Tuesday Thoughts

Van Cynical Mailbag: Indications are Ole Lanny will be making his second appearance in Van Cynical’s Mailbag tonight.  The excitement level is high at Lanny H Golf World Headquarters.

Morning Drive:  I turned on Morning Drive this morning just as it started.  Cara, Damon, and Rex Hoggard have obviously been reading this website!  Hoggard first pointed out that “playoffs” was a misnomer, then he went on to suggest eliminating one or more of the tournaments (but not naming any; Lanny named names).

When analyzing the FedEx Cup, one must remain eternally cognizant of the two key objectives, no matter how dishonorable their intent.

  1. Squeezing blood from a turnip.  The PGA Tour puts short term financial gains above long-term good.  (TPC McGolf courses; equipment arms race; split season; the FedEx Cup itself; hidden fines and suspensions.)
  2. If you finish high on the season list, you can go MC, MC, MC, and still be in Atlanta.  That is not by accident: the idea was to get Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson (the appointed anti-Tiger) to be in Atlanta no matter what.

Those two things must always be foremost in your mind when thinking about the FedEx Cup.  The second point is why the system was doomed from the start as any kind of real playoff; making it a true playoff-like system would have risked jettisoning Woods and Mickelson in the first round.  So, they wound up with a system that allowed Vijay to win before the last event was even played.

Now, these “playoffs” are quite lucrative to the players.  A $10 million bonus to the winner?  You gotta be kidding!  Of course, in return for a chance at a lot of easy money, the players have do a few things:

  • Pretend the events are important to them, that they weren’t just money grabs.
  • Be good troopers and not complain too much about the asinine format.
  • Play in them.

Pretty early on, players saw it they could skip events and it wouldn’t even matter.  Even now, after several adjustments, that remains true.  The players are on a kind of honor system to show up in all four and play.

Anyway, it’s good to see Golf Channel discussing something of interest for a change.  (I left Morning Drive on as I typed this; I didn’t pay much attention, but I did see Dr. Sipaya — a total guess at his name and spelling — who held up a skeletal spine and yammered on about… wait for it… Tiger Woods.)  The fact that Golf Channel is being negative on the FedEx Cup makes me think change is coming.  I saw that because Golf Channel is never a leading indicator, always a lagging indicator.  They are going to spew nothing but happy talk until Finchem or Steinberg (or Palmer) tells them it’s okay to admit the obvious.

Golf Media Jibber-Jabber:  I was just thinking back over some of the things we’ve heard from the golf media over the past few years.  They refused to move on to the golfers superseding Woods, at first derisively labeling the process as “parity.”  They told us that fans wanted a dominant player like, surprise, Tiger Woods.  So, they start a discussion about other players and it winds up being about Tiger Woods.  Since that time, we’ve had Rory be dominant, Spieth be dominant, and now Jason Day be dominant.  And Rickie Fowler, while perhaps not quite reaching the level of dominant, has certainly fulfilled his promise.  We have a Big Three/Four, for crying out loud.  Still the media mentions Woods every chance they get.

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11 Responses to Tuesday Thoughts

  1. Sports-realist. says:

    …….Are the CBS/NBC idiots really going to KEEP doing their lame reporting style? Let’s say next year Rory wins 10 events, are they going to show some lame picture of he and Eldrick standing next to each other with another lame Porter article?
    …….If we are here in 5 years time, Eldrick would be 45 years old(possibly with no more wins)…Will he be retired by then? Will other steroid revelations will come out……Would Charlie Rymer still have a job? Would the golf channel still exist in it’s lame present form? Will the Fed ex cup still be happening, and would anyone care if it wasn’t? The present reporting is STUCK in a cycle that needs to be changed.
    ……. Will Porter still be blogging his nonsense? How many Majors will Spieth, Rory, or Day have by then? Will the world economic landscape change so much that golf becomes more and more irrelevant? It just seems the ‘old school’ analyst group from the 90’s-00’s, will never move on and need to be replaced……

    • benchrat says:

      like any other business, it’s really about the mind-set of the people upstairs. only if and when THEY see the need for new blood or more relevant content, will it happen.
      thanks to lanny h, THEY have a place to go and find out what people (that will still be watching golf long after woods is gone) are asking for. but it’s entirely up to them to open their own minds to that possibility.

      • lannyh says:

        rat, let me ask you a question: Do you think that profit drives all, or do you think that political ideology can override the profit motive (at least at times, or in some cases). It’s really starting to seem to me that NBC is pushing a political agenda. CBS, for their part, sometimes DOES push themselves away from Woods. Nantz has made several stinging remarks about how Woods is yesterday’s news and it is embarrassing that so much of the golf media clings to him. Faldo often takes shots at Woods on air. And Frank Nobilo, as soon as he joined CBS, made waves about Woods and the Rock Ishii ball of 2000.

        NBC, though, I mean they’ve even throttled back Johnny Miller, who used to pull no punches about anyone, but now is head cheerleader for Tiger Woods.

        One division of NBC (MSNBC) is clearly political, so I wonder if that mindset bleeds over into the other divisions.

      • benchrat says:

        i’m sure personal ideologies are in there somewhere. when and where that would trump money i don’t have any idea. hth.

    • lannyh says:

      Fantastic post! That’s really interesting. What WILL golf look like in five years? Great topic. Will the big story be, “Phil to Tiger: Hurry up, I’m waiting for you on the Seniors Tour”?

      Will Golf Central begin with, “In the big story of the day, Phil Mickelson won the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open on the Senior Tour. In other news, Rory McIlroy won his 15th major at St. Andrews.”

      Will they finally hire a guy who will add a little edge to their network?

      • MediaRules says:

        Hell yeah, screw the golf! I can’t wait to see what the media looks like in 5 years and beyond!

      • lannyh says:

        Coverage of the golf media, as well as issues the golf media is afraid to address — that’s the entire purpose of this website.

        Do you expect this operation to compete with GolfChannel.com with their 25 people on-site every week? If you are coming here for golf news, you must be a newbie.

        Try out GolfChannel.com. You’ll love it!

  2. JoseyWales says:

    “1.Squeezing blood from a turnip. The PGA Tour puts short term financial gains above long-term good. (TPC McGolf courses; equipment arms race; split season; the FedEx Cup itself; hidden fines and suspensions.)
    2.If you finish high on the season list, you can go MC, MC, MC, and still be in Atlanta. That is not by accident: the idea was to get Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson (the appointed anti-Tiger) to be in Atlanta no matter what.’

    great points Lanny!

    • Sports-realist. says:

      …….I can easily see ‘FedEX cup BURNOUT’ by both the players and the fans in a few years……I’ve said before, if they gave some of that $10 million to the fans, and made it more of a ‘March Madness’ type of thing, it might garner more interest…..
      ……I just haven’t had any interest in the FedEX cup this year…..Even with some golfer I like to watch, aka Spieth and Mcllory playing, it shows me that it’s not so much the players, but the DEPTH to the EVENTS themselves…….
      …..Next year will be even worse, with the Olympic BS build up, along with the Ryder Cup BS build up, and the Fed Ex BS build up……Just too much BS…….
      …..No PGA/pro player is playing for FREE anymore to play in the Olympics OR the Ryder Cup, so why the heck should I or anyone else care?
      …..Drape the flag around their neck, while they make $1 million from their sponsors for playing in the event? Gosh if that doesn’t bring a tear to your eye……

      • lannyh says:

        If they want to continue the FedEx Cup “playoffs,” it needs to have win-or-go-home immediacy. Eliminate the bottom half of the field each week.

        They tried to combine “playoffs” with a continuing bonus for good regular season play, and wound up with a mess.

        I’m a big, longtime fan of Jason Day’s, but I would have been more into the “playoffs” if Jordan Spieth had been the dominant player. It would have made SI Sportsman of the Year a foregone conclusion. Rory’s injury also hurt the second half of the season; he’s just now starting to get his game back — and who knows if the injury will be a lingering problem/distraction for the rest of his career.

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