Tuesday, October 04, 2016

My "Lucky 7" Takeaways/Thoughts From the Ryder Cup

1) "USA!  USA!"  A quick personal note -- European golf fans can suck it.  I get so fucking tired of their fans' constant, "Well, looks like we beat you chaps for yet another year.  I guess you just don't know how superior we are..." bullshit.  We kicked your ass 17-11.  We never trailed. 

Patrick Reed, despite being a Texan, was everything a USA fan could ever want in a golfer -- drained putt after putt, despite Jordan Spieth being a worthless partner after session #1.  Reed drains a huge pressure putt on Saturday and says in response to an interview question about pressure, "I had it all of the way - no problem." 

2) Note to European golfers -- man up!  For goodness sake, you were surrounded by white suburbanites from Minnesota and surrounding area. Ooooh, intimidating!  If you are really shaken by this level of fan-harasser, I HIGHLY suggest that you do not come to Bethpage Black in 8 years.  You will have NYC area folk there.  This is roughly like going from facing a Youth Football (soccer) club to facing the German National Team. 

You couldn't handle one MN guy who is the assistant manager at a sporting goods shop in Apple Valley telling Rory that Caroline Wozniacki would not stay with him for sexual reasons?   You hear that sort of thing daily from your best friend in NYC and surrounding area.  NYC folk view that as "busting your balls" (friendly banter) so imagine what they will say when they are actually angry and trying to get in your head.  (Or don't; just come over in 8 years and be surprised).

Rory -- no hat?  No sunglasses?  Constant screaming whenever you made a putt.  Then you wonder why you had a headache?

3) Danny Willett -- way to back up your brother's tirade about American fans!  Just show up, go 0-3, get Baba Booey'ed into complete suckiness and then slink away defeated.  Good work.  AND THEN tweet "Waaaaaah, my brother was right, they ARE meanies!"  That makes you look much better.

4) Consistent with the terrible play of Willett, not one United Kingdom golfer brought home a point on Sunday in singles.  The Brexit could not come quickly enough for the rest of Europe, if it rids Europe of this level of UK golf effort.  The UK-based malaise was perhaps exemplified by Justin Rose, who shot something like 1 or 2 under on Sunday and lost to the always-beatable Ricky Fowler.  After that wretched performance, which placed Justin only 7 or 8 shots worse on the day than Sergio Garcia,  Justin noted that the course setup was..........too easy?  Not for YOU, apparently!  This is like Kevin Durant playing H-O-R-S-E and complaining that all shots had to be within 10 feet (and he missed 89% of his shots during the game and lost). 

Here is food for thought for you, Justin Rose  -- if you cannot play well on an "easy" setup, then it is a "hard" setup for you!  (Mind blown).

5) I went to the Friday session in person.  Some observations:

a) the reports on the shuttle system from Canterbury Park to the course were horrific.  A 1.5 mile line to board a bus?  Two hours from parking there to the front gate?  Maybe Hazeltine could build a couple parking ramps?

b) We parked downtown and took the bus from downtown.  The bus worked so much better that we got to the course by 7:35 and actually got to see 90 minutes of golfing before the hordes of people arrived.

c) When everyone had arrived by 9:00 a.m., viewing became next to impossible.  The decision to sell 50,000 tickets when 4 groups are playing is pretty anti-fan.  I mean, why not raise the price to $300 (my ticket was $150) and sell 25,000?  Give fans a chance to actually view what is going on....?

Even if you kept the price at $150, at 25,000 fans a day times $150/fan, that is $3.75M.  Add in the fact that the average fan bought $100 worth of food, drink and merchandise, that is another $2.5M.  And this doesn't count the sponsorships and high end tickets that the likes of me cannot afford. 

Ryder Cup exec on TV on Saturday said, "Yeah, my kids were complaining because they could not see.  But I told them it was the experience that counted."  Easy to say when he (like me) was not paying for his ticket.  But I imagine the experience would be just as great if you could actually view the course.

d) The crowd at the Ryder Cup had to be the quintessential all-white-middle-to-upper class crowd.  I wore a plain red sweatshirt from "My 2004 Closet Collection."  I was really worried that someone might come over and ask me to leave b/c of the dress code -- "Sir, and I use the term loosely, where is your private golf course embossed pullover?  If there were 50 "fans of color" in the 50,000, I did not see them.  Wave after wave of white guys (I'd guess the crowd was 80-90% male), many very douchey looking preppies (or whatever they called it in 1998 when these guys were in college).  I walked by a crowd of 10,000 or more fans at #17.  I was actually aggressively searching for any minority-looking person I could see.  Zero.  Shockingly, on the way to the souvenir shop (which was roughly the size of a small Wal-Mart) I was engaged in conversation by a black gentleman.  I almost fell over dead and thought maybe he was Tiger Woods or the other one black guy I'd seen inside the ropes.  Nope.  (Note, he hated Matt Kuchar).  So I know there were at least 3 black people at the event. 

6) Paulina Gretzky (Dustin Johnson's wife) is striking -- but she is absurdly thin.  You know how you are always told that models/actresses are super thin?  She is super thin.  Super, super thin.  She failed to get the team memo, however, on going with the "just past shoulder-length super bad dye job looks like straw" blonde hair style of virtually every other golf WAG for the USA.  The Euros at least mixed in a few brunettes. 

7)  Phil.  How about Phil?  Tax evading, insider trading Phil Mickelson.  Spraying it all over the course on Friday.  Makes the key iron shot and putt on Saturday.  Wearing some sort of bizarre vest over his playing shirt on a 75 degree no-wind sunny Sunday.  Bitching out Hal Sutton and Tom Watson as shitty captains. And freaking Phil shoots a 63 to tie Sergio (perhaps further infuriating Justin Rose?). 

The guy creates a Ryder Cup Task Force because he is tired of losing.  He says, basically, "You guys at the top of the Ryder Cup effort suck at doing Ryder Cup stuff" and just demands a change.  Now, who knows if it actually mattered, but imagine you went into your job tomorrow where you are like 10th in command and said, "You guys fucking suck.  I can turn around our 2017 in 4 easy steps."  Then you demanded that those steps occur immediately.  After they did, your company had the best result in 8 years.  Imagine the size of the balls that would take.

It would certainly take a lot bigger balls than what would have been required to just ignore it when some guy who sells insurance in New Hope tells you that you and all of Europe suck........

HM

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