Monday morning sports radio and television was agog with Rory-Mania, all hailing the smiling Irish phenom who just swamped the field in the U/S. Open, winning by 8 strokes with a record score of 16 under par.
“All hail the new king, the old king is dead” seemed to be the prevailing attitude, as golf, dying a fast death in ratings and attendance without the one and only Tiger Woods missing in action, couldn’t wait to proclaim the beginning of a new era.
Except that the ratings dropped from last year’s U.S. Open, when, curiously, a guy named Tiger Woods fought his way back into contention and stirred the old television meter.
Golfing purists will always watch the sport, whether it’s a major or The Doral open, because they enjoy the sport. But the fringe fan, the one who would check in to see how Tiger was doing, is disinterested.
Golf is a “sport”, okay GAME, dominated by rich white guys straight out of the frat house. Tiger Woods went to Stanford and by all accounts a middle class kid, but he not only had game, but he’s black, and that made it cool for inner city kids to like the game. Now Tiger might be the whitest black guy in the world, hell his favorite group was Hootie and The Blowfish—really—and if you closed your eyes and heard him speak he sounded like the geekiest Caucasian in your high school class, but on the screen, his complexion gave him a connection to all minorities.
I’ve been a golfer for a long time, but after Tiger Mania hit, suddenly getting tee times was a pain in the rear. I remember hearing people look at the influx of new, um, darker, people on the driving range and the links and knowing what they were thinking—”Eff Tiger Woods! He’s ruining our game!”
Now McIlroy, who has a dynamic game and engaging personality and talks a little smack, looks poised to become The Next Big Thing.
But honestly, all I see is a newer version of Coca Cola, packaged different but the same old same old.
And when somebody calls me on a Monday morning and says, “Did you see Rory yesterday?”, I’ll say what I said this morning—”No, because I didn’t care”.
Tiger Woods may indeed be a pompous, arrogant insincere womanizer that has let down the golf community, but damn if he didn’t defy the old “no one is bigger than the game” tag.
Like Wayne Gretzky, who made you care about hockey because of his once in a lifetime brilliance, Tiger, because of his unbelievable talent and being a minority, was and is bigger than golf. He didn’t just intrigue the longtime fan, he brought a whole new audience with him.
As great as Rory McIlroy could be, all he’s bringing to the party are, excuse the stereotype, drunk, loud Irishmen. And dave Smith says he’s not a fan? Bull bleep…
I watched the newest Mexican sensation, Saul Alvarez, over the weekend, and with his attacking style, he’s the new Mexican favorite. I don’t know, his red hear makes him stand out the great old action fighter, Danny “Little Red” Lopez, and he’s just as easy to hit. He will be exposed by a slick boxer and knocked cold by a hard hitter with his chin propped up as it is. It seems only natural that the promoter should be in a rush to put him and Julio Cesar Chavez in the ring together. That fight would match two boxers with almost the same ability, lots of charisma, and huge followings. It would be a mega million dollar fight in Mexico. I’d hurry up and match them before they both run out of European set ups to beat up on…
How bad is Southern California baseball? As of this writing, the Dodgers are 8 games under .500, the Angels 3 games under, and the Padres are, well, back to being the Padres. The Dodgers have no management to help them, and have matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and a bunch of crap.
Arte “I’ll do anything to make this a contender” Moreno has just said he’s not spending any more money, and the team celebrates when they actually score a run.
One thing I will give the Dodgers credit for is having objective reporting. The other day Steve Lyons absolutely ripped the effort, and said the team keeps saying “we will make up ground against the weaker teams, but when they will realize that THEY are among the weaker teams?”
Meanwhile, in Arte Land, they continue to relive 2002, and believe they can actually contend with one of the best and deepest teams in baseball, the Texas Rangers. Let’s see, their 3 and 4 hitters are 37 and 35 years old, and their highest paid player just had a hot streak that got him to .200. They “lead” the league in runners left on base and striking out. Their bullpen is horrible. Yes, that is one championship caliber team. But at least they have a fan friendly environment…