NEW JORDAN CLOTHES FROM UA!
SPIETH WINS PLAYER OF THE YEAR!
ON COURSE FOR SI’S SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR!
Golf Channel seems to have written more about Tiger Woods than Jordan Spieth in their article ostensibly about Spieth winning this award. Also, no mention of Spieth being the youngest U.S. Open winner in 92 years. (Bobby Jones, ever heard of him?) Or the youngest to win two majors in 93 years. (Gene Sarazen, ever heard of him?)
I ask you, if Tiger Woods had accomplished what Spieth has done, would the articles have referred to Jones and Sarazen, or Norman and Faldo?
Listen up, golf media: Jordan Spieth is chasing golf’s all-time immortals. He is not chasing Tiger Woods.
Mistakeville: I turned on Morning Drive — Shack’s last day — and went to make coffee. I return five minutes into the show (hmmm, maybe it was second hour; they might have started early today due to live coverage of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship), and Gary Williams is telling us something about how Tiger Woods brought Jordan Spieth and the others to golf. Will they never cut this bullshite? Here are a few off-the-cuff comments on that, and on Morning Drive in general:
- The happy-smiley MD tone has to go. It’s like having a political debate and telling the participants they can only say positive things. They use the tone of the Today Show when they are doing holiday cake recipes and laughing at the hostess’s story about the time she burned a batch of cookies. That is to same, beyond lame.
- Chris DiMarco’s tone is closer to how it should be. Low-key, occasionally sarcastic. Still, he has to stay between the lines on content. But at least you don’t picture him skipping from the desk to the simulator like you do with Williams, Hack, and Rymer.
- If Woods was such a big influence on kids, how come participation rates have steadily fallen over the course of his career?
- If Woods was such a big influence on kids, wouldn’t he have been an especially big influence on African American kids? Where are they? The story is that Woods brought all these guys to golf — guys whose families were winning club championships for generations — but no one else? Does not compute. Davis Love III’s kid is playing college golf… Thanks, Tiger, for inspiring him to take up the game!!
- Back in the “racist” 70’s before Woods “kicked the door down,” there were 12 black players on Tour. Now there is one: Joseph Bramlett. Two, if Woods ever starts playing again.
- What a waste Shackelford has been on MD this week. They could have used him for some heated, riveting discussions on the runaway arms race in the golf equipment industry, but instead they used Shackelford to… I don’t know what they used him for. To see if he could be even blander than Gary Williams?
Bill Simmons Grantland Article Yesterday: I’m just finishing reading that piece. I spent a little time last night researching Simmons and Grantland. Short summary: Simmons was a hotshot blogger hired by ESPN to start Grantland, a serious “boutique” website focusing on quality rather than profit; ESPN fired him last May (the article I posted was from two years ago). I had to wonder if praiseworthy journalism such as this one on PEDs led to him getting the axe.
A few additional parts that jumped off the page (well, screen):
And because we never stepped up, those enterprising dickheads bastardized baseball and ruined one of its most sacred qualities: the wholly unique way that eight generations of players relate to one another through statistics and records.
We’ve seen that in golf, too. And, just as with baseball, the golf media turned a blind eye to Woods going from a scrawny ectomorph to looking “like a middle linebacker.” They glossed over the Galea and Biogenesis stories. Just as the baseball writers liked that the steroid-fueled home run race brought attention to their sport, and thereby, to them, so too did the golf writers enjoy their fifteen minutes of fame. They were willing to overlook anything to continue it; they were willing to say anything to continue it. It was fine to make ludicrous claims that Woods was “hitting shots we’ve never seen before.” It was off-limits, however, to discuss the likely way Woods went from being a “98-lb weakling” ectomorph to looking “like a middle linebacker.”
The good thing for golf is that our version of baseball’s home run record is Jack Nicklaus’s 18 majors. Fortunately, that record withstood the Galea/Rock Ishii “enhancements.” Otherwise, golf would have lost its ties to history, just as baseball has.
The historical home run chart in the Simmons Grantland piece was eye-opening. Yearly home run records had remained amazingly stable until the steroid era of McGwire, Sosa, and Bonds. Then they were blown away by the juicers. It might have brought attention to baseball for a couple of summers, but at what price? Here’s how Simmons put it for baseball:
That list is dead. It means nothing. McGwire’s generation made it fundamentally impossible to put power numbers into context for the rest of eternity, basically.
I am happy that golf will not suffer the same fate.
Simmons made some other great points:
The whole “innocent until proven guilty” mind-set will always be our default … until you burn us. If you burn us? Then, and only then, do we flip out. […] We hate people who lie to our faces.
You can put aside the links between Woods and PEDs and just focus on the sex scandal from the man who was sold to the public as — how did Dan Jenkins put it? — the “All-American Daddy-Pop Father of the Year Who Also Wins Golf Tournaments.” People don’t like such lies. Almost all of Woods’s image has turned out to be a lie.
We don’t like people who “lie to our faces.” That would explain the growing dissatisfaction with the golf media. Yesterday, here, we looked at two examples — one from ESPN, another from Shane Bacon — where the golf media was lying to our faces. They would deny it, but the fact is, when you show stats for Nicklaus and Watson that include only years when they were growing old, and compare them to the prime of other players, you are lying.
I need to read the rest of the article before commenting further.