Real New Yorkers are easy to spot on the streets of Manhattan. While tourists gawk at skyscrapers, neon lights and knock-off Louis Vuitton handbags, locals silently walk with their heads down. It's like an invisible musher is relentlessly driving us through the maze of concrete. Maybe, if the coffee smells especially good, we'll make eye contact with our favorite vendor as we thank him.
That's why it was jarring, and funny, to see the PGA Tour's latest promotional gimmick this morning as I was heading for my train to Ridgewood Country Club, site of this weekend's Barclays. About 40 people were sitting on bleachers outside Madison Square Garden. As commuters walked by, the makeshift gallery applauded with a controlled-but-enthusiastic golf clap. (Click the image above for a better view.)
With white iPod cords dangling from their ears, many people never noticed the cheers. Others froze before looking around to see if they had accidentally walked into a movie set. Will this promotion get more people to buy tickets for the first event of the FedEx Cup playoffs? Probably not. But it was nice to hear a splattering of applause mixed in with my Amy Winehouse.