I like sports and watch the big events when I can. I rarely watch a regular golf tournament, but enjoy watching the majors. I like the drama of people competing under pressure. So this weekend (with SOF out of town) I have tried to watch the British Open--when I am not chasing Abbie around, that is. And as I write this, I am hoping that Sergio will pull it off. I know CIL doesn't like him, but I don't mind the Spaniard. I like his game.
But there are a few annoyances from this Open coverage. First is the play of some American named Boo Weekley. I was recently chastized for my anti-Southern attitude, but people like Weekley don't help. Not only does he seem to embrace the kind of anti-intellectual disdain for language, but he doesn't even like golf that much. He has no sense of the history of the game--doesn't watch it, and has no clue who some of these people are. Perhaps, especially given my next complaint, I should enjoy someone who disdains the pomp of golf history, but it annoys me that someone who seems to disrespect the game so much--is still good enough to be a pro player and play on this kind of stage. Or perhaps that is just jealousy on my part. Perhaps I resent someone who doesn't even care that much about something he can play at a professional level, while most of us aren't that good at what we truly care about. Oh well.
But the second item is most annoying. This year, the Open is at Carnoustie, so the inevitable Jean Van de Velde discussions are to be expected. Those who don't watch golf (Boo) might even remember the monumental collapse on the last hole from 1999. Van de Velde played aggressively that hole with a several stroke lead (I think it was three), hit several bad shots, and had some very bad luck as well. He ended up losing the tournament in a playoff.
Of course, the coverage would talk about it. It was a memorable moment at this particular course. But the American coverage (which is all I get) of the Van de Velde story was simply horrible. The last few days, ABC ran an extensive look at that last hole--complete with commentators at the time and now calling Van de Velde stupid. This morning, ABC interviewed the man himself and made it clear that they demanded and insisted that Van de Velde be ashamed of losing. He kept reminding them that it was a game--that he would have liked to have won, but there were more important things. ABC would have none of it. Be ashamed. Of course, they also raved about Boo Weekley's "honesty." Whatever that means.