Monday, October 15, 2007

I set out this week, to write about the Presidents Cup, but first, there's something else I'd like to float out into the crisp, clean air of Cyberville. Sorry, but it's fairly smelly. In fact, now that it's more than a week old, it's positively ripe.

I was watching the afternoon football game, Sunday before last, when my phone rang. I hate it when my phone rings. This was interesting news, however, about something weird going on at the Solheim Cup. I flicked over and caught the tail end of an interview with European team captain Dale Reid, none of which I understood, except for the fact that the Europeans had won. Jolly good, I thought ... well done ... whatever ... back to the game. No offense ladies, it's just at this time of year, I've had enough of golf. Yesterday, somebody told me that Duval won a couple of weeks ago. I guess he's feeling better ... whatever ... back to the game.

The following day, I read what had happened. Annika Sorenstam had played out of turn, chipped in, and then Pat Bradley, the American captain, intervened with a protest which was eventually successful, forcing Annika to play the shot again ... and I can't even be bothered to finish this sentence. It looks just as stupid and pointless on the page as it must have done on the golf course. What bothered me was my telephone, which started to ring off the hook -- journalists, the scumbags, all wanting an opinion.

I didn't see it happen. I only heard about it. I didn't have anything to do with it, honestly. It wasn't me, and I don't want to talk about it. I wasn't even there when I didn't do it, and I don't have an opinion on it either. Go away.

Then, darn it, I saw the tape. It made me wonder if stupidity might be a virus. You know, like herpes? It gets you when your defenses are strained to the utmost, like in a Ryder Cup or Solheim Cup.

This latest outbreak marred what should have been a celebration of sportsmanship, or sportswomanship, or whatever the hell we're supposed to call it, in these days of political correctness. (That reminds me -- boy, do I miss Dave Marr.) I know, I know, it's not politically correct to call anyone stupid these days either. How about this then: I think that many of those involved in the outbreak exhibited what could best be described as "a low threshold of understanding."

Nah, I know what you're thinking. "Stupid" still sounds better, doesn't it? For some reason, international team golf events seem to bring out the worst in some people. And the best of course, let's not forget that. However, let's concentrate on those who seem to lose 75 points off their IQ the minute they pull on the official team shirt. Generally speaking, they are much more entertaining.

For as long as I can remember, in the game of golf, if it was in any way hard to decide who was away, if one player was off the putting surface, they would go first. It's just common courtesy, and it evolved from the fact that the player off the green usually left the flagstick in the hole. Also, it has always been part of the etiquette of the game that if a player sees a rule about to be broken, he or she would give their opponent the benefit of this opinion, before the next shot was played. Like, "Hang on there Annika, I think I'm away." You either say something like that, or you say, "Hey, good shot Annika!" One or the other. Anything else is going to look petty, mean-spirited, pointless, witless, or at best, really, really weird. On the other hand, this altercation was strangely entertaining, even though I can't figure out why. Probably for the same reason that those videos of horrific car accidents are so popular.

Maybe I'm alone, but to me, these things look even worse when the protagonists are female. That's probably hideously sexist, but forgive me, I really believe that women are smarter than men. I just can't imagine my mom making that kind of move. My daughter, maybe, but she's only two years old. I mean, when a bunch of men get into a pointless sports argument, I usually just shake my head and think, "Well ... whaddaya expect?" Unless, of course, I'm involved in the fracas, in which case, (owing to the fact that I'm always correct) I usually display a kind of incredulous indignation toward the sort of moron who would disagree with the likes of me. Like most males, I'm like this about all sports at which I consider myself an expert, including driving a car. And like most males, I thought this was one of our last bastions of superiority over women. They play all the sports like us now, but I thought we still ruled when it came to the asinine unsporting behavior department. And now they're kicking our butt in that one, too.

So what if the dugouts empty, and a mass brawl erupts at home plate. Hey, it's just a bunch of guys on creosote, or diabolic 'roids, or whatever they call that stuff. Who cares? I don't like it, but it doesn't make me feel any weirder than usual. The outbreak at Brookline was a knee-jerk reaction, which ultimately didn't bother me either, but in the latest Solheim affair, the female culprits appeared to have time to consider a plan of action. "Let me see, should we do nothing, and run the risk of looking classy, or behave like a headless chicken and give everyone a laugh?" My god, it was like a point you'd see brought up in a really bitter divorce.

Which is entertaining. Granted, it's weird entertainment, but then so is "The Simpsons." Now, bring on the Presidents Cup. I was beginning to think the Ryder Cup was the only one worth watching. Not that Kenny would make a mistake like this one, but he might start a fight. Kenny and Peter Thompson in the pressroom. Grumpy old pros. One thing is for sure, though; there would be no low blows with those two guys. They both know what it means to have the honor.

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