Two Complaints (and now a third)

11:45 pm Update:  Jordan Spieth just cemented his SI Sportsman of the Year award!  What a comeback.  His putt on No. 17 was critical.  This has turned into a great competition.  Everyone in America will be sleepy tomorrow because no one is going to bed until this next round concludes.

Oh, yeah, we are getting Spieth and Reed — redux!

9:45 pm: Is this compelling yet?  Why, I do believe it is.  I wish they were two or three time zones further east, however.

8:26 pm:  This isn’t funny any more

Counting the matches on the course, the Intos (Ints, Inters, Interos, Intmeisters?) now lead.  Seriously, folks, we need the USAers to win, and Jordan needs to excel.  For SI Sportsman of the Year purposes, of course.  By the way, why the heck isn’t Lahiri on the course every chance?  Oh, and now… right on cue… Reed with the big chokeroo.

By the way, those Kuchar commercials for Sketchers are fairly amusing.

Update: 7:30 pm: Stray Thoughts on the Action

  • The camera angle on that one tee shot (No. 1?) is horrible.  You see the ball land behind a mound — maybe in the fairway, maybe in the rough, maybe in the bunker.
  • The lively debate (vicious is what it was — an all-against-one attack on ole Lanny!) we had in the comment section about Spieth’s “Merry Christmas” is the kind of thing that could enliven Golf Channel’s Morning Drive — if they let the people argue passionately, viewers would get involved and shout at their TV screens.  And it should not be a bit, a segment.  It should be engrained in the show.
  • Were those guys in the stand at the first hole singing Boy George?
  • Maybe it’s time Morning Drive started taking viewer calls.

Update: 7:06 pm

I’m seeing the pairings for the first time.  Fowler and Reed?  I would not have guessed that one.  Let’s pull up the others…  oh, well, no other surprises.

Why in the heck don’t they call these things “Alternating Shot” and “Low Score” (we always called that Best Ball, but I can see how that isn’t any clearer).  Four-ball and Foursomes, what the…?

Update: 7:02 pm

Just when things were looking up…  So the score tightens, making all the whining media people cheer up.  So… it rains.  The first night matches were going to start at a decent television time in the U.S.

Oh, well, if the rain stays away, it was only an hour delay.  Could have been a lot worse.


Stupidest Golf Article Ever, aka Third Complaint:  Where do they find these idiots?  Have they ever played golf?  Do they understand English?  Check out this article from Golf Digest (Analyst calls Jordan Spieth’s post-round comment at the Presidents Cup “slightly classless”):

Following a surprising 4-and-3 loss to Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace on Day 2 of the Presidents Cup, Spieth was understandably frustrated. And in comments to the Golf Channel after the loss, Spieth let his competitiveness show, saying: “That was Merry Christmas to them.” […] analyst Arron Oberholser calls Spieth’s comments “slightly classless.”

First off, Oberholser, while free to state his opinion, is off the mark.  All Spieth was saying was, “We played like crap and were unable to give them worthy competition.”

Spieth and DJ looked almost unbeatable in the opening matches, and you know he and DJ thought they should beat Grace and Oosthuizen without a problem.

Two big problems with this.  First off, why would Spieth and DJ think they could beat Grace and Oostie “without a problem”?  That’s a total fabrication by the author.  At the U.S. Open, the final result was:  Spieth -5; Oostie -4; DJ -4; Grace -3.  (If Grace were to refer to his OB tee shot on the 70th hole as “Merry Christmas to Jordan and the field,” do you think Jordan would burst into tears, or laugh?) Also, bear in mind, Oostie shot 77 in the first round when grouped with Freak Show Woods, a major distraction.  Somehow, all this translates into Spieth and DJ thinking they would “beat them without a problem”?

Second, favorite or underdog, playing poorly and saying, “It was Merry Christmas to them,” is simply a way of saying you played poorly and did not even put up a fight.

[…] you should probably give more credit a team that carded six birdies in a four-ball match to beat you.

Six birdies in 30 holes is not exactly Stop The Presses stuff.  Fairly pedestrian.

This kind of nitpicking makes people afraid to say anything of interest, and it stems from the miasma of political correctness currently enveloping our society.  Spieth’s comment was not even remotely rude: To try to make it so is the mark of a piece-of-shit reporter lacking the talent to come up with an original idea for an article.  (Gee, I hope that didn’t come across as “slightly classless.”)  Or lacking the spine to take Oberholser to task for his comment.  (Remember, Olberholser is the person we suspected — Arron denied it — that he was the one who said “Jesus… coming home…” after a Spieth presser.)

(Another aside: I don’t much fault Oberholser in this case.  He was doing a hot take, and simply remarked, off-the-cuff, how the comment struck him.  The guy who wrote the article had time to think it through, edit, etc.)

The author, by the way, was Stephen Hennessey.  Here’s an idea for his next article.  Working title: Spieth Should Be Crucified.  Topic: Jordan Spieth mentioned Christmas in a country where most citizens are not Christians, thereby insulting and causing grave harm to millions.


  1. Svetlana Alexievich was a bad choice for the Nobel Prize.  At a time when people increasingly view reading fiction as a waste of time, what does it say to award the prize for literature to a journalist/documentary maker?  I’ve been trying to tell myself that poetry is nonfiction, and that I have no problem with poets winning the prize, but that rationalization rings hollow as justification for choosing a journalist.  This is like putting an NFL star in the Golf Hall of Fame.  Counterproductive.  I’ve always defended the Nobel Prize for Literature, and I’ve never once before complained about the winner, but this troubles me.
  2. Golf Channel is clearing cheering for the International team.  That is funny, actually.  It’s understandable: football announcers don’t want to call 42-0 games, after all.  Nevertheless, I’m reminded of the old “Dialing For Dollars” movies.  Only, in this case, it is “Begging For Ratings.”


Is this funny or what?  From the USA Today:

The local crowds got a big thrill when Sangmoon Bae, the only Korean-born player on the team, made a 20-footer for birdie to win the last hole as he and Danny Lee defeated Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker, 1 up.

You see the problem, right?

Rules?  What rules?  Phil Mickelson may go down in history as the man who lost the Presidents Cup.  But don’t be too rough on him.  After all, Mickelson doesn’t think rules apply to him.  Just ask the SEC and FBI.  Now we see what Tom Watson had to put up with.

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38 Responses to Two Complaints (and now a third)

  1. benchrat says:

    is anyone else thinking there is a lot of side-betting going on, and that’s what may be fueling the
    competitive nature as much or more than the unconvincing national pride theme? after all these guys are together a lot the rest of the year. they’re more likely friends than bitter rivals that can’t wait to get at each other for a week.
    and watching haas/ watson/ fowler clowning and giggling made me think, wow, BIG PARTY.

  2. Ken says:

    Mickelson made a mistake, using PGA Ryder Cup ball rules in the President’s Cup. He called it on himself. He should have asked before the switch.

    The rules official incorrectly disqualifying him from the hole and having him and Johnson actually losing the hole twice and not only once is what cost Zach and Phil 1/2 a point. That is inexcusable for a rules official to make a mistake like that.

  3. Ken says:

    There does seem to be a lot of rooting for the international side in the golf media. It’s like they feel sorry for the international side. I can understand wanting the President’s Cup to be more competitive, but the answer to me is for the international side to play better. You can’t say that they don’t draw from a significant pool of talent.

    The international results are no worse than then last ten Ryder Cups have been for the US. Suck it up, play better. Like it or not, the “task force” is trying to improve American competitiveness in the Ryder Cup. Maybe the international side needs to reconsider how they do things too.

  4. JoseyWales says:

    “There does seem to be a lot of rooting for the international side in the golf media.”

    the ONLY thing the golf media roots for is RATINGS, READERS and KEEPING THEIR JOBS…trust me on this.

  5. Bird says:

    There’s always controversy in these team thingies, and it’s usually better than the quality of golf. Jus’ sayin’.

  6. TruthTeller says:

    Jordan Speith saying Merry Christmas is essentially saying, “They won because we sucked”. While true, it’s a bad message and poor sportsmanship.

    Hey Jordan, You might have lost because you sucked, but they won because they didn’t suck.

    • Kris says:

      Your name is apt. Jordan tends to get whiny when he plays poorly or when he doesn’t get the result he wants. Instead of being gracious and congratulating Branden and Louis for playing better, he whined about how poorly he and Dustin played. It’s not like they were winning with pars every hole, they were sinking putts from halfway across the world.

      However, it is idiotic for golf digest to pay some dude to write an absolutely worthless article about a video of a TV analyst reacting to something a player said.

      • lannyh says:

        I definitely agree with your second paragraph. I see Jordan’s comment as being self-effacing, if anything. It’s like, “We were so bad today, we embarrassed ourselves.” They were outplayed; I think everyone is aware of that; do you want Jordan to go give them a homemade trophy made out of construction paper or something? I mean, seriously, folks, look at Jordan’s words about Jason Day’s play after the PGA Championship. He basically said he was incapable of catching Jordan that day. Does that sound like a whiner?

    • lannyh says:

      Well, if you go through life deciding what people are “essentially saying,” you can take offense at every word spoken.

      Now take your precised statement and tack something else on the end which is “essentially being said.”

      “They won because we sucked.” Add this: Had we not sucked, maybe we could have competed and maybe even won.

      Crap, I just don’t see what’s wrong with that. This walking around on the verge of tears, seeing insult in every comment, cannot be a healthy state for a nation.

  7. JoseyWales says:

    Here are the latest Golf Channel TV Ratings for the week of 9/28-10/4…2015…
    In total viewership for its entire week in Prime Time (8 p.m. to 11 p.m.), Golf Channel is DOWN 40 percent (49,000 vs. 81,000) from one week earlier and DOWN18 percent (49,000 vs. 60,000) from the same week one year ago (September 29-October 5, 2014).

    In total viewership for its entire week in Total Day (6 a.m. to 5:59 a.m.), Golf Channel is DOWN 59 percent (48,000 vs. 116,000) from one week earlier and DOWN 17 percent (48,000 vs. 59,000) from the same week one year ago (September 29-October 5, 2014).

    Most-watched telecast per day for “The Morning Drive” (Sep. 28-Oct. 4) averaged 34,000 total viewers (4,000 adults 18-49) and “Golf Central” (Sep. 28-Oct. 4) averaged 59,000 total viewers (15,000 adults 18-49)….Source: Nielsen, Inc.

    How come I don’t see these numbers posted on Geoff Shackelford’s site? Oh, that’s right…Shackelford works for Golf Channel and only posts the bogus numbers his employer feeds him. Also…if I went over to his site and posted these numbers they would never see the light of day…he would delete them and ban me for posting them.
    The truth is, these numbers are pathetic. The 34,000 Morning Drive number is by far the weakest of the year. The incessant pimping of the Pres. Cup and the Ryder Cup which is over a year away is falling on deaf ears…nobody cares. This is not just this week…it is a three year downward trend for Golf Channel. Don’t believe the hype…Golf Channel ratings are in trouble…their programming sucks and I expect heads to roll next year.
    Thank you Lanny for allowing the truth to be posted when others block it.

    • lannyh says:

      Wow, those are some awful numbers. For some reason, that 4,000 in the 18-49 demo made my jaw drop. A golf club company could hire a guy to dress up in a golf ball costume waving a sign and reach more people.

      I was going to ask you another media question. How much do you think local sports radio hosts makes in a medium-sized market like, say, Louisville or Oklahoma City?

      • JoseyWales says:

        I checked with one of my radio guys (Houston)…he says local radio salaries suck right now…his guess for a starting sports talk guy in a market like Austin, Tx. or Cleveland, Oh. would be in the $50-$60 area.

      • lannyh says:

        Thanks, I appreciate the info. I was curious because often those guys have to make big geographic moves to get an opportunity to graduate from weekend fill-in duty to a regular daily gig. Thanks again.

      • Ken says:

        I heard that the national average for a radio host is about $40K.

        I have a buddy in the Pittsburgh area who gets very regular fill-in work at two local stations, one of which is the legendary KDKA, the first commercial station. He’s on the air somewhere many nights. He describes the pay as “peanuts” and hasn’t quit his regular job.

      • lannyh says:

        I guess it’s supply and demand, and that a lot of people want to be in the public eye.

      • Ken says:

        And a lot of stations use syndicated talk shows or nationally-programmed music. It’s much cheaper. Do you have a “Bob FM” music station in your town? There’s one here that plays music across a wide range of genres to appeal to the demographic with the right people and income mix. No rap, no easy listening, but they play about everything else. Their tag is “We play everything.”

        It leaves what’s left of the local on-air staff little to do and no reason to pay them much. My buddy does sports and political talk on a couple of AM stations. The AM band is very low paying. In a lot of markets ( though no longer in Pittsburgh), even the big national talkers like Limbaugh are on the FM side.

      • lannyh says:

        That Bob FM rings a vague bell. Maybe I stumbled upon it one day or something. I’ll have to check; I’d be interested to see what it’s like.

      • Ken says:

        Just checked Wikipedia. There’s more Bob stations than I thought. Format started in Canada. There’s dozens of them.

  8. JoseyWales says:

    as in $50-$60K per year…

  9. Ken says:

    Even with the penalty, Mickelson/Johnson still got 1/2 point yesterday. 1/2 point than two of the other three teams. Including Spieth/Johnson.

  10. Ken says:

    Surprised no Spieth/Reed pairing.

    • lannyh says:

      Yeah, that was probably the biggest surprise among all the pairings, as it was the one most people felt was a certainty going in. I can only think some bad blood developed somewhere along the line.

  11. Ken says:

    You may be the last person in America who still places value on the SI SOTY award.

    It’s the NIT tournament of awards. Like winning a cable ACE award or one of TVLand’s contrived prizes. Dinosaur media.

    • lannyh says:

      Hold on. If SI Sportsman of the Year is the NIT, what is March Madness? (If you say the ESPYs, prepare to be mocked. I mean, their Play of the Day is more predictable than Old Faithful: a dunk, or an outfielder catching a ball with his glove above the outfield wall — two routine plays.)

      • Ken says:

        SI has the same issues as other print media. Declining revenues. Layoffs. I read a story about them recently and they’re in bad shape. They were the gold standard of sports journalism and the name has an iconic feel, but so do “Time” and “Newsweek.”

        They were slow to adapt to the digital age. Other sites like ESPN and Bleacher Report get far more hits. I think even CNN uses Bleacher Report as their prime news source in sports.

      • lannyh says:

        Okay, the print media being in decline is old news. But what does that have to do with the prestige of the award? Seriously, can you even name another Sportsman of the Year award? I know they have one in the UK because Rory was up for it last year (but lost).

        ESPN does some things well — college football, for example; their 30 for 30 stuff — but overall they tend to appeal to those who seek bright-and-shiny things. Sound effects, flashing colors, etc.

        Bleacher Report? I don’t know much about them other than the Golf Section, admittedly, but that’s awful. And while print media is not what it was 20 years ago, Bleacher Report lives on idiotic “slideshows,” which are tin cups begging for page views. They also use a lot of amateurs, or at least they once did.

        Oh, Grantland is an ESPN property, and it seems pretty decent.

      • Ken says:

        You’re right, I can’t name another SOTY award. But I think that the prestige is long gone. Some team still wins the NIT. No one cares. How many people can even name the most recent winner of the SI award? (I can’t.) Or the last three? Few people care.

  12. Ken says:

    So what is the story with the ball ruling? I hear different things. Was it correctly scored making the Intl team 2up on the 7th hole? They assess the penalty after the result. So if Zach had birdied to halve the hole, the Intl team would have been one up and not two up as it was after the Zach par?

    They said that Phil was incorrectly told to pick up his ball. So could he have kept playing the ineligible ball on that hole?

  13. Ken says:

    Reed/Spieth back together.

  14. Ken says:

    Poor 3rd from Spieth on 18.

    This is looking like Ryder Cup. Americans not making putts while the opponents make all the critical ones.

  15. Sports-realist. says:

    Steve Sands just needs to go…his questions are just pathetic….How many times can he ask professional golfers about ‘how can you believe in yourself when you are down a few shots’ type questions…He is the WORST interviewer I’ve heard in years……

  16. Ken says:

    Didn’t realize that Mickelson’s recent PC record was that good. 12-3-4 in last 19 matches. IMO that justifies his pick, along with his last two RCs. He’s become good at match play. Same justification as some European captain’s picks: past achievment trumps some lesser recent results.

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