Archive for the ‘Golf’ Category

Service of Sports on TV

Thursday, September 14th, 2023

This court on Second Avenue in the 30s often becomes a pickleball court. Otherwise, tennis players practice against the wall on the left.

Retired beloved NYC sports broadcaster Warner Wolf, [whose “Let’s Go to the Videotape” became his trademark], calls in to a local morning radio program every Monday. He predicted that investors in major league pickleball are wasting their money because the game is to be played. It’s not a spectator sport, he said. If you ask Google “how many people play the game?” the stats range from 4.8 to 8.9 million. Wolf is one. He lives in Florida now and plays five days a week.

I was athletic when young but have never voluntarily watched sports on TV and have not loved the baseball, football and hockey games I’ve attended. The exception: watching tennis in person is fun.

Yet the moment Wolf said what he did about pickleball I thought of golf. Millions watch major tournaments on TV. Too slow a game for me when I tried playing it, watching it on TV is excruciating yet my husband adored doing so almost as much as watching his beloved football team which in the day was the Redskins. He also played golf for years.

Do you think pickleball will be profitable for the investors in major leagues?

I am not envious enough of those who look forward to watching their favorite teams in season to force myself to follow. I’m not curious to see if their enthusiasm is contagious though I’m glad so many derive pleasure.

I wonder: if you enjoy watching sports on TV have you been doing so since you were a kid? What about it captures your fancy? Do you also go to the games?

Retired sportscaster Warner Wolf calls in from Florida every Monday morning.

Service of Loyalty and Respect: The 2015 American Team at the Presidents Cup

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

My husband, Homer Byington, a golf fan, sent this to me. One reason he follows golf is because of its history of good sportsmanship. He says it’s the only sport in which a player is honor bound to report his/her mistake.

What happened on Tuesday struck a welcome note in today’s “Win at all costs/you’re a total loser if you don’t” climate and approach that applies to more than sports these days—i.e. to politics, the arts, and business as well.

If you don’t follow golf, this year is the Presidents Cup, a challenge between American and international golf teams in Incheon, South Korea. Next year will be the Ryder Cup, a competition between the American and European teams.

Homer wrote:

I am flabbergasted. In this crass, selfish world of money grubbing athletes, the richest golf pros have put sentiment ahead of self-interest.

Every other year a team of 12 American pro golfers either plays a team of 12 European golfers or 12 international golfers. Competition is fierce to make the team, because of the prestige that comes from being a part of it.

The 12 player teams are chosen 10 statistically from the players with the best records and two by each team’s captain, an appointed older, non-playing golfer.

For 20 consecutive years, Phil Mickelson, 45, played well enough to make the American team statistically, a record few, if any, can match. This year he has played terribly, and his ranking has fallen all the way to 30th so he did not make the team statistically. Furthermore, there are at least 10 other Americans that also did not make the team, who have been playing better than he has, and theoretically, if chosen by the captain, would give the American team a better chance of winning.

This [Tuesday] afternoon, Captain Jay Haas of the American Team picked Phil as his first “Captain’s Pick,” as he said, “The guys on the team were adamant that Phil was the guy.”

Phil will probably play badly and the Americans may well lose the cup because of their choice, but what a way to lose it!

And I had thought Americans, particularly young ones, only cared about money and winning.

This decision has its roots in good sportsmanship, and represents recognition of an admired colleague’s contributions to a game.  There’s also encouragement—”we know you can do it”–in their choice. They have confidence Michelson still has it in him. 

Can you think of other examples either in sports, politics, the arts or business where young winners acknowledge the value of an older, recently less successful competitor who once led the pack? Do you think the team was nuts to add Mickelson?

 

Get This Blog Emailed to You:
Enter your Email


Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz