Posts Tagged ‘the masters’

Unabated to the Quarterback: The NFL Draft

A few years ago, I tried to force one of my friends to watch The Masters. I tried to explain how watching a major golf tournament was different from watching any other sporting event, with the way the leaderboard constantly evolved and, by Sunday night, you laughed at yourself for thinking a few hours before that Y was going to win when X had it in the bag all along (and this doesn’t even mention Z, who looked like a shoo-in a day earlier).

His ignorant response was that none of that was interesting at all, and that since the constitutive shots of golf themselves lacked suspense, drama, or an opposing force, you might as well just look in Monday’s paper to see who won.

This argument, of course, can hold for a lot of sporting events—provided we don’t find their constitutive elements all that exciting. Any real sports fan, then, should dismiss such a specious objection.

Except when it comes to the NFL Draft.

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Monday Medley

What we read while trying to ignore the fact that Amy Mickelson is Tiger’s type…

Tiger Staring Blankly

As you almost certainly know by now, this is Tiger Woods’ latest Nike commercial—his first new ad since his marital shit hit the proverbial fan back in November, and Woods subsequently went from respected golfing machine to tired punchline.

A lot has been said about this ad. That it is a shameless instance of a company capitalizing on a troubled marriage to sell a product. That it is crass manipulation of a dead man’s voice. That it is an illustration of Tiger Woods’ narcissism. That it is a rare example of a company promoting its sponsor, as opposed to a sponsor promoting the company. That it is just downright creepy and weird. All of these may or may not be true.

What hasn’t really been said about the ad, though, is that it is a really startling and brilliant piece of marketing. Continue reading

The Sports Revolution: Golf’s Major Playoffs

Let me set the scene for you: It’s the final week of the golf season, except nobody notices because the most important tournaments have already been played.

Let me reset the scene for you: It’s the final week of the golf season, and everybody’s* attention is riveted as the most important tournament wraps up six weeks of must-see golf.

*“Everybody” here does not, of course, mean “everybody,” but rather, you know, anyone somewhat enthused by the adventurous journey of that petite dimpled ball.

This is the third year of the FedEx Cup—golf’s subpar attempt at concocting end-of-season excitement with some absurd form of “playoffs.” There are four tournaments, a point system, and a reduced number of players in the field each week. But in 2007, Tiger Woods won easily because he dominated the whole year, and in 2008, Vijay Singh won easily because he won the first two of the “playoff” tournaments.

Golf’s problem is this: It wants the playoffs to be approached both by the players and its fans with the same level of seriousness and significance as the sport’s major championships, played intermittently throughout the season. But therein lies the rub: The playoffs won’t be taken this seriously while they’re competing with the major titles.

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