weekend PGA telecasts have had increases.

10:15 am  Update  The comments section is going a bit political this morning, so I thought I’d ask these questions…  [First, a disclaimer:  I don’t like Donald Trump at all; my problems with him go back to the early 90’s and his “financial engineering” which caught on and ultimately contributed mightily to Financial Crisis of 2007-2008.]

If Donald Trump had sent text messages to a woman saying he could not wait to choke and slap her, would the media have destroyed him?

If Donald Trump had bought stock options (very short term stock options) in two stocks just prior to huge jumps and been investigated by the FBI, would the media have destroyed him?

From the Aberdeen Press and Journal: IN PICTURES: Is Jordan Spieth the coolest man in sport?  Photos of Spieth rolling on the green and laughing.  The Brits aren’t clinging to Tiger Woods.  Also, I’ve noticed Rory McIlroy not being at St. Andrews is a bigger story than Woods being there.  I think that’s true of the American golf media, too.  The times they done changed.

7:20 am  Is there anything any stupider than Golf Channel showing footage of putts when their scroll obscures both the ball and hole?  You might as well be watching a damned mime.

5:30 am Just saw the end of Woods’s presser on Golf Channel.  Not sure if it was live or a replay.  It’s interesting how much better the questions are than at the American events, where the U.S. reporters walk on eggshells, afraid they’ll offend him.  The answers were better, too, because Woods knew he couldn’t get away with snarky three-word answers.  He gave a reasonably lengthy and serious response to a question about retirement, for example.  It must have been live because the Morning Drive crew is now telling us how Woods’s presser was the best thing since sliced bread.  And pretty much everything Woods said is being interpreted as “a good sign” of something or other.

John Cook just offered up that “we might see the old Tiger Woods.”  Gary Williams said that Woods’s short game showed he was “emboldened.”  Nobilo tells us Woods is “was No. 1 only fourteen months ago.”

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15 Responses to Tuesday Thoughts

  1. Anonymous says:

    Yes I think we will see the “old Tiger ” in the Heather and Gorth just like he used to be.

  2. Ken says:

    Jordan is a cool guy. The Tiger worshipers will say that he’s boring. They’re blinded by this weird loyalty. It’s like the white guilt that got a totally unqualified Obama elected; Woods is still the cool black guy to these people, regardless of what an ass he is. These are people who think they are liberal and enlightened, being fans of a black player, when they are in fact separating and objectifying him based on race.

    Spieth has that natural, innate charisma. The kind of guy that you want to be like or want to be friends with. What a refreshing thing for golf. Yeah Woods was a great player (though probably PED-assisted) but was never a likable character, never the kind of person you’d want your son to be.

    Golf Week has a stupid article this week. The gist is that the hype is building around Spieth but it’s nothing like the Grand Slam hype around Woods in 2002. “Don’t even compare it,” according to them. Their reasoning is that in 2002, Woods was so dominant, much more so than Spieth has been so far, that he was THE story in golf when he was going for three majors in a row. What, Spieth isn’t THE story now? Even if Rory was healthy, Spieth would be THE story as he would still hold the first two major titles of the year. They neatly overlook the fact that Spieth is doing this at 21 and hasn’t been around long enough to have accumulated the dominant numbers that Woods had at 26.

    • lannyh says:

      Great post. That’s the kind of nuanced analysis of the Tiger Woods Era the golf media avoids at all costs.

      I’ll have to go read that article. There’s always been a large dose of the political in the coverage of Woods’s career, that’s for sure. I don’t think any serious person would deny, had Woods been white and Spieth black, that Spieth would be on the cover of every magazine, the front page of every newspaper, and be the lead story on every newscast. You’d be hearing about how he’s the youngest ever to win the Masters and US Open in the same year. How he won as a teenager. As it is, the media seems to look only for stats where he is second to Woods. And not second to Hogan or Nicklaus or Hagen, only to Woods. They avoid all Jordan’s “first to do’s” like the plague.

      I don’t think it’s all political, though. It’s financial, too. Woods was “different” and “new,” so they used that to market him. And they just won’t let go once they achieve name recognition. Michelle Wie is “still the biggest story in women’s golf” according to Golf Channel.

      Where they lost me was when the media- and IMG-created image was shown to be bogus, they kept trying to foist Woods on us. They tried to act like the scandals never happened. They ignored that his popularity went from the top to the bottom. Not just ignored it, but denied it.

      Regarding Obama, my views are quite a bit different. Most people are so entrenched in their party affiliations, they vote for party regardless of the nominee. And I think anyone feeling “white guilt” (1. Not sure I buy into that concept, anyway. 2. I wish more people DID change their behavior due to guilt!) would already be voting Dem. However, I do agree with your point about people who boost their ego by feeling “liberal and enlightened.” (Even though, as you pointed out, those people usually wind up being condescending — and thereby insulting.)

    • lannyh says:

      Just read the Golf Week article. I can tell you another difference between then and now. Back then, all the writers painted Woods as a sui generis uber golfer Greatest of All Time Without a Doubt. Now, with Spieth doing all this at freaking age 21, they write that Spieth is a pretty fair golfer, but what about that T-32 Tiger got at Greenbrier!!

      • Ken says:

        I always found Woods’ personality to be so repellent that I may have just tuned out any 2002 hype. I’ve always tended to avert my eyes when he’s winning. But I’ve always been a golf fan so I find it hard to believe that I wouldn’t notice. But whatever hype there was around him in 2002 was lost on me. Maybe it just didn’t stand out compared to all the usual hype around everything he did, like eating breakfast or walking down the street. Or possibly Woods winning majors much to my annoyance had become old hat by then so the possibility of another, even on the way to a Grand Slam, didn’t register.

        There isn’t enough publicity around Spieth in the American general sports media. But in the golf-exclusive media, especially foreign, he’s starting to get his due.

      • lannyh says:

        I don’t remember any particular hype that year, either. It was just more of the same ceaseless hype, as best I recall.

        Of course, if they had made a big deal out of it, it would have lessened the already-in-the-bag “Tiger Slam.” And I believe Woods went on record as saying he considered THAT to be a Grand Slam.

  3. Sports-realist2 says:

    What if Spieth were black? Seriously, how would the media be treating this right now, with a black Spieth going for 3 in a row?
    The golf channel is just SO uninteresting to me……I just don’t watch any of their coverage until around Friday or Saturday..
    This is ofcourse the easiest major you can possibly play…..IMO, the scores will all be inflated, and the AVERAGE scores will end up being around -10 under par for the week…..
    I did hear them say the course is GREENER than it has been, and hence playing slower……We’ll see…..

    • Ken says:

      Depends on weather. High winds and rain are the only thing that makes St. Andrews a challenge.

      I’d love to play there. I respect the history. But the new equipment makes that course obsolete. Dustin Johnson can walk around with a driver, wedge, and putter. This is a major? I play shorter courses around here for which I need only a driver and a wedge; it’s boring golf.

      Carnoustie and Muirfield are the British Opens that I enjoy, off the top of my head. Carnoustie can be made particularly nasty and fun to watch. St. Andrews in calm conditions is boring. Royal Liverpool is a joke.

      • lannyh says:

        Golf Channel had a little discussion about that topic a little while ago. How can they talk about the matter and not once mention the need to roll back the equipment? Couldn’t have anything to do with their primary advertisers, could it?

        Can you imagine baseball allowing new “distance” balls and bats? Scores would be 200-195, games taking fourteen hours, and stadiums torn down and built twice the size. The thought is ludicrous, but that’s what golf has been doing.

    • lannyh says:

      If Woods has been white and Spieth black, the obsession would have been on Spieth. Spieth, with so much success so young, would be in the process of “revolutionizing the game.” I’m not saying that to be mean or snarky or anything. It’s just the way things are these days.

      Like I just wrote elsewhere, it’s not all political, though. There are also financial reasons. They go after “conflict” and “personalities” in the news business; it keeps people coming back. And bringing up race is the lazy man’s way of creating instant conflict.

  4. Sports-realist2 says:

    In regards to the ‘ratings’ stuff…I saw a post on a CBS article that stated: I’ve gone back to watching golf again thanks to Spieth…….The fair weather fans will ALWAYS be there, just waiting for there next hero to show up…..

  5. Bird says:

    The choir sounds beautiful today, boys.
    Re baseball, there’s been evidence of juiced balls as well as juiced players.

    Re The Old Course extra greenery this year, Shackleford on GC last night poo-poo’d Tiger’s softness claims.

    • lannyh says:

      I just read the baseball article. Interesting. That was apparently an anomalous period of time, and things are now back to “normal.” At least it never got to the point where the ball parks were having to move back the batter’s boxes!

  6. Gillette says:

    Someone needs to give Jordan a razor.

    And rolling around on the green? Learn you some etiquette young man!

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