Lovable vs. Laudable Loser

 

Rory on his way to collect a $300,000 Appearance Fee.

 

Confession time.  I know the talking I do about golf here (especially if it isn’t Tiger or Major related) bores about everyone but three people to tears.  And, this is a toned down version of my golf interest.  It’s the most mainstream stuff I can come up with.  Sometimes in the comments section I get a little off the beaten path, but there is still that inner golf dork that needs a little more.  So, I go elsewhere.  Websites, golf blogs, and the truth is I am not above getting into a mild to not so mild argument with a total stranger in the comments section somewhere.  Horse bleep happens. It’s been a rough couple of days for me in this world.  Why?  Because everyone is falling all over themselves to praise Rory McIlroy for his actions after shooting 43 on the back nine at Augusta.

Stories like, Rory learns his lesson.  Rory gains fans.  Rory is a Class Act.  Rory is Mature Beyond his Years.  Hey, look, he posted a picture of himself and Schwartzel on Twitter.  To clarify, I don’t think there is anything phony about what Rory is doing.  He may very well be a likable kid, or maybe he’s a total prick.  I have no idea.  But, I see nothing extraordinary in his actions.  Golf is the unofficial home of the gracious loser.  Hand shaking, complimentary losers are what we see all the time.  Think about guys who had frustrating losses or collapses in majors in the last two or three years.  Dustin Johnson, Nick Watney, Westwood, Tom Watson, Kenny Perry, David Duval, Phil…did any of these guys act like an ass afterwards?  They say the right things, try to move on, and in most cases, like Rory here, hop on a private jet to get started making the next million.

The media’s need to fall all over themselves talking up these guys who buckle makes me sick.  All we heard about Dustin Johnson at last year’s US Open was how immune he was to pressure.  If I had a page view for every time someone called DJ a “flat-liner,” I’d be Deadspin over here.  What happened?  He shot the population of China in the final round and lost when I think 77(?) would have won him the tournament.  Still, he was praised for how he handled the defeat.  It flowed right into the PGA Championship where he would choke less, but be just as brain-dead.  Again, more praise.  Handled the situation beautifully.  If there’s one guy who can bounce back, it’s Dustin Johnson.  And, he did.  He scored a nice wallet-padding win a few weeks later.

And, I’m sure Rory will be fine.  I don’t think he has the short game or the killer instinct to be an all-time great, but he’s a very nice player.  He could end up being Sergio, he could be better than that, Ernie Els maybe?  But, the Rory hype machine which is driven by his agent/manager Chubby Chandler, wanted us all to believe this was Northern Ireland’s answer to Tiger Woods.  Now that Rory has missed three golden opportunities to win his first major the media spin goes away from his game and toward his persona.  Forget about 80s, let’s talk about what a damn gentleman this kid is in the face of adversity.

It’s too in your face for my taste.  You can’t tell me which chokers I should adopt as lovable losers.  Those things come about naturally, over time.  A team that never wins, a superstar that never closes, or even a role player that somehow wins the hearts of fans…these things don’t happen because of magazine articles.  I don’t think I’ve ever read something about an athlete and decided I would start liking that player.   If you find out a guy does charity work, or who knows what, you might nod your head and say, that’s nice.  But, you become a fan of someone for what they do on the field.  At least that is how it is for me.

David Duval is one of my favorite golfers.  He had a very difficult childhood for a number of reasons, and over the course of his career I’ve read many things about him.  Since his shocking fall from #1 in the world he’s been incredibly humble and honest while maintaining his dignity.  I like to read all of those stories, but they aren’t why I like Duval.  I like Duval because he came out on Tour and when he finally started winning he was just a fearless assassin.  He stood up to Tiger, he won everything, and I latched onto him.  In the time since, Duval has become a lovable loser of sorts, but that just kind of happened.

I like to make my own decisions as a sports fan, and so when something happens like it did to Rory, maybe I will feel for him, and maybe I won’t.  If time turns him into a sympathetic figure, so be it.  I have no problems hearing things about him, but do not make my conclusion for me.  Heaping praise on someone for losing feels like a cop-out.  Well, the guy we wanted to win didn’t win.  Or, we don’t like Tiger so let’s point out how Rory is different from Tiger.  Would Tiger be caught dead posing with the guy who beat him the next day?  Absolutely not, so let’s spin that into pro-Rory, anti-Tiger, and we’ve got ourselves a story.  Welcome to golf’s newest club, “The Millionaire Bucklers.”

***

MLB Underdog of the Day:  Yesterday’s Result: Loss.  Financial Status (-375 Euros)

I’m at a loss for words.  There really is something extraordinary going on here.  Last night it was extra innings.  Four losses by one-run.  What have I done to deserve such a fate?

Today’s Selection:  Tampa Bay (+135) 0ver Boston.

It’s the least I can do for poor JCK up in Boston, even though I’m sure he’s all B’s-ed up right now.  The truth is, if I was betting against Boston all along, I’d be killing it.  So, we’ll go with the standard, day late, dollar short attempt here.  John Lackey’s ERA is a million.  That’s all I’ve got.

***

No quiz today…didn’t find a good one.  If you want to peruse Sporcle and post something, go right ahead.

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23 thoughts on “Lovable vs. Laudable Loser

  1. Who was the guy who played in the US Open (big guy), had his car broken into the night before the final round, was a huge underdog and shot about an 80 in the final round?

  2. hilarious. i knew you had some sort of dork in you…though, i guess your book shelf speaks for itself, though, lacking a few classics. maybe they’re just in boxes yet to me unpacked?

    and, we all know this is an impossible 3-Putt trait:
    “do not make my conclusion for me.”

    Q

  3. Jason Gore?

    Neither Tiger nor Jack would ever pose for that picture. But neither Tiger nor Jack would ever shoot 80 in the final round of Masters when leading by four to start the day.

    Nor, for that matter, would Ernie Els ever shoot 80. Leading by four to start the final round, what are the odds Els closes the deal (at any age)? Pretty damn good, right?

    At this point, what is the over-under on Rory’s lifetime major championships? 2?

  4. Shockingly that Anonymous wasn’t me, some guy JACKED MY NAME. hahaha, no seriously though, what if i was pissed b/c someone posted anonymously.

    My mom is currently taking credit for Rory’s maturity in the face of defeat claiming “maybe someone taught him manners last september.” Gotta love the woman.

  5. Also, this is related to what i was saying before about how these guys have a different mindset. I can guarantee you that at no point would you see Tiger on a private plane with the guy who just beat him for the green jacket. I think it comes with how these guys grow up in the game, and Tiger had a very different upbringing so his mentality and kill instinct were honed in a “me against the world” type thing. Meanwhile, golf is a “gentleman’s game”, a thinking game, and so growing up i don’t think a lot of these guys learn the killer instinct b/c golf is so inner focused and polite.

    Tiger would be pushing Charl out the effing plane at 35,000 feet if this were him.

  6. I’d put Rory’s over/under on majors at 2.5 probably.

    It’s amazing the talk of the european revolution here, and certainly they are all very strong. but, I wonder if the group of, Kaymer, McDowell, Poulter, Casey, Donald, Westwood, Rose and McIlroy will pass Tiger’s major total combined?

    That’s 8 guys do they get to 14? Or more if Tiger wins a couple more? Right now they have 2.

    It’s just evidence that Tiger and Jack come along once every 2 generations probably at best.

    And, in terms of Ernie Els, I think I could see him losing a tournament. Maybe not 80, but certainly choking something away. That same year Gore lost, Goosen blew up as well, and he’s a player of some distinction. I think Els has let a few majors slip away for sure, but the degree of the collapse has to be taken into consideration.

    And, I consider Greg Norman an all-time great player and he did something similar much later in his career.

    It happens, that’s the point, it happens and making a huge deal out of the reaction, or trying to force feed good sportsmanship as a contrast to Tiger or trying to drum up a media darling out of nothing is what is annoying.

  7. there’s a little blog/blurb headline at Golf digest right now that says, “Rory even handles lost luggage with grace.”

    that’s all i’m saying.

    i mean, come on.

  8. Yikes. That first post was me. I guess BK and I are more similar than we all thought.

    As for Rory winning a major, I’m not sold he’s going to win one.

    A lot of great players have come close and after we all said, “he’s going to win one.”

    Regardless of age I think we’ve said it about everyone from Sergio to Chris DiMarco.

    Sorry, Rory, but that that may have been your best shot at getting it done.

  9. That’s a good point.

    You never know when your last best chance will be.

    No matter how good the player, major wins can end abruptly.

    Did we think Freddie would never win another? How about Goosen? It’s been 11 years since Sergio was handed a few on assumption.

  10. i think i have to comment w/ Q to get Brady off of me.

    (just wanted to say that)…

    and GO PHILS…i checked, and looks like my second besty, ole Sox got rained out tnight. mabe best for sox nation, right now.

    q

    • i think i am missing a word…”all over the treadmill about…”

      q (with two cups of starbucks by her side, prepping for another day…tall iced, grande bold…lots of cream. no sugar)

  11. Kobe is a punk.

    i don’t think he’s homophobic or anything, but he’s a clown.

    he’s just sorry it got on tape.

  12. there is something pretty funny about Charl wearing his green jacket with rory on the plane. i mean talk about rubbing it in!

  13. in other news: did you read the story about when Charlie went to the mound last night to talk to Haladay after 2 runs scored and i think they had two on base. Apparently the convo went like this:

    Charlie: Well Roy here I am

    Roy: I’ve got ’em. I’ve got ’em, I’ve got ’em

    Charlie: Well ok, you’ve got ’em them.

    Charlie walks off the mound and Roy takes down the next two batters to end the game.

    • hilarious, Rand (mabe you should consider script writing as well, lotta money in that pursuit, jk).

      i didn’t watch the game, saw the highlights. did charlie go out when it was 3-1 or 3-2 then? for some reason, i didn’t realize it was right before Halladay went boom boom…

      Halladay seems like the type of player who also could excel in – say – the Marines Special Services Op…

      he’s very machine like focused…and obeys most commands.

      my Marine alumn friend has a motto “Get it done.”
      sums up Halladay.

      go big H!

      Q H

  14. hahaha…

    well, yeah, someone MAY HAVE made the exact same comment in the post below this one.

    glad everyone is reading their Phillies news early in the morning though.

    and, if I was Charl, I would have booted Rory off my jet and told him to take a walk to the Delta terminal.

  15. About Kobe, i think the term “slur” relative to the word he uttered gets just tossed around inappropriately here. South Park did an episode that pretty much sums up my thoughts. That word ironically means anything BUT what most LGBT groups get up in arms about, and when they compare it to the N-word, i lose it. Just let it go, it’s not offensive, and you’re being way too politically correct. Get over it.

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