This Stuff Happened — 3/29/12

Bad Idea...

The Saints coaching situation is one of the oddest I’ve ever seen in sports.  Sean Payton, suspended for the year, will be back in 2013.  In the meantime, the Saints need a head coach.  Because this is the NFL, it isn’t such an easy position to fill.   If this were a baseball team, the bench coach would slide into the role, they’d grab someone from the minor leagues and no one would miss a beat.  But in football you can’t exactly just promote the offensive coordinator because then you don’t have an offensive coordinator.  You don’t have a minor league filled with coaches.  Continuity is important, competence is important and for Payton if someone had those qualities and wasn’t terribly ambitious–all the better.

That’s where Parcells comes in, because a one-year cameo in the Saints job would probably be more than enough to satisfy any lingering curiosity about his NFL coaching career.  Parcells could win the Super Bowl and would still step aside.  If someone else on staff took the reins and was successful, at the very least Payton is probably looking at him getting hired away by another franchise.  There’s clearly not a lot of candidates out there for this type of one-year job, if that’s how the Saints want to do it, and it makes Parcells a surprisingly obvious choice.  I’d be worried about the old Tuna’s lasting power, though.  At 70 years old is he prepared to get back into the coaching grind?  And, if he’s just going to come in as a favor and oversee things, is that what’s best for the Saints?  I think they’d be better off looking elsewhere, but I am anxious to see who they hire.  It’s the only thing about this Bounty controversy that catches my interest.

***

Every year at Masters time there is a ripple of varying size about Augusta National’s lack of female members.  In some years, the club has been picketed during the tournament, in others the male-only story is just a footnote.  For years there has been speculation about who would become the first female member.  Condoleezza Rice was mentioned.  So was Anika Sorenstam.  Augusta National maintained that it wasn’t a specific policy of exclusion, but if a woman was invited to join it would have to be an organic move by the club and not a knee-jerk reaction to media outcry and protests.  The issue has come back to the foreground this year, because Augusta has made a tradition of offering memberships to the CEOs of the companies who are the main sponsors for the Masters Tournament.  Enter recently promoted IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, who if you are a little slow, happens to be a woman.  You’d think it would be a massive black eye to the club if they don’t extend Rometty the same courtesy they did former CEOs, but Augusta, if anything, is stubborn and committed to its policies.  The funny thing is, considering the level of secrecy at Augusta, it won’t be easy to find out if Rometty is offered a green jacket.

The issue of private clubs restricting membership is a touchy one.  I believe that a private club should be able to include and exclude whomever they choose.  This has become a less PC stance over the years, but if a group of bigots wants to get together and exclude people I think they have that right.  It’s unfortunate that people think that way and I’d never want to be part of such a club, but you’re never going to change the way people think.  You can force them to take a woman, or a minority, but they’ll still be bigots.  The Masters and Augusta National is a slightly different case.  If they were just a golf club they’d never be in the news, but they happen to host one of the most high-profile golf tournaments in the world.  Its their choice to expose themselves by hosting this event.  It seems slightly hypocritical that they want to open their doors for one week, accept all the accolades and prestige, but don’t want to be subject to a more liberal set of rules.

Of course, the members at Augusta would say they never set out to create a Major Championship.  They just host this invitational, the best players in the world happen to come, and the sport has deemed it a Major.  I suppose that would hold up in court, but it’s mostly horse bleep.  I think considering the membership at Augusta National, the high-profile people who call the club home, they’d be smart enough to realize what the right thing to do would be, especially now that their hand has been forced in a way.  We’ll see, change has always come slowly in the golf world.

***

Estimated 476 million dollar jackpot in the Mega Millions on Friday.  That’s a decent chunk of change.  I’m thinking about getting a ticket, because even if I don’t win, it’d be nice if the winner picked up $476,000,000.50.  That’s a nice round number.  I’d love to win the lottery, but it’s hard for me to get past the mental block of the odds against me.  I had a group of friends in college who bought a bunch of tickets for a big jackpot.  We were all together drinking the night of the drawing and as the night wore on they became convinced they were going to win.  Not joking around, actually convinced.  They were promising people a spare million–the works.  I actually felt a little bad for them when they won absolutely nothing.  But, if you do happen to win the Mega Millions, I’m not going to argue if you want to throw me some pocket change.

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23 thoughts on “This Stuff Happened — 3/29/12

    • Got it.

      Took me all day to realize I had her with the wrong company.

      AT&T is one of their other sponsors.

  1. money is rarely a precipitant to justice, but in this case, wouldn’t you think the company that funds this much money at Augusta would say, you want our funds, you accept our leader? gets some guts IBM or who’evies.

    Q

  2. the sponsorship issue at the Masters has always been an atypical one. they really dictate all the terms and control the TV spots, the amount of ads, etc. It’s basically considered a privilege to be “allowed” to advertise the Masters so companies don’t want to ruffle feathers.

    and, this has been a courtesy extended by Augusta not an expected part of the agreement.

  3. but, okay, however – the way you spell it out…if this, then this, kind of analogy, it would seem like blatant discrimination which i feel people could pounce all over.

    i’ll call up my Sev’s Sisters. we’ll protest like we did before the Howard Stern movie, obviously, kept that out of theaters.

    Q

  4. Also, there’s a precident of augusta waiting a year to extend the privilege for new CEO’s. Besides all that, for the flip feminism side, shouldn’t she not care one way or the other? She should have the stance of doing whatever is best for IBM, not taking a “moral stance” based on becoming a member of a golf club or not. If she stood up and said “we won’t sponsor unlesss I’m made a member”, wouldn’t that set the women’s movement back 50 years? A female leader is unable to remove emotion from the equation, etc. type stuff.

    In the end, if they don’t offer her she shouldn’t WANT to be a part of it.

    • i’ll read the Golf Digest thing in a minute…but from a truly feminist perspective, having been blessed with a strong love and education from all things Steinam and Carol Gilligan…it is not feminist to non-emote over paradigms of power that reinforce the ‘isms a small majority of power holders still thrive off of. that is the notion of institutionalized racism and sexism. i kind of feel like she or the company, the company really is who i am putting pressure on for the issue, needs some sort of statement. silence is why ‘isms persist. otherwise, she is another woman wearing another man’s title in another man’s suit collecting another man’s paycheck. feminism does not devalue emotions, it embraces it. it is the essence of sexism that lack of emoting and lack of value in relational abilities as opposed to financial and social independence is still devalued in the work and financial world. and this trickles into our homes. finally, the whole “not say anything” might sit better with me if it wasn’t only – eh – 30 years ago, persons who are Black were supposedly not allowed to be members at Augusta.

      here ya go:
      http://www.thejanedough.com/masters-tournament-bars-women/

      favorite section:
      loomberg reached out to Yale University senior research scholar Marcia Chambers, who described the situation as “a dilemma.” Yes, it is a dilemma. Bloomberg also noted that Augusta Golf Club accepted its first black member in 1990, at which time the earth imploded in on itself in a fiery reckoning things there stayed pretty much at the status quo.

      Q (moral: people stay silent because they can…)

      • sorry meant: it is the essence of sexism that emoting and value in relational abilities as opposed to financial and social independence is still devalued in the work and financial world. and this trickles into our homes. also, my math re: racial inclusion was off by 10 yrs. sorry. i get SO EMOTIONAL, hehe. Q

      • ‘isms in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an ‘ism, he should believe in himself.

      • empathy and the ability to believe in self AND other is very valuable, and a valuable mitigating factor when it comes to ‘isms. i am glad you do not like ‘isms. but to say they do not exist, or not to believe in their existence, that is not accurate to me. Q

  5. Yeah, you can’t make business decisions based on getting the membership.

    There are other clubs with far stricter policies regarding women, the question is, does it really make a difference if there are 3 or 4 women members or not?

    It seems like a matter of principle, but it’s an odd thing to take a stand on, membership to some super-exclusive club.

    You’re talking about a policy that could impact at most 10ish women?

      • similar theories around “just impacting a few woman” were arguments against title 9. ncaa, hx exclusive club. etc.

        i dunno. this whole thing doesn’t sit well with me, but as BK implied, i guess not much will (expect to) have to happen til next year?

        friends i talk with are like, “this is why i don’t like golf.” while i understand where they come from, i mean – a lot of euro sports have and continue to have ‘isms tied to them – i think golf is fine, it’s just the paradigms and the people who keep in place/enforce the paradigms are a bit ABLE to just do as they choose. Casey Martin, another classic rule issue. Supreme Court weighed in on that one? no?

        Q

      • I think saying “that’s why I don’t like golf,” is an incredibly close-minded statement. That’s like taking the the views of one Senator and saying, “that’s why I don’t like politics.”

        The truth is the majority of golf is played on public courses where everyone and anyone is welcome at any time.

        Obviously golf has a poor history with inclusion, poorer than some sports, but not by much if you really think about it. Baseball played 1/2 the 20th century with white players only. But, they’ve managed to get past that, because there is no “country club” stigma.

        In my opinion Title 9 is about equal opportunity/inclusion, you’re talking about thousands of women getting the chance to go to college on scholarships, things like that can actually change your life.

        Getting into Augusta isn’t going to change anyone’s life. The club is only slightly less discriminatory when admitting men if you really think about. No one here has any shot of getting in Augusta, you could win the Mega Millions tonight and they still wouldn’t have you. If they started allowing female members you’re talking about maybe 5-10 women who are already probably members of one or more fairly exclusive clubs. It’s not like they’re going to go down to Target and start recruiting your average Augusta woman. It’s not going to grow the game at all.

      • i see your point, and align with most of it – especially generalizing a sport.
        i just cannot accept that…ie, well, this woman meets all other criteria, but because she does not meet the criteria on sex, we will actually reinvent our tradition of CEOS in order to remain exclusive to men. which had been white men up until 1990. that is how the logic deduction reads for me. it is, in fact, offensive, that is rules adjust because of change in need for men of color, things do not change for women and women of color.

        that is how i see it. that is how i feel as woman, and while it is 5-10 woman in numbers, it is symbolically another slap in the face to probably thousands of young women who think like myself.

        Q

  6. I think it’s ludicrous that this is an issue. It’s a private club, let them do what they want. Why should you-or any woman-be upset? Shouldn’t you be viewing this as “ho-hum, their loss…”? She’s the CEO of one of the largest tech companies in the world, if they don’t want her then she should just ignore it and move on. Why is she entitled to being a member? And isn’t it, in a way, MORE discrimatory to have her as the only female member? Can i be upset b/c they haven’t asked me to be a member yet b/c i’m not a bajillionaire? No. They’re a-holes, so be it. Even if it is discrimatory, you shouldn’t want to force the group to accept a woman, its counterintuitive and makes women seem weak to constantly complain about it.

    • i see your point to. i don’t know quite what to say. i will say how i feel, because i think i am best at that. i feel like it just is a reminder that women are excluded from things like this. i went to a women’s college because while i graduated top of my class in high school, my voice was a lil excluded in mainstream classes.

      the masters is an important part of american culture. for many people. it would be a lovely gesture to include a woman. i cannot change the way people think. i guess wanting to be accepted by people you know you’re not usually accepted by, would be filled with grace, if that makes me weak. i may be. but i know there is no such thing as a weaker sex. just a misunderstood one. maybe i am a weaker sort of woman. but i am a woman, and i feel sad about this situation. i also get sad every time i am told my opinions are emotional. no one would ever say of a man, you’re too rational, you’re too independent. we may think it. but we’d rarely think that to be a standard point.

      the augusta and ceo thing is rational based on standards set by a small minority, refueling that those it does not sit well with – re emotional, and less valid. hence sexism persists. Q

  7. For the record, I think it would be great if Augusta invited multiple women to join, I hope they have already made the IBM CEO a member and we just don’t know about it. I just can’t argue that they should have to have a female member.

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