High Praise: Mr. Elling acknowledged one of my bon mots. There is no higher praise:
Mandatory Outrage: The reaction to Rory’s comments about the Olympics are par for the modern-day course. People feel compelled to be outraged by any and everything, and then to let the world know they are outraged. That the opinions are often ridiculously uninformed goes without saying.
Rory says, more or less, that golf is an ill-fit for the Olympics. Talk about stating the obvious.
Outrage ensues. How dare he insult the cosmos in such a fashion.
So let’s consider the IOC and wrestling. In February 2013, the IOC announced wrestling would be dropped from the Olympics. Wrestling in the Olympics dates back to 708 BC, and it is one of the sports whose ultimate accomplishment is to win a gold medal. This was brutal.
Why was it dropped? ESPN explains:
According to IOC documents obtained by the AP, wrestling ranked “low” in several of the technical criteria, including popularity with the public at the London Games — just below 5 on a scale of 10. Wrestling sold 113,851 tickets in London out of 116,854 available.
Wrestling also ranked “low” in global TV audience with a maximum of 58.5 million viewers and an average of 23 million, the documents show. Internet hits and press coverage were also ranked as low.
Anyone who clings to the idea that the Olympics are sports pure-and-honest has not been paying attention. Wrestling doesn’t help the bottom line, so NBC and pals decide to jettison it. Forget that high school wrestling is a very big deal in certain parts of the U.S., and an even bigger deal in certain other nations. To hell with them. We aren’t getting enough people watching our sponsor’s TV ads. Let’s replace it with beach volleyball and BMX biking.
So anyone who thinks Rory was too blunt and thereby insulting is ignorant of how cutthroat the IOC can be. NBC and the IOC can dish it out, but they can’t take it.
By the way, the IOC took so much heat for cutting wrestling that it was restored seven months later.
Outrage at Excuses! Have you seen comments about how the players should have dropped out this way or that way? Why use zika as an excuse when you didn’t want to play in anyway?
That’s not complicated. All the top players would have played if zika had not cropped up and taken away the “inevitableness” of playing. The players, suddenly not keen on going, could be honest with themselves about what a joke Olympics golf is.
Joke Event: The British Open and PGA Championship will have, approximately, 100 of the top 100 players. At the Olympics, twenty of the top 50 players are Americans who, zika virus or not, would be sitting home on their couches.
Headache: The Olympics were always a headache for Rory. A big fuss was made right away about whether he would play for Ireland or the U.K.