21
Jun
09

The stupid and dangerous

I guess Jeff Passan is on my list of idiots now….

His column on the US Open, which I even hesitated to link, is just plain stupid.  Kevin Federline stupid.  Picking a fight with Chuck Norris stupid.  Believing the election in Iran would be fair stupid.

The stupid starts with this gem

The difference between an interesting major championship and one at which, say, a course employee falls asleep on the job depends on Tiger’s standing, and with 11 strokes separating him from the leader after the second round, it’s rather evident that this waterlogged Open is Ambien synthesized into a golf tournament.

Really?

Quick, who is leading the US Open.  We don’t know and we’ll watch anyway.  It is the US Open.

From there he goes on to make fun of the two guys that were leading last night by mocking their relevance.  No accolades, no props, no acknowledgment of their success.  Just mocking.  I don’t care if he is a nobody according Passan, Ricky Barnes did something (posed a 132 at the half mark) that no one else has ever done.  Nice.

He even mocks Tiger

‘You have to do better than that,’ Woods said, and, well, duh.

Then states

Woods can’t be perfect. He’s not going to win every major.

Sorry, when you write a column with the premise that without Tiger on a Sunday at a major it clunks, you cannot just undo the stupid by that statement.  I don’t openly root for Tiger to do poorly, but I will admit it is nice to see he is human.  Speaking of, Passan did a pretty good column about the emotional humaness he showed earlier this week.   Sorry if Jeff doesn’t approve, but a major without Tiger in contention is still a major.

It feels like Tom Brenneman is writing about Tim Tebow not getting invited to the Heisman ceremony and how the Heisman has lost it’s luster because Tebow wasn’t there.  The US Open and all the majors will still be compelling in sixty years, when Tiger is teeing first at the Masters as honorary starter.  He didn’t make the tournaments, they made him.  To forget that shows a basic misunderstanding of sports and permanency.

That is the problem.  He forgot that this isn’t a chicken and egg thing.  One did come before the other.

Sundays at majors are supposed to be about Tiger.

No, no, no, no, no!  That is the danger.  Sunday at majors are about the best player on that day bringing his A+ game and making sure he doesn’t let the inevitable screw ups that everyday golfers contend with every hole turn them into everyday golfers (see Jean Val de Velde in the 1993 British Open 72nd hole for a good example).  If that player isn’t Tiger,  it is more compelling, since it has been Tiger for so long.  Like watching the World Series in 1955,  when it was great to see someone besides the Yankees win.  That it was a team no one thought could beat the Yankees made it that much more compelling.

The majors were compelling without Tiger (or Jack or Arnie or Hogan, for that matter).  Golf, more than any other sport, is about using that huge reserve of intestinal fortitude and combining that with solid play over the length of a tournament.  Just because Tiger does that better than anyone else on the planet right now doesn’t mean he has to be the only one that can do it.  Watching Tiger make a Sunday charge is incredible thing.  DaVinci at his art incredible.  However, the most compelling major in many years was this years Masters, and not because of the made up Tiger and Mickleson ‘duel’.  It was because Campbell, Perry and Cabrera played great golf, and Angel Cabrera won because he did just enough, despite errors, to catch Kenny Perry, who had played the most flawless golf for the first 69 holes.  Far better than watching Tiger vanquish admittedly lesser players by five strokes or make up two strokes to win.

Then to make fun of the people working the course to keep it playable because they have been working for 5 days straight and want sleep more than to watch Tiger hit is just plain mean.  You know, they have been watching the best 100 players in the world all week and have pulled at least two all nighters in three days.  When you are sitting in the press center or your hotel, it is easy to take pot shots at the folks working to beat nature so you have something to write about beyond how Tiger isn’t competing.  To bad Passan is either too lazy or the all-nighter he pulled drinking slo gin fizzes left him to do nothing more than just that.

Sorry, Jeff.  If you cannot watch the US Open because Tiger isn’t competing, you aren’t a golf writer or even golf fan.  You are a Tiger fan and a Tiger writer. Your readers deserve better.

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A Georgia Dawg in the Mid-West alone with his thoughts.

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