Monday Minute

  • Funny that Gov. Chris Christie blew off the daily fantasy betting question in the debate.  He said there were more important topics to discuss, such as ISIS.  (Of course, the debate was devoted to ECONOMIC topics, so I’m not sure why he thought they should be discussing ISIS…)  The reason Christie avoided the topic, of course, was because New Jersey is already suing to make ALL sports gambling legal, and he calculated that embracing gambling in a debate would alienate some conservative voters.  If anyone at the debate had an insight into the matter, it was Christie, but he ran from the question. [NOTE: Just found this great article (“No, Chris Christie, How The Feds Handle Fantasy Sports Is A Big Deal“) about Christie and the fantasy sports question.]
  • Steve Williams has a book coming out today, and he said Woods treated him like a slave.  That’s all the golf media can talk about.  Which is why Williams wrote it that way — and why it appeared in the pre-publication excerpt.  It’s mind-blowing that a certain segment of our society still spends so much time on Woods.  (They are the guys with mullet haircuts yelling “Free Bird!” at Lynyrd Skynyrd reunion concerts.)  But all their Woods talk has to be within defined boundaries, which, as I’ve posted before, is where the propaganda lives.
  • Here’s the quote from Noam Chomsky: “One of the ways you control what people think is by creating the illusion that there’s a debate going on, but making sure that that debate stays within very narrow margins. Namely, you have to make sure that both sides in the debate accept certain assumptions, and those assumptions turn out to be the propaganda system.”  In this case, the “debate” is over whether or not Williams should have used the word “slave.”
  • The only thing I heard of interest was that Steinberg immediately texted Williams just before the scandal broke, “There is a story coming out tomorrow. Absolutely no truth to it. Don’t speak to anybody.” Of course there was absolutely no untruth to it.  It’s funny how Steinberg is caught in lie after lie, but the golf media still goes to him to “set the record straight.”
  • I don’t have any interest in reading the book, but if any of you do and care to review it, I’ll put your review on the front page if you wish.  I would be interested to read about Woods’s links to Galea, etc., but I can’t imagine Williams would even touch that as it makes him look bad, too.  In fact, didn’t Williams recently say there was “no chance” Woods used PEDs.  This from the guy who had “no idea” Woods had a creepy secret life.  Williams missed all the whores coming and going, but he would have seen any tiny packets of PEDs that were around.  Uh-huh.  Sure.
  • Just saw that ESPN shut down Grantland.  Great, now they will have more resources for scrolls and graphics to clutter our television screens.  To hell with quality, long-form journalism.
  • This is what a million reader day looks like:million
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39 Responses to Monday Minute

  1. Anonymous says:

    It’s mind-blowing that a certain segment of our society still spends so much time on Woods. (They are the guys with mullet haircuts yelling “Free Bird!” at Lynyrd Skynyrd reunion concerts.)

    Yet more than half of your blogs are about Woods…. Sorry Larry – that’s funny.

    • lannyh says:

      I fully expected a response such as yours. I started to write, “Now, of course, some will say…” but I decided to wait for the inevitable reply.

      It’s not like I haven’t explained this 100 times before, but it is fun to show my readers that most people are dumb as dirt.

      Okay, the purpose of this website it to (1) write about the golf media, so when the golf media goes overboard on Woods, I point it out; (2) to write the things no one else will write, so, since the golf media won’t write about, say, Woods and Biogenesis, it falls on me to do so.

      Here’s an analogy for you. The media starts covering an upcoming gathering of Hells Angels to take place at a city park on the weekend. They suggest there may be violence. They cover it all day every day, every newscast, every newspaper, every website post. So Saturday comes and there is a huge crowd — and violence erupts.

      At this point, I say, “Yeah, well, I told everyone the media were going to bring on the violence by covering the Hells Angels so obsessively.” That’s when you step in and say, “Oh, Lanny, you just wrote about the Hells Angels. You did what you criticize. Oh, LOL!”

      Which — and I’m not blaming you, as you just lack the mental firepower to understand — my readers will recognize your logical error right away and think, “Damn, but there are some dumb people in this world.” Because my coverage is aimed at them, the intelligent reader.

      You should probably spend your time at GolfChannel.com. It’s more your speed.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for that explanation Lanny. Your Hells Angels analogy was inaccurate and not a very good example of your writings on Woods – but I’ve come to expect that from you. You are an angry, lonely man – I get it. I kind of feel sorry for you. When someone disagrees with you – you lash out at them and insult their intelligence. Sad really…..

    Look at your number of responses for each blog you write. The ones with Woods as the topic or headline generates more comments. And that’s ok!! – you, like other media outlets have realized that Woods still has reader pull. It has nothing at all to do with how well or not he is playing. That’s where your lack of understanding is most evident. You make some valid points on many sports related issues, including golf, but lose perspective when it comes to Woods for some reason. As if he has personally maligned you in some way. Some of us actually work for a living and don’t live in our mom’s basement criticizing those that are more successful than us. And now I’m fully expecting another angry, childish response from you questioning my intelligence. You really are very predictable…

    • lannyh says:

      All you did was make a bunch of emotional ad hom attacks on me. Look, I could be lower than pond scum, and it would not matter one bit. You didn’t address any of my points.

      I think we can let the tone and tenor your comments speak for themselves.

  3. TigerFan says:

    We don’t need politicians focusing on sports gambling.

    Steve Williams failed to understand the idea of, keep up and shut up.

    • Ken says:

      Why are so many Woods fans incensed about this book?

      How many people who have spent considerable time with politicians or celebrities or athletes have written memoirs? Thousands. Why is Tiger Woods supposed to be off limits as a topic?

      • lannyh says:

        Great point. There’s a new book ripping the Clintons or Bushes just about every week.

        I wish someone would read this book and pull out the parts I’d find of interest, assuming there are some. I would except for Williams denial of PEDs and the fact that I have less than zero interest of 200 pages of, “He hit that shot right at the pin, then looked at me and said, ‘How did you like that one?’ Right then, I felt like victory was assured. No, thanks.

    • lannyh says:

      The problem with fantasy sports gambling is it’s like setting the speed limit at 70 mph, except for, say, Fords which are allowed to go 90 mph.

      The funny thing about Williams is when he said there was “no chance” Woods used PEDs, the Tigerstream golf media quoted him like he was all-seeing and all-knowing. He says something they don’t like, and he becomes a crazy, bitter, loser scumbag.

    • TigerFan says:

      Rip TW all you want, really don’t care. The problem I have is Steve Williams associates caddying with slavery. That’s idiotic.

      • lannyh says:

        Sure it is. But it’s what put the book in the headlines, such as it is. Which is sad, but the golf media and fandom are in a horrible place right now. Shane Ryan’s book this year was a step in the right direction, but he’s still pretty lonely out there.

      • Ken says:

        It’s a silly word to use, but I can understand Williams’ annoyance at having to retrieve thrown clubs. A mature, normal human would hand him the clubs.

        Basically, Williams was annoyed by working with an ass. He got paid very well and he did the job. That doesn’t mean he can’t complain about it now.

  4. Sports-realist. says:

    Interesting on Steve Williams, as didn’t Williams say sometime last year that he would still caddie for Woods if asked? I thought that had been brought up, or perhaps that was wishful thinking by some golf channel folk….
    ….Ofcourse, if you are going to write a book, SLAVE is guaranteed to attract attention….I think it’s an excellent way of keeping yourself in the headlines, ALTHOUGH the golf channel has to be wringing it’s hands over it….If they report on it, it puts Woods in a bad light, if they DONT report on it, it CONFIRMS that the golf channel is RIGGED, and not allowed to talk NEGATIVELY about Woods, via steroids and even former caddies….

    • lannyh says:

      Now that you mention it, I think Williams did say something like that. I think. Or maybe it was Butch Harmon. Or Fluff or Haney. Heck if I know; there are so many meaningless articles written about Woods.

  5. Ken says:

    I read a review of the book that said, “Williams reveals that Woods has a bad temper, spits at missed putts, and throws clubs.” Reveals??? Who didn’t know this?

    • lannyh says:

      Haha, great point. One thing I’ve noticed, though, is that, as far as I know, there has not been one single review of the book. Every article I’ve seen has been a summary of the small excerpt which came out a couple of days ago.

      When “Blood Sport” was released, I bought the Kindle edition and started reading it at 3:00 am the day it came out. I was writing new stuff — and questioning Haney! — by 8:00 am that morning.

      Williams book — which looks to ONLY be available via eBook — has been out nearly 20 hours and none of these Woods Only reporters has read it, or skimmed through the juicy parts? They are lazy as hell.

      • TigerFan says:

        Or maybe the opinion of a caddie is useless.

      • lannyh says:

        They thought he was Socrates when he said “no chance” regarding PEDs.

      • JoseyWales says:

        from Michael Bamberger…
        “On Monday morning at 6 a.m., there were 227 comments on GOLF.com’s news story about Steve Williams’s new book called “Out of the Rough.” On ESPN.com, there were 353 comments. On Golfchannel.com, there were 405. On PGATour.com, there were none. The Tour’s website was not acknowledging the book’s existence. (Tour spokesman Ty Votaw told me in an email that the account “doesn’t fit our editorial philosophy.”)

      • lannyh says:

        On one hand, that’s a damning thing to say, but on the other hand, PGATour.com is — logically enough — pretty bland and straightforward. I wonder what their policy was regarding Shane Ryan’s rough treatment of Patrick Reed. That would be something of a litmus test.

    • lannyh says:

      Thanks for this! Bamberger is pretty decent. He is basically a Woods cheerleader, but he’s not allergic to logic and straight-shooting. Can’t wait to read it.

    • TruthTeller says:

      From reading this, I get the impression that Williams had an opportunity to provide a lot of insight into the best golfer of the last 30 years, but instead, used it as a way to showcase how butt hurt he was to “be let go”.

    • lannyh says:

      Kudos to Bamberger for reading the book and writing about it so quickly. It sounds like Bamberger had a certain type of book in mind that he wanted, and this wasn’t it.

      He called it trite and vindictive, but he never gave any examples.

      This is funny: “What I want — what I think many of us want — is to know whether the emotion we placed in this athlete who had the capacity to change the game was well-placed or not.” Come on, Bamberger: You already know the answer to that. Did you think Stevie could wave a wand and make Woods uncreepy?

  6. lannyh says:

    Here’s a review at Golf WRX that is more like what I wanted. Ben Alberstadt pulled out some of the more interesting morsels.

    http://www.golfwrx.com/335582/steve-williams-real-beef-with-tiger-other-revelations-from-his-new-book/

    • Sports-realist. says:

      …..Well on that ‘riveting’ read of rather ‘junior high’ style friendship, I don’t really know why Williams would even write an ebook….Sounds more like an interview from cbs sports……Are we to believe that Jack’s record didn’t matter anymore to Eldrick, and that the navy seals is what he REALLY wanted to do? I always thought STEROIDS and injuries were the real culprit of that…..Even perhaps a realization that ANY golf accomplishment was TAINTED, due to the cheating…..
      …..You try to put yourself in Woods’ shoes for a moment, and perhaps he had his ‘King Solomon’ moment: he realized life isn’t really that interesting, EVEN with all the fame, money, women, wife, ect that he had………
      ….The idea that Williams calls himself a FRIEND, but knew NOTHING about steroids or Eldrick’s women is a tad unbelievable……Woods was known on tour for making dirty jokes ect, and unless he respected Williams, which doesn’t seem too likely, it’s hard to believe he didn’t sneak in some, “I’m going to the ranch” style comments here or there……
      ……And Williams pretends like he was viewed positively, while Williams and Woods were widely considered the biggest pricks on the PGA tour…..
      …..And if any caddie told me his opinion of me, as a PGA golfer(Na), I’d would have told Williams he’s a nobody and to F off….

    • lannyh says:

      Is it a competition? Pretty clearly Woods’s transgressions are massively greater. There weren’t any “I am Steve Williams” commercials as I recall.

      But what’s amusing — or sad, really — is how the entire storyline was defined around the word “slave.” (By the way, I saw that “12 years a slave” crack on Twitter two days ago.) The “journalists” are using the word to draw readers, same as Williams did.

      Anyone remember the book, “I’m Okay, You’re Okay”? Today, American life has become, “I’m Stupid, You’re Stupid.” It’s embarrassing how lowbrow we’ve become. I feel like an accomplished jazz or classical musician talking to Justin Bieber fans about music.

      The only thing written about the book worth reading is the Golf WRX book review, with the plentiful tidbits.

      It still amuses me that when Williams said “no chance” that Woods used PEDs, he was the voice of reason, settling the issue once and for all. (Because nothing gets by Williams — who claims to have known nothing of the women.) Now that he says something critical, he’s an Untouchable.

  7. JoseyWales says:

    “Two stories from the past few days highlighted the harrowing reality of the media world that has now finally and fully made its way into sports. The defining message from this week couldn’t be more clear. Quality sports journalism is being gobbled up by tabloid gossip. Great sportswriting and reporting is being drowned out by who can scream and yell the loudest.

    In other words, we’ve gone full Kardashian.

    ESPN announced on Friday it was shutting down Grantland. The widely-respected home of some of the best sports and pop culture writing on the web was given the axe by Bristol.

    Within the blink of an eye, TMZ proudly announced that TMZ Sports would be coming to FS1. TMZ Sports will air every weeknight on FS1 at midnight (12:30 AM after Garbage Time on Wednesdays) bringing the gossip site into the mainstream sports world.”

  8. JoseyWales says:

    Golf Channel fires Brian Hammons…

    In 1994 I was thrilled to be invited to join a new 24 hour network called the Golf Channel. It was the best decision of my professional life. I was privileged to host the very first show when Arnold Palmer and President Bush flipped the switch to ‘turn on’ the Golf Channel in January of 1995. I worked alongside the likes of Jennifer Mills, Dwayne Ballen, Tom Nettles, Mike Ritz and Kraig Kann, part of the original on air crew, to help build this upstart network into what it has become today. I take great pride in that. However, this week’s Charles Schwab Cup Championship will be my last event at Golf Channel. After 21 years my contract is not being renewed. I am saddened by this, but not shocked. The television industry is going through tough times right now. Many talented people are losing their jobs because of budget cuts. I just happen to be one of them. I will certainly miss the sport of golf. I will miss the people in the sport. Mostly, I will miss the people I worked with. The Golf Channel has been like family to me. My family when I’m away from home. I cherished the dinners and the ‘hangs’ with my guys on the road. They know who they are. If I try to name all the people I’ll miss seeing on a regular basis this would be a very long letter. While I’m sad this terrific part of my life is coming to an end. I know this has happened for a reason. I know there’s a plan for me. I’m actually looking forward to seeing what the next chapter is going to be. I have been blessed beyond belief to have spent 21 years with Golf Channel. I have gained friends and memories for a lifetime.It has been a great ride….Brian Hammons”

    I expect more heads to roll

  9. JoseyWales says:

    Kelly Tilghman must go…now.

    • lannyh says:

      Ha ha. You know, I don’t have anything against her personally. In real life. However, as a consumer of the Golf Channel, I am only being honest when I say Tilghman is pretty awful. Her 4:20 ambush of Matt Every was bizarre. Her constant shilling for Tiger Woods. I’ve pointed out a multitude of these things. However, when she told Jordan Spieth he lacked the physical size of Tiger Woods — when Jordan Spieth is slightly larger — I mean, at that point, she just became a punch line.

  10. JoseyWales says:

    She’s not a punch line…she’s an absolute zero…a flop with an over-inflated salary. I will be shocked if they keep her…we will see if Molly Solomon has any balls.

    • GolfFan says:

      It’s kind of interesting to see Hammons let go. I could be wrong but it seems like he’s had a diminished role over the years, but I would doubt his pay was cut. Being one of the originals it’s pretty easy to understand he’d be one of the higher paid guys making him an easy target to let go. Seems like Kelly would fit that description as well (well, maybe not the diminished role part, but certainly the “longer time, higher salary” billing.

  11. JoseyWales says:

    “Brian Hammons is a class act and one of the original Golf Channel employees. Sorry to see this happen.”…Steve Elling
    The reaction on Twiitter has been that of surprise and support for Hammons… from Elling, Dottie Pepper and many others. Says a lot about the true culture of the Golf Channel…they put on a false front of happy face but behind the scenes all is not rosy. If you axe Hammons who has been there from the beginning how can you justify keeping Tilghman?

    • lannyh says:

      “Says a lot about the true culture of the Golf Channel…they put on a false front of happy face but behind the scenes all is not rosy.”

      Yeah, I bet there is a lot of passive-aggressive backstabbing that goes on.

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