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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A New Rivalry Unlike Any Other


We've all heard it a million times before...

"If you didn't like that, then you just don't like _____"

In this instance, replace the ____ with "golf", and you'll get the gist of where I'm going with this...

The Masters. The "Tradition Unlike Any Other". The Jim Nantz Invitational, if you will. This weekend's tournament really had it all, too...

Tiger was back, the leader board was littered with more green jackets than a Packers home game, and when it was all over, a fan favorite walked away with his 3rd Master's title. As I remarked to a few friends on Saturday, "The only way Hootie Johnson and Billy Payne could of drawn this up any better, is if somehow they could've made Tiger Woods white, and asked KJ Choi to refer to himself as 'Kevin Charles'". Not that I'm inferring that the Masters' chairs are racially intolerant or anything. More like just, "Good ole Southern boys". Or as I like to call them, "Hootie & the Blowhards"...

But political viewpoints aside, even those good ole SoCo swillers couldn't imagine an ending so perfect without involving white hoods and a flaming cross. They had the ultimate family man, with a wife fighting cancer, fending off the unapologetic infidel, who seemed more concerned with blaspheming than with trying to put a positive face on his controversial return. And while I don't speak for CBS, The Masters, or anyone representing the PGA, their unabashed glee was all over their faces and deeply ensconced in their voices. They may not dislike Tiger Woods, and they all definitely realize how crucial he is to the game, but they could not have been any happier with Sunday's result. It's why they kept bringing up the fact that Tiger was still "cursing", and why they kept literally willing Phil to pick the lesser club off of each tee to avoid yet another epic collapse...


And speaking of cursing, since when did "God dammit" become a 4 letter word? I mean, I get that it's not necessarily the most "appropriate" thing Tiger could have said, but for a guy that usually drops S and F bombs, I thought he was able to censor himself quite nicely. Apparently I was the only one you thought so, though, as I've already heard Jim Nantz, Scott Van Pelt, and WEEI's Glen Ordway go out of their way to point out that while Tiger said his on course language was something he would change as part of his resurrection, he'd failed to do so in his first event back...

Really, guys? Really? Guess you're not nearly as familiar with rehab as I would have figured, considering who you cover and who your coworkers are...

In my book, going from screaming "FUCK!" to screaming "Tiger Woods, you suck! GOD DAMMIT!", is quite the step in the right direction. Is it what everyone necessarily wants to hear? No. But if we are to believe what Tiger has told us, that should come in time. But ripping him for saying "God dammit"? That's like kicking a meth head out of rehab for smoking a cigarette. To me, the criticism of his remarks was almost a free pass for those who didn't like Tiger to begin with, or at least since with uncovering of his vast indiscretions, to pile on and continue to point out his flaws...

What was even more strange, and even more defining, was that there weren't ANY commentators at all who decided to take the other side. To take up for Mr. Woods. It was a clean sweep, and it sent a clear message that a new age of golf has arrived. We no longer live in a golf world where Tiger is the ever present wunderkind and Phil is the lovable everyman trying to push through and fight the unstoppable force. Now, it's even more simple. Phil is good, Tiger is bad. For lack of a better term, but at the same time using this term as a pun, it's "black and white". Phil, with his 3 green jackets and 4 Major titles, is now not only likable enough to carry the thrown, but good enough to carry it, too...

This week's Masters may have started out as the Tradition unlike any other, but in the end, it spawned and defined a tradition most of us are all too familiar with. Phil VS Tiger. Good VS Evil. And judging by the reception his victory received, it's all too clear that the masses have switched alliances faster than a cast member of Survivor. Tiger was great, but he proved too good to be true. Now, a new white knight has been thrust into the forefront, with a back story so good that if he too should fall, country clubs everywhere would crumble to the ground...

Me? I'm sticking with Tiger, blasphemy or not. To me, no matter how imperfect he may be as a person, he's long since been established as the ruthless, omnipresent Yankees to Phil's aww shucks, we'll give it our best shot Red Sox. Now, it's just that Tiger represents all that off the course, as well. IT also just so happens that in this instance, I'm a member of Yankee Nation, and not Red Sox Nation. And I can only hope and dream that John Sterling now sees it fit to come up with a great nickname for me...that doesn't involve a pre 50's Broadway play...

In closing, had he not already used his "win for the ages" call on Tiger's win in '97, Jim Nantz would have been well deserved to whip it out on Sunday. Phil's win was not just another green jacket, it was the win that could permanently change the game's very landscape. Or at the very least, it's sure as Hell going to change it's face...

Tiger and Phil. What was once a one sided rivalry, is now the battle for the golf fans' very souls. Pick your sides, kids, and get ready to dig in for what's sure to be a legendary battle...

Tiger Woods...you DON'T suck, my friend. And before all is said and done, you'll have reminded all these haters whose still the best and most deserving golfer in the world. And here's a hint, you won't be able to see his nipples...

Now, before I have to check out to go work some New York Yankee home opener baseball at my stomping grounds of AM 790, here's a quick reaction from the Red Sox first week of legitimate baseball. Ya know, just in case all those Yankee references had you thinking I'd switched sides...

Which I still haven't, by the way. Pricks...



Red Sox Update
Overall: (3-4) 2 games back in AL EAST
This Week: @ MINN (4/12, 4/14-4/15) vs TB (4/16-4/19)

I guess ask and you shall receive, huh? At least when it comes to calling out umpires and refs...

Longtime umpire, "Country" Joe West, came out this week and called the pace of Red Sox/Yankees games "pathetic and embarrassing", and his comments have drawn quite the reaction...

My take? I think Joe's nickname could do without the O, the R, & the Y, and that he should have a Coke and a smile, and shut the f*** up. The fact we as fans even know that you have a freakin' nickname speaks to how big of a ham you are, and you perfectly embody everything that's wrong with today's officials. I've always said we need real men, and not robots, calling our sporting events, but it's guys like Country Joe, who tends to ump more like his cousin, Mayor Adam West, that give even a staunch advocate like me pause for concern...

It's just pathetic, really, that when so many qualified candidates exist, all the major sports in this country insist on keeping guys like West, and my old punching bag, Tim Higgins, on the payroll just because their viewed as "wise" and "experienced". Wake up already. Unionize all these guys, hold them to higher standards, and everyone is going to benefit. I'm not saying we want to make them so perfect that they don't make mistakes, I just want them to be more aware of the position they hold, and they job they are expected to do...

I've said it a million times, and I'll end this rant with this. On what planet does it make sense to have old fat guys in their 50s officiating the premier athletes in the world? And don't tell me it takes that long to learn how to be a ref, either, because I took the weekend course. I know what's up...


Well, now that I've thoroughly wasted the little time I had bitching about Joe West, I'll just give you a few bullett points on the Sox before I hit the bricks...

*David Ortiz may not be "done", per say, but when your the Boston Red Sox, and you have a healthy Mike Lowell and Jeremy Hermeida on your bench, waiting 2+ months for Ortiz just isn't a profitibale practice. Seven games is too early to be writing anyone off, but the 11 strikeouts are alarming, and I hope Terry Francona is able to puul the plug sooner rather than later should that day actualyl come. And if it does come, it will only be in a week or so. David's already made it perfectly clear that if he doesn't start hitting, his demeanor is going to get pretty nasty, pretty quickly...

*"Pitchers take longer" + "He always starts slow", just aren't excuses that fly with me. You got me, Mr. Lester? I got a staff full of guys on my fantasy teams that are doin' just fine, brotha, and even though I think you'll right the ship sooner than later, I just don't like how this start has almost beem deemed "acceptable". A 7.20 ERA is just awful, man. Just awful. And to further that, if you know a guy is going to "start slow", then you should be hesitant to pay, and hesitant to have him start the season at the top of your rotation. Sounds a little stupid, I agree, but so does writing off 2 starts just because a guy usually "starts slow"...


Overall, there's not too much you're gonna learn from 7 games, so despite the slow start I'm not going to make any bold predictions one way or another. Mostly because I know there is plenty of baseball left to play, but mostly because I just picked the Sox to Win the World Series a week ago, and flip flopping so soon would make me look about as credible as...well, about as credible as Joe West, I guess...

The one thing I would like to see, however, is just a little more timely play, and a little better performance overall from the pitching staff. But hey, right now I'm just glad baseball's back...

Give me another week, and I'm sure I could think of more to bitch about, but I'm trying not to jump to any rediculous conclusions, and like I said, I do have a Yankee game that I have to be getting to...


Have a good week, everybody...

Teddy Williams...

You Don't Know Jack...
100...

#$>

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