Sunday Semi Live Blog

Playoffs?  I can’t help but be bored by these “playoffs.”  I watched a full slate of NCAA college football games yesterday, and, for teams hoping to win the national championship, every one of their games was basically a “win or go home game.”  Certainly you can’t lose two.   At the end of the year, you’ll have four teams remaining, all of whom had tremendously successful years.  Also, the score on the scoreboard at the playoff games is the score that matters.  There’s no second column on the scoreboard telling you the teams’ FedEx rankings, which will decide who advances.

You watch playoffs to see the cream of the crop.  During the regular season, I follow the players deep into the OWGR rankings.  Some of the best stories are the long shots who win a life-changing tournament.

However, I really don’t want to look at the scoreboard for a “playoff” event and find Charley Hoffman, Brendon de Jonge, Kevin Chappell, Matt Jones, and Sean O’Hair.  None of those guys are in the OWGR top fifty, and three are not even in the top 125.  None have won an event this year.  I’m sorry, but none of them played their way into any “playoffs.”

These playoffs are like punishment for fans.  There is absolutely no sense of urgency.  Jordan Spieth can miss the first three cuts, then win at East Lake and still be crowned champion.

These “playoffs” are not ruined by complexity.  They are ruined by stupidity.

Of course, the problem is the “have your cake and eat it too” mentality of the system.  They want the excitement of postseason playoffs, but they want to rig it so that the “stars” (i.e., Tiger Woods and the anti-Tiger Phil Mickelson — how’s that working out for you, Tim?) are on TV every week.

Any true playoffs must have a win-or-go-home format.  There has to be a butterfly-inducing immediacy.  If you rule out match play, which is, frankly, the heart-and-soul of golf, there should at least be other modifications.  Make a missed cut be the end of the road regardless of your ranking going in.  Or make the playoff tournaments one- or two-day events.

Holy crap, was anything less interesting than the first Thursday of the “playoffs”?  There was little interest — and no hand-wringing — when the OWGR #1 missed the cut in the first tournament of the “playoffs”?

These playoff events are nothing but regular season events played after the majors are over — when the world has moved on to football and U.S. Open tennis.

I’m not wont to feel sorry for megacorps, but I can’t help but feel a little sorry for FedEx investing so much money in this boring gimmick called the “playoffs.”

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14 Responses to Sunday Semi Live Blog

  1. JoseyWales says:

    here ya go Lanny…

    “Day has his first opportunity to get to No. 1 this week. He will get there if he wins and McIlroy finishes worse than solo second and Spieth finishes worse than a two-way tie for second.

    Spieth will return to No. 1 if he ties or finishes ahead of McIlroy and Day doesn’t win.

    McIlroy is assured he will remain No. 1 with a top-three finish as long as Day doesn’t win. The computations for McIlroy keeping the No. 1 ranking are complicated without Day winning. McIlroy can stay atop the rankings with a top 10 finish depending on what Spieth does. For example, if McIlroy finishes solo 10th and Spieth finishes worse than 58th, McIlroy stays No. 1.

    How complicated are the scenarios? Spieth can miss the cut and still move over McIlroy to take back the No. 1 ranking. If Day doesn’t win and McIlroy and Spieth both miss the cut, Spieth goes to No. 1.”

    Got it?

    • lannyh says:

      Well, that’s OWGR. And, to be honest — and, I suppose, rude 🙂 — that is not at all complicated to me.

      And to brag on myself, I’m the first one in the golf media to have brought up Day going to No. 1.

      Last Sunday: “4:20 pm Update: Our statisticians have just informed me that Jason Day would have the chance to become world #1 next week if he closes this out today.”

  2. JoseyWales says:

    the “playoffs” are all about big money…the most compelling golf at the end of the year was always Q-School but they axed it because of weak TV ratings and no money…the “playoffs” are just a way to con big companies like FedEx to pony up big bucks to get their logo in front of golf fans all week, every week of the year…the tv ratings are mediocre but FedEx gets their money’s worth because of 52 week a year exposure…you see the FedEx Cup logo at every tournament all year long…follow the money.

    • lannyh says:

      Yeah, I guess their main return comes from that 52-week “standings” discussion. Maybe even they see the actual events as an anti-climax. I wonder how much they pay; is that public?

      I complain about this stuff a lot, and I come at it from the perspective of a person who loves golf. It’s a great game. There’s a purity to it that is lacking in other sports. You don’t have officials who may or may not call holding or traveling or a foot fault. It’s pretty hard to cheat at golf even if you wanted to.

      On the other hand, you have guys like Finchem who look at golf the way a Hostess Cupcake exec looks at selling cupcakes. He’s not interested in anything other than moving product. The PGA Tour, for crying out loud, was a “non-profit” until… actually, I think it still is. But didn’t Finchem say something about ending that this year?

      If you put yourself in Finchem’s shoes, maybe these decisions of his make sense. In the same way cigarette companies targeting children in third world countries with advertising makes sense. Profits above all else.

      Finchem needs to go, but I don’t see that happening until Woods is in the Hall of Fame. If PED news comes out, Woods will need Finchem to run interference.

  3. benchrat says:

    which sport hasn’t tweaked, changed and often mutilated their own playoff system to some degree or another? to me it’s just sports business as usual for playoff scenarios to make some happy while others suffer. another instance that beauty is really in the eye of the beholder.

    that being said, i absolutely agree with your point regarding no immediacy when players move on in some cases while not playing well or even playing at all. so on one hand, i would like to see some improvements, on the other hand, i can’t help but cringe when i think of the mess nascar has made for themselves in recent years, and if fedex goes that route, i won’t watch a bit of that either.

    • benchrat says:

      p.s. i like charley hoffman. normal guy with a normal name. i seriously doubt he ever thought of using a moniker such as ‘mountain lion’ hoffman.

      • lannyh says:

        Right. I’m not bashing those guys, even though I did single them out. I’m just saying when I look back over 2015 for my “made the playoff” players, Hoffman is not a name which comes to mind.

  4. Sports-realist. says:

    These Fed Ex Cup ‘playoffs’ do have that JUMPING THE SHARK feeling to it……The traditional playoffs, as we see it in most sports are out of the window….One person commented how Nascar’s cup has a similar feeling to it as well….Even the drivers don’t seem to understand it, or so the commentor stated the one driver didn’t know how it worked….

    • benchrat says:

      i’ve heard that a couple of times, but the powers-that-be should perhaps be more concerned whether the fans understand it rather than the participants. i can only imagine the players/drivers have numerous comprehensive tools to learn the appropriate rules of their ‘job’. if they haven’t used those by playoff time, that’s on them no matter how complicated it gets.

    • lannyh says:

      It’s similar to the LPGA’s “fifth major.” Why’s it a “major”? Because they decided to say it was to drum up interest. These are “playoffs” for the same reason.

      Golf has a lot of problems — the mercenary equipment arms race comes immediately to mind — but the lack of a “playoff” system was never one of them.

      • benchrat says:

        right. you just reminded me that i need a new driver. the one i bought last month is obsolete and i get my ass kicked off the tee now.:)

  5. Sports-realist. says:

    What self promoting horse crap for the eldrick woods foundation commercial….

  6. Bird says:

    With Stenson and Fowler 1 – 2, this event will have my interest tomorrow.

  7. Sports-realist. says:

    ……Stenson has been a great Thursday through Saturday player this year….The final round he’s faded……Stenson also played really well today, while Fowler hardly hit a fairway……
    ……Right now the line puts Fowler as almost a 3-1 underdog, which is surprising, considering it’s just one stroke difference…..I like Fowler to win this tomorrow….

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