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The Perfect Sport–Maybe Not

The winner of the “Living with Sportz” Fan of the Day for January 12th is Jean Sidener. Jean is a huge Cowboy fan. She is very loyal and passionate about sports. She also is a loyal follower and listener of Living with Sportz. Jean is definitely “Living with Sportz.” Congrats Jean!!!

Thank you to last night’s special guests, Dave Krieg and Cool Mike. It was a great show and I am honored to have such wonderful and informative guests on Living with Sportz Radio.

Today’s Article comes from the “Best of Living with Sportz”

“The Perfect Sport–Maybe Not” Posted August 17th, 2010

The following is not intended to offend fans of basketball, football or baseball. It is, rather, an attempt to put everything in it’s proper perspective.

The following truisms may shed some light:

*Golf is an honorable game, with the overwhelming majority of players being honorable people who don’t need referees. Can you imagine if the recent events of this past weekend would have happened in one of the big three sports? Dustin Johnson had a referee with him when he hit that fateful shot out of the trampled area (errrrr bunker), but golf rules state that the referee is silent unless the player asks for a ruling. Hence, Johnson grounded his club in the so-called bunker and was penalized two shots. He lost his chance at a championship, but not immortality. They will be talking about this shot when the 88th president is in office.

*Golfers don’t have some of their players in jail every week. Think about the police blotter in the NFL, NBA and even MLB. Just last week, K-Rod was arrested for hitting his father-in law in the clubhouse. A first round pick of the Indiana Pacers, Lance Stephenson, was arrested after allegedly pushing the mother of his child down the concrete stairs of her Brooklyn home two days ago. Miami Heat’s Udonis Haslem was arrested for marijuana possession this past weekend. I know that we have heard about John Daly’s indiscretions and Tiger Woods had a car accident last Thanksgiving that got a little publicity, but it is definitely not the norm in golf.

*Golfers don’t kick dirt on other people. Think about what happened to Dustin Johnson on Sunday. He lost a major championship because of a bizarre ruling. Does anyone remember George Brett’s reaction to losing a home run on a similar bizarre ruling. I believe he went ballistic. Yep, he went ballistic and wanted the head of Tim McClelland, the rookie umpire in 1983. Johnson erased his score card, took a shower, answered the media’s questions and went home. I think it would have made for great television if Johnson had gone crazy like George Brett, but it just isn’t in a golfers mentality.

*Professional golfers are paid in direct proportion to how well they play. First place gets paid more than second place. Every shot means something. If you do not make the cut, you do not get a check. Sorry, this is a unique concept, you get paid for your results not for previous results like the major sports in the world. Have you ever thought about when a player in the NFL, NBA or MLB signs a new contract? They are getting a raise based on what they have done, not on what they are going to do.

*Golfers don’t get per diem and two seats on a charter flight when they travel between tournaments. Professional golfers get no money from the PGA to pay expenses. They foot their own bill. They also do not get any preferential treatment with the airlines. I know that the premier golfers fly first class or they have a sponsor to help them pay expenses, but it is not how they start out in the PGA.

*Golfers don’t hold out for more money, or demand new contracts, because of another player’s deal. As previously stated, the higher you finish in a tournament, the more money you make. In the NFL, NBA and MLB when players sign a contract and have a good year they want to renegotiate. Do you hear me, Revis Island? What if a player has a bad year, can the team renegotiate? NO. I will betcha that the Washington Redskins would do almost anything to renegotiate with Albert Haynesworth.

*Professional golfers don’t demand that the taxpayers pay for their courses on which they play. Think about all of the new stadiums and arenas that taxpayers are paying for. Whether you ever attend a game or not, you are paying for it. Golf courses are owned by individual developers or corporations. You only pay for it if you use it. Hmmm, interesting concept.

*When golfers make a mistake, nobody is there to cover for them or back them up. I guess they can blame their caddy but how many times have we heard these so-called high profile athletes blame their teammates, the media or ownership. You wont hear that out of a golfer.

*The PGA raises more money for charity in one year than the NFL does in two. There is no other sport in the world that does more for charity than golf. Even the LPGA donates millions of dollars a year. If you are involved in a charity, odds are you have been benefited by the PGA.

*You can watch the best golfers in the world up close, at any tournament, including the majors, all day every day for $25 to $30. Even in the nose bleed section a ticket to the Super Bowl will cost you $300-$1000 from a scalper. You can follow Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson or even Dustin Johnson for 18 holes for one price. Golf has done an outstanding job of keeping prices affordable to almost every tournament. The NFL, NBA and MLB keep raising ticket prices. Ever tried to go to a MLB game with a family of four? You worked all week to afford it.

*If you bring a soft drink into a ballpark, they’ll give you two options–get rid of it or leave. I have literally walked into a golf tournament with a Diet Pepsi and a sandwich and nobody said a word or made me throw it away.

*In golf you cannot fail 70% of the time and make $9 million a season, like the best baseball hitters (.300 batting average) do. Golfers have a bad round and they do not get paid. A player in the NFL, NBA or MLB gets paid no matter how they play each and every day. Most of us have attempted to hit a golf ball and needless to say, it is very difficult. These professionals need to be perfect on the very first day and get better after that.

*Golf doesn’t change its rules to attract fans. Golfers have to adapt to an entirely new playing area each week. There is no home field advantage in golf. Every week they play at a different course and have to adjust their game. Then there are major league pitchers who complain about the pitching mound when it is not exactly perfect!

*Golf doesn’t have free agency. In their prime, Palmer, Norman and other stars, would shake your hand and say they were happy to meet you. In his prime, Jose Canseco wore a T-shirt that read “Leave me alone.” The only sport that has access to the players like golf is NASCAR. These two sports have figured it out that the fans are the reason they get paid to play a game. Have you ever tried to get an autograph from an NBA player? Good luck.

*You can hear birds chirping on the golf course during a tournament. Golf has a definite advantage here. It is almost impossible to be in a bad mood on a golf course. It is well manicured and you can “be one” with nature. It is absolutely beautiful and the fans are very hospitable.

*Here is a little slice of golf history that you might enjoy. Why do golf courses have 18 holes-Not 20, or 10, or an even dozen?

During a discussion among the club’s membership board at St Andrews in 1858, a senior member pointed out that it takes exactly 18 shots to polish off a fifth of scotch. By limiting himself to only one shot per hole, the Scot figured a round of golf was finished when the Scotch ran out. Now you know.

This article was to highlight the benefits of golf and all of the positives of this sport. Even after researching and writing this article, I have to admit that golf is lacking in certain areas. I believe we all like a little attitude and the average PGA golfer’s personality would put a cup of caffeine to sleep. Lets face it, we all love the drama and the suspense of team sports. I guess I will end with what most sports fans are asking today–When does NFL and college football start? I am so ready.


About livingwithsportz

I was a professional baseball umpire for 11 seasons from 1979-1989. I follow all sports and read and study everything to do with all aspects of sport. I am now a 50 yr old man who feels the need for a new career and am hoping to get into the sports information age. I love starting discussions about controversial sports and life subjects. I am originally from Wisconsin. I am a diehard cheesehead and have been a lifelong Packer and Badger fan. I have lived all over the country and hope to give an interesting perspective to sports.


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