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.