Written by: Matt Shock (@shockwave_music)
Edited by: Curt Ashcraft (@cashcraft740)
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Apparently this weekend’s golf tournament was quite the show. At least that’s the impression that I got from my Twitter feed. As sports writer after radio host after television personality kept going on and on about what a great ending Rory McIlroy’s performance was to the great splendor and pageantry that is the PGA Championship. Even Jim Nantz claimed that a new star was born as McIlroy sunk his winning putt in the early sunset.
But really, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter because golf, in the grand scheme of the sports world, doesn’t matter.
Now before you start writing your hate mail, you should know that I like playing golf as much as the next guy. But nationally, nobody really gives a crap about the sport except people who play golf…i.e. sports writers.
Think about it. Sports writers (and similar folks) love golf because it’s the only sport that many of them are really capable of competing in at a high level. It’s the last pillar of hope. Just like how we all grow up wishing we could play baseball for a living, sportswriters and the like live out their professional career thinking that if they could just lower their handicap, they could make it on the tour.
This attitude isn’t isolated to just sportswriters, because sports writers have an audience. Middle-aged men across the United States read what these guys write and begin conducting business on the golf course, while men in their twenties start thinking that they’re doing something wrong because they haven’t really swung a golf club or watched a golf tournament on TV before…and it all occurs while they’re thinking that one day they could make it.
Follow these guys to the golf course and what do you see? Why it’s the Golf Channel, plastered on every TV in the place, just oozing the message that “if you play golf, you obviously must pay attention to whatever tournament is being played this weekend”. The sickness, originally caused by the over inflation of the sport by sports media, perpetuates itself.
Now, by this point you may be wondering how any of this crap relates to this weekend’s PGA Championship results. Well, simply put, golf has been searching for a new star ever since we all found out just how much Tiger Woods enjoys himself some IHOP. (Apparently, having your super model wife attempt to beat you to death with a five iron takes an awful toll on your mental game.) At any rate, when Woods fell apart and couldn’t putt anymore, the game of golf was in disarray because nobody was there to attract the viewers and boost the ratings quite like Woods did.
As Rory McIlroy (who I think should be nicknamed “Tin Cup” since his name sounds so much like Roy McAvoy) secured a thrilling victory in his fourth major, everyone who remotely pays attention to golf started seeing visions of Tiger Woods and began lifting him up as the next messiah of the sport (picture Monty Python’s The Life of Brian here…and if you don’t understand that reference…seek professional help).
But like I said, this really doesn’t matter because golf doesn’t matter. The rest of the American public who isn’t a sportswriter, radio host, or closeted weekend warriors are too busy watching the NFL, NCAA Football and Basketball, MLB, NBA, and NHL to even begin giving a crap about watching golf.
I’ll give you one better than that. Watching golf is very similar to watching a Cubs game on TV on a Sunday afternoon. You set out to watch the whole thing (or at least I do), maybe making it through the first hour or so, then before you know it you wake up on the couch with a sore neck saying, “What they heck happened?” You don’t actually care about the golf tournament on TV; you’re just letting Jim Nantz sing you a lullaby as you catch up on your sleep before a busy work week.
Like I said, I like golf (playing golf) just as much as the next guy. But can we please stop pretending like we give a crap about watching it on TV? Whoever the PGA’s next big star is, I’m pretty sure that they still won’t shine brightly enough to take America’s attention away from the rest of the sports world.