Jumbled Wednesday Thoughts on Golf, Tennis, Woods, PEDs

First a comment on Morning Drive, and Shackelford’s week as a guest host.  I turned it on this morning as the intro was on, and I was informed there will be a segment on “controlling your trajectory.”  Look, guys, I don’t give a shite about my golf swing.  I want golf NEWS!  I can watch the evening shows to get tips on my golf swing.  I don’t turn on Mike and Mike to learn how to spike a volleyball or hit a slapshot.  Also, in the first four minutes of today’s show, they are discussing Anthony Kim, as he was the subject of a USA Today article this morning.  (More poor editing from a paid editor: “Kim said he made a substantial investment, which he made back within months.”  I expected something like “which he made back in 1998.”  “Recouped” was probably the way to go.)  Both Damon “Wyndham is a major” Hack and Chris “I was on TV with Tiger that time, remember?” DiMarco used the occasion to tell stories about Tiger Woods.  No kidding.  Hack mentioned Woods’s name about ten times.  They spoke more of Tiger Woods than Anthony Kim.

But I wanted to discuss Shackelford.  In Shackelford, Golf Channel has one of the leading voices for rolling back golf ball distance, and they don’t have a major discussion of the topic?  Instead they had Shack discussing… drumroll, please… re-routing holes at golf courses for majors.  Wow, that’s certainly riveting stuff.

Okay… time for golf, tennis, PEDs.

Yesterday, when Dr. Suppiah linked Woods and Rafael Nadal together in his segment on blood-spinning, I immediately thought of the Charlie Hebdo cover with the Nadal lookalike.  I didn’t know much about Nadal and the rumors and issues with doping in tennis, so I started reading.  Fascinating stuff with more than a little intersection with the golf world.

Consider this comment, from Paul Kimmage, the Irish sports writer who has written extensively about doping in the sport of cycling:

“Possibly, and this may sound ridiculous, cycling is one of the cleanest sports left because the controls are full on. But f***ing tennis, I find it nauseating to watch it on TV to see the McEnroes and all the commentators engage in this big love-in. And the bottom line is we are all getting rich here folks, lets not upset the apple-cart.

Man, did that ever strike a chord.  Don’t upset the apple cart.  A Tiger Woods love-in.  That’s long been the mission statement for Golf Channel and the rest of the Tigerstream golf media.

But there was more.  You’ll recall that Terez Hilton reported two years ago that Tiger Woods’s name was on the Biogenesis customer list and that Tim Finchem had possession of that information.  The article remains posted; neither Finchem nor Woods has denied the report or tried to force Hilton to retract.  Contrast their inaction to the fervor with which they went after Dan Olsen last spring following his radio comments about Woods and a PED suspension.  Of course, they could deny an official suspension.  Recall that DJ was not officially suspended.  But he would have been had he not agreed to sit out for a while.  (That same strategy has been used in tennis.)

Okay, well, tennis has their own player with ties to Biogenesis.  Check out the reaction there among players and officials.  From last spring, “Wayne Odesnik banned from tennis for 15 years after a second doping violation”:

Odesnik issued a statement maintaining his innocence, claiming he had accidentally ingested substances through taking an over-the-counter supplement, but he has little credit in the bank, especially after being linked to the notorious Biogenesis clinic in Florida two years ago.

From the same article, check out these player reactions:

 ‘Goodbye Wayne … good riddance,’ tweeted Murray, who has been among the more vociferous players calling for an extension of anti-doping measures in tennis.

Andy Roddick joined in the condemnation of Odesnik who, even before 2010, was deeply unpopular in the locker room. He tweeted: ‘My feelings are that he’s a d*****bag and I hate that he has a US flag to his name when he’s cheating, good riddance.’

Veteran British doubles player Jamie Delgado chimed in: ‘Wayne Odesnik cheats again, what a joke. Get out of the sport mate.’

In golf, such condemnation is reserved for the ones who suggest there is anything fishy about Tiger Woods getting 63 visits to his home from Galea and Lindsay, or with Tim Finchem doing nothing about the Biogenesis list of golfers.

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5 Responses to Jumbled Wednesday Thoughts on Golf, Tennis, Woods, PEDs

  1. JoseyWales says:

    re: Morning Drive…here are the numbers for the last five weeks:
    8/17-8/23 (Wyndham)…………. 96,000
    8/24-8/30 (Barclays)…………… 68,000
    8/31-9/6 (Deutsche Bank)…… 55,000
    9/7-9/13 (Deutsche Bank/Evian)…39,000
    9/14-9/20 (BMW)………………………..41,000
    Morning Drive is stale bread and they know it…even worse, of the 39,000 watching per minute the week of 9/17, only 5000 were the 18-49 demo. Of the 41,000 watching per minute the week of 9/14, only 7000 were in the 18-49 demo. Basically this means NOBODY UNDER THE AGE OF 50 WATCHES MORNING DRIVE. I don’t have the numbers for the FedEx “Final” yet but you can bet they will be about the same. I know, I know…the over 50 crowd has all the money, affluence, discretionary spending, blah, blah, blah. But what about the future? Are these 18-49 year olds that don’t watch now suddenly going to love golf when they hit 50 and start watching Morning Drive? I don’t think so. I laugh when they trot out all these cool groovy types like Ginella and Paige and the blonde chickie to try to appeal to the younger demo. It ain’t working. Morning Drive has only 10-15% of their audience under the age of 50.

    • lannyh says:

      That over-50 demo’s affluence is s two-edged sword, also. They include people looking to buy property on a golf course for retirement, certainly, and they have the cash for luxury cars, golf travel, and they are more likely to have investing accounts. However, I have been with my broker for 30 years, and I’m not about to change based on a commercial. People in their 20’s and 30’s and 40’s might just be starting to think about saving for retirement and opening an investing account, so more susceptible to advertising. I guess you’ll have a lot of 50+ people who have company 401Ks they want to roll over into an IRA, so that’s a target demo. Still, if they really only have 15 percent under the age of 50, that’s pretty odd.

      Now, on the other hand, it’s important to note that often age-related things are presented as generational things. Say something like hip replacement surgery. It’s a mistake to say, “While baby boomers are interested in hip replacement surgery, Gen X’ers and Millennials have no interest at all, and that is because of social media.” Pretty clearly that’s a faulty narrative — and in this example easy to see the flaw. However, lots of times, the flaw is not as obvious, but it is still there.

      With Morning Drive, I can tell you this: When I worked, I never turned on my television until the evening, if then. I certainly didn’t turn it on before work — which is when MD is on.

      Also, while the hip replacement surgery example is very age dependent, golf is also an age thing. Now, you have the country club crowd whose daddies took them to golf coaches at age six; they are going to follow the sport from a young age. Then, there are guys like me who really didn’t play much until I was in my mid-20’s. Most of the people I know took up golf well after high school.

      Then, probably more of a factor now, there is the economy. Older people worked most of their careers during the Reagan-Bush I-Clinton economic boom. They held good jobs — I’m speaking generalities, of course — and invested during a time of a rising stock market. Their companies likely had pension plans. So over 50’s are not hit as hard by the sluggish economy. You’ll see younger people — 20- and 30-somethings — turn to golf when the economy turns around.

      Now whether or not any of them bother to turn on MD is another topic.

      One last thing in my stream-of-consciousness post there… the blandness of MD that I constantly complain about has got to hurt them with the younger crowd. They demand conflict and debate. Gary Williams droning on about “the putt Tiger made against DiMarco fifteen years ago, my goodness, wasn’t that exciting… zzzzzzz…” They want to hear about Galea and Woods and have two guys in a heated argument.

      But then maybe the sole purpose of MD is to bring in the viewers who are considering moving the 401K plans to IRAs.

  2. Sports-realist. says:

    ….Terez Owens indeed…How is that just sitting on the media shelves?????……Just think about how the NFL’s DEFLATEGATE has stayed around with ENDLESS speculation(kept going by the NFL Commissioner)…..And Goodell still wants another hearing on it next year…..
    ….But WHERE is the SAME speculation about Eldrick Woods and his BIOGENESIS LIST from Finchem???????? What did Tim Finchem even say about Woods being on the list, or was he EVER even asked about it?
    ……How is Tom Brady, arguably the BEST NFL qb EVER, able to be called a CHEATER by the media but not Tiger Woods?????? Brady has been to more superbowls than ANY other qb, and is tied for the MOST super bowl rings ANY qb has been able to get….To paraphrase Hack’s statement, Brady has basically DOMINATED the NFL since around 2000…..YET, it’s been no problem to go after Brady and call him a cheater? Something is VERY fishy in the PGA…
    ……I still can’t believe Olsen retracted his statements, considering he’s a ‘small duck in the pond’….There must be SOOOO much $$$$ changing hands behind the scenes, the mafia is jealous…….
    …..Then we have the golf channel with their heads all deliberately up their ass, pretending that it’s all flowers and that the biogenesis list never even existed…..How many times has the golf channel even MENTIONED the biogenesis list……I’m wagering not many….

    • Sports-realist. says:

      The amazing thing is when you google biogenesis with Tiger Woods, LANNY’s articles are the first 3 that come up, before Terez Owens…..Again where is the ENTIRE rest of the freakin MEDIA?????? Some of the media outlets reported it initially, BUT that was 2 years ago…..WHERE is the media pattern that KEEPS a story alive? It’s been buries 10 feet under, and it’s all whispers and hushes……

    • lannyh says:

      I am almost certain Finchem has ever even been asked. (And I’ve done a ton of research on the matter.) I am also almost certain the next time the Golf Channel mentions the Biogenesis list will be the first.

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