I have no idea why anyone pays the slightest attention to pro golfers. These are prima donna, third rate, spoiled brat, country club, white elitists who couldn't play any other sport at even an amateur level.
Please don't talk to me about Tiger. He's the whitest of them all. And, if you don't understand that, please go back to Twitter and Instagram and Facebook where you belong.
Can you imagine Michael Jordan or LeBron James or Kevin Durant or Zion Williamson or Mike Trout or Aaron Judge or Mookie Betts or Saquon Barkley or Todd Gurley or Antonio Brown or Patrick Mahomes on the golf course?
Augusta would be reduced to a pitch and putt. Eagles would soar. If you didn't break 60 at least twice you'd miss the cut. Reincarnate Mickey Mantle and he'd tee off swinging a five iron so he wouldn't overshoot the 500 yard par 5's.
But none of them would ever enter the Hallowed Halls of the PGA. Especially if they're black. Country club? Where do I find one in downtown Tulsa? For free.
The crown jewel of golf is The Masters at Augusta, the epitome of sports racism and sexism. Did Hogan or Palmer or Player or Nicklaus or Woods ever stand up and denounce this bull shit? Of course not. They've been idolized, immortalized, suckholed, and Anointed Legends. Who can blame them for endorsing racism simply by keeping their mouth shut. I think most of us would be just as seduced by fame and millions of greenbacks.
So much for morality. But why do you give a damn about these elitist white boys who roam the greens knowing they will never have to compete against real athletes?
I give you this gem I wrote last year about the Masters.
"The Masters, a tradition unlike any other."
--CBS announcer Jim Nance
Unless, of course, you're black or a woman __________________________________________
IMAGINE LeBRON AT AUGUSTA
The Masters...or The Master Race?
There are more than half a million blacks living in Greater St. Louis. But you would have needed a magnifying glass to find one in the gallery for the PGA last year. You had more chance of seeing Al Jolson at Bellerive.
PGA stalwarts and their fans, who line the rough in silent admiration, are etched in white. Hmm. Wait a second. Isn’t there a word for that? A word that starts with the letter R and ends in ism? Sort of White Lives Play Golf.
Yes, I know, there’s Eldrick Woods but he’s really the whitest dude out there. And that, by the way, is his name. Not Tiger. Eldrick. Obviously, Tiger is monumentally more intimidating than Eldrick. Did you see that shot Eldrick just made? Eldrick is one under after 16 holes. Doesn’t really have the same resonance as Tiger is making his charge on the back nine.
So I’d advise the rest of the crew to insert WWE nicknames into their scorecards and insist on that listing on the leader board.
Killer Koepke. Dynamite Spieth. Hit Man Fowler. Panther McIlroy. Justin “The Hulk” Thomas. Hammer Rahm. Double Bubba Watson. Slasher Scott. Dustin “The Assassin” Johnson. Unfortunately, even changing their name to Michael Corleone isn’t going to make Ian Poulter, Charley Hoffman or Patrick Reed look threatening.
Eldrick surveying his plethora of fans.
Golf fans are always winners. Whoever’s ahead on the final hole is their guy. They live vicariously through the wonder of his magnificence. He’s so precious. He waves to them as he approaches the 18th green and they applaud madly, tears welling up in their eyes. He’s my hero, my Knight in Shining Nike's. Isn't he wonderful? And he's so white, just like us. What's his name again?
I often chuckle when I see this.
Imagine what it would be like if golf and tennis weren’t just country club sports for the rich and privileged. Not just reserved for pampered prima donnas from the right families, who scowl like Tony Soprano when some uncouth clown breathes or coughs while they’re on the tee or serving.
What if these elitist sports were wide open to inner city kids and backwoods phenoms.
Imagine 6-8 LeBron James or 6-6 Aaron Judge with a driver in their hands. A pair of extraordinary athletes, as strong as bodybuilders, and dedicated to working their butts off to get better every day. By the time they’re 18 they’d be driving a Titleist 400 yards.
And what if this was a three wood?
Imagine 6-6 Michael Jordan, the greatest athlete who ever lived, or 6-2 power pack Mike Trout pounding a TaylorMade iron shot. They’d make a par five look like a Pitch and Putt. Eagles would fly.
Imagine Seth Curry on the green. With his touch and hand-eye a 15-footer would be a gimme.
Imagine 6-11 Kevin Durant or 6-11 Tim Duncan or 6-11 Giannis Antetokounmpo (the 6-11 club) serving at Wimbledon. That blur at 150 mph was the poor tennis ball crying for mercy. And, if you can pronounce the last name of Giannis, you must be double jointed.
Imagine Jerry Rice or Terrell Owens or Mookie Betts or James Harden dancing at the French Open. They’d cover more clay than the White Cliffs of Dover.
You would never have heard of Jordan Spieth or Rickie Fowler or Phil Mickelson. Maybe Eldrick and Killer Koepke and The Assassin would be athletic and strong enough to make the top 100. Federer and Nadal would be finalists in the Sheboygan Invitational.
I’m not saying these golf and tennis stars aren’t talented. I’m just saying their sheltered sports are closed off to most of the greatest athletes this world has ever known. Which seems to suit a lot of white folks. Jeez, Dave let us keep something.
Ah, yes, the Augusta Jewel
Then there’s golf’s shining jewel, The Masters, the most prestigious tournament of them all. Augusta, where men are white and women are in the kitchen where they belong, dammit. Back to the Future and three cheers for 1895.
Here are a few of the highlights from Augusta.
*** Until 1983 blacks were only used as caddies for the white men in the Masters. That was a rule within the club.
“As long as I’m alive, the golfers will be white and the caddies will be black.”
--Long time Augusta chairman Clifford Roberts
***Charlie Sifford, the first black man to play the PGA tour, won a pair of tournaments in 1969 and qualified for the U.S. Open but was never invited to the Masters.
***When Lee Elder played at Augusta in 1975 he received hate mail and death threats. Fearing for his life, Elder rented two apartments and traveled back and forth. And this was almost 30 years after the legacy of Jackie Robinson. (Elder shot 74 and 78 and missed the cut. Did he take a dive to get the hell out of Dodge? Wouldn't blame him.)
"What no CBS commentator has ever alluded to, even in passing, is Augusta's history of racism and sexism. Even when people were protesting just outside the grounds they never acknowledged it. So not only will I never work the Masters because I'm not at CBS, but I'd have to say something and then be ejected."
--The incomparable NBC analyst Bob Costas
***You don’t apply to join Augusta National, it’s invitation only. Finally, in 1990, the enlightened Augusta directors saw the light (or the dark) and invited their first “black gentleman” to join the club along with eight white men. Apparently, he’s a solo act and, as is their policy, his name has never been revealed but he must be as loaded as the Rockefellers and a pillar of society.
***It took considerably longer for women to get hitched to Augusta. It wasn’t until 2012 when former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore were anointed. That was a doubleheader for Rice, who was not only feminine but black. Holy emancipation, Batman, a black woman in our midst.
“This is a joyous occasion as we enthusiastically welcome these accomplished women who share our passion for golf. Both are well known and respected by our membership. It will be a proud moment when we present Condoleezza and Darla their Green Jackets”
--Current former Augusta chairman Billy Payne
***Warren Buffet and Bill Gates both belong to Augusta National. It would be mighty interesting, indeed, to ask them why. But I haven’t talked to Warren or Bill since I never met them in 2003.
***Fuzzy Zoeller called Tiger Woods a “little boy” and said if Tiger won the Masters they should tell him to not order “fried chicken or collard greens or whatever the hell they serve” for the Champions Dinner.
"I think someone should have the guts. Broadcaster, executive, somebody should say, This is not Nightline or Meet the Press, we understand that. But this is an issue. And it's the elephant in the room. We're going to address it as concisely as we can so our heads are not in the collective sand trap."
I don’t give a damn if Augusta is racist and sexist when it comes to membership. It’s their private club and they can do whatever they damn well please. It’s CBS and the Golf Channel and the hypocrisy that makes me cringe.
NOTE: I don’t use the term African American because I have no idea what it means. African and American are nationalities, not races.
If a white professor born in Pretoria moves to Toledo is he an African American?
If an albino born in Ghana moves to Des Moines is she an African American?
In fact, I’d prefer not to use any of these terms. Most blacks aren’t black, they’re brown. So I guess they should be called Browns, unless that’s reserved for UPS. And I’ve never seen a white who is white. Caucasians (and there’s another beauty) are somewhat tanned but I’m not sure what shade of beige you’d call it. Caramel is the best I can come up. Yes, Caramel.
Quite frankly, I don’t give a flying (bleep) about the (bleeping) color of your skin. All I care about is whether you have compassion and integrity and enough intelligence to keep your mind as open as the Grand Canyon.
Which isn't located in Augusta, Georgia.
Giannis dunks from the free throw line. Imagine him swinging a driver.
Moneyball is back. And I'm always amazed how many people actually believe this nonsense. Turn an asinine story into a movie and it's like a con game of distortion and bull bleep. Moneyball is classic Bleep. If your mind is open to reality I give you this Instant Replay of a story I did last year.
Zito, Mulder, Hudson, Koch, Tejada
Moneyball, the Farce
I’m watching Brad Pitt in Moneyball. When you talk about Alternative Truths this flick qualifies like Dubbya and The Donald.
Now I concede Billy Beane is a brilliant baseball mind and the highest profile GM since Branch Rickey. He thinks so far outside the box he isn’t even in the cereal. Beane is a diamond heretic. In the Baseball Almanac you look under the word Rebel and you see his selfie. Billy Beane doesn’t wait for a consensus. He acts on his own perceptions. He’s the epitome of Sinatra’s My Way.
I like all that.
Billy Beane, the Rebel
And I think he had some very interesting ideas as summed up by the Michael Lewis book and the movie of Moneyball. Lewis is an exceptional writer and The Big Short is his masterpiece.
But Moneyball is all garbage.
It’s really pretty simple. The Oakland Athletics won 103 games in 2002. What’s more, they ticked off 20 victories in a row that August, which happens about as often as housing prices drop in Vancouver. But not because of Scott Hatteberg or Chad Bradford. Try these names:
Miguel Tejada put up astronomical numbers in 2002. He ripped 204 hits for a .308 average. He scorched 34 jacks and drove in 131 runs. He also scored 108 times. But then, of course, he was only a shortstop and that’s not a very important position, is it?
After all, middle infielders pop 131 ribbies all the time. Don’t they? Was Tejada even mentioned in the movie? I don’t remember.
Okay, Hatteberg did notch .280 with 68 RBI’s. So, obviously, he deserves star billing over Tejada because he fits the protocol of Billy Beane and the Sabermetrics of Bill James. Right?
The truth be known, Beane dissed Tejada, calling him a wild free swinger, which didn’t fit the Moneyball Code of Honour. So ignore 34 big flies and 131 clutch runs. They are obviously a mirage.
Which brings us to the real reason the A’s were Top Dogs. Take a look at these numbers.
Barry Zito, 23-5 and 2.75.
Mark Mulder, 19-7 and 3.47
Tim Hudson 15-9 and 2.98
On top of that the closer, Billy Koch, went 11-4 and gunned 44 saves.
Barry Zito. Did he really assassinate JFK? Or did he just win 23 games?
As a Quartet of Lethal Terminators those guys were 68 and 25. That’s as good as it gets, like selling a script to Steven Spielberg. All the Sabermetrics and analytics in the world don’t mean dung compared to pitching that dominant.
So, of course, you heard Brad Pitt piling on the praise for Zito and Mulder and Hudson and Koch over and over in the movie. Over and over and over. You heard that. You did. Dozens of times. You didn’t? Well, at one point I think he told Hudson to throw his slider more, or something like that. Perfect recognition of a great pitching staff.
I guess 68 and 25 doesn’t compare to Bradford’s four wins.
Cory Liddle? Well, he was only 8-10 but he won five straight in August with a 0.20 ERA and that included three victories when the A’s put up their ineffable 20-game streak. By the way, Koch had either the win or the save in 12 of those games.
Moneyball is an interesting movie. Lewis is a brilliant writer. And I've certainly got nothing against analytics. Science is good. I believe in science. But a scientist makes calls based on ALL the evidence. When you shove a 68 and 25 pitching staff and a shortstop who drove in 131 runs into the recycle bin you aren't being scientific. You're delusional.
Moneyball is a farce, as far from reality as the fairy tale of the conspiracy addicts who believe JFK was assassinated by Martians. Or Jimmy Hoffa. Or Babe Ruth. That’s it. Ruth did it. Or was it Barry Zito?
Watching Urban Meyer and Ohio State clip the Washington Huskies in the 2019 Rose Bowl reminded me of this classic hoax from 58 years ago. All hail Cal Tech.
WHEN CAL TECH WON THE ROSE BOWL
The Grand Daddy of all Sports Hoaxes
We’ve covered All American running back Johnny Chung and Sidd Finch’s 168 mph heater. But they disappear into the mist compared to the Great Rose Bowl Hoax.
This one was part CIA, part Cat Burglar, part Tony Soprano, part Nerd Supreme, part Gonad Testosterone, part Buddy Flick Heist Caper, part Lock Picker 101, part Ferdinand “The Great Imposter” Demara, and part Bizarro Genius. Is that enough parts? Because my cerebral cortex is fully depleted of analogies.
At any rate these scattered parts coalesced into the Prince of Pranks, the all time king of sports hoaxes.
New Years. 1961. The Rose Bowl is salivating for the Huskies of Washington to grapple with the Golden Gophers of Minnesota. The dogs will snarl, the gophers will dig holes.
And Cal Tech will sulk. As usual, Tech was nowhere to be found, having only a smattering of 1,000 students and a football team that would struggle to score against a junior high eleven.
But a small group of Cal Tech rabble rousers, who later became known as the Fiendish Fourteen, were convinced their hallowed halls were being royally snubbed and dissed by the distinguished Rose Bowl honchos.
After all, the CT campus was barely a swing pass down stream from the Pasadena stadium and they often competed on that turf, although I’m not sure why. The cathedral seats 100 grand and even if the whole Tech alumni and their mommies and daddies and aunts and uncles and nephews and nieces and every dude and dudess they’ve ever talked to since birth burst through the turnstiles the joint would still be as empty as a Jewish stomach on Yom Kippur.
"Get that Sumo dude off my tail"
So once again NBC and the Rose Bowl was devoid of Cal Tech and the FF was as teed off as a rattlesnake who has just realized a sumo wrestler is stepping on his shaker.
A 19-year-old engineering iconoclast named Lyn Hardy was determined to toss a hand grenade of humour into the mix.
Which would eventually garner nary a chuckle from the U of Washington cheer squad, who had created a massive halftime flip card routine that would mesmerize NBC and the 30 million football fans watching. This was their moment of glory.
Lyn Hardy, still grinning 58 years later
Hardy went to work two days before game time. Posing as a reporter from a local high school, he visited three Husky cheerleaders where they were staying in the Long Beach State dorms. “They were very nice guys,” he says. “They talked me through the whole thing and showed me where they kept all the cards.”
Now the Cal Tech subterfuge was in high gear.
***When the cheerleaders left for dinner, Hardy and two Tech buds broke into their room by picking the lock. They quickly confiscated an instruction card and headed back to Pasadena.
***They hired a printer for $30 to duplicate 2,232 cards.
***Then, early on New Year’s Eve, while the cheerleaders were visiting Disneyland, the Cal Tech desperadoes broke into the dorm again and lifted the master instructions. That’s all they needed to roll. These were, after all, engineering students at a high tech college and it didn’t take long for them to break the code.
***Recruiting as many CT students as possible, they altered the 2,232 cards by hand so the seat numbers and instructions would synch perfectly.
***And now the last piece of the jigsaw puzzle. The Hardy Boys trekked to Long Beach for the third time, picked the lock again, replaced the master plan, scooped up the original instruction cards, and left the fakes in their place.
Bob Schloredt, the Huskies main man
Now the fun began.
At halftime in Pasadena the Huskies, led by QB Bob Schloredt, had a 17-0 edge and their cheerleaders and marching band were riding an adrenaline high. The colored cards and instruction sheets had been deposited on the seats in the section reserved for the Washington faithful. When the cheerleaders gave the signal the students held the cards over their head and the images appeared like magic.
There would be 15 in total and the first 11 received roars from the 100,000 in the bowl and instant focus from the 30 mill NBC viewers. So far so good.
But number 12.
This flash card image was supposed to look like a Husky, obviously the Washington mascot. But it had…buck teeth…and round ears. More of a beaver than a husky. More like the mascot of…well, Cal Tech.
Must be a glitch. Carry on, dudes.
Then number 13.
This one would get them back on track. It would spell out HUSKIES. And it did. But backwards. SEIKSUH. What the hell is going on?
Now the cheer squad and the marching band were getting bubbles in their gut. This was not good. No, sir, no way, no how. Just not good. But it had to be some strange mix up because the first 11 were aces. Which is a classic example of the Cal Tech genius.
Okay, fire away. The cheerleaders persevered, giving the signal for number 14. The cards went up, following the explicit instructions right their on their sheets.
And they spelled out CAL TECH. In big, bold black letters on a white background.
The silence was deafening. The band was stunned, the music froze in the air, the cheerleaders stared, unable to comprehend.
And then the laughter rolled through the stadium like a tsunami.
The perplexed band marched off the field and the cheerleaders Deep Sixed the final image, probably wondering if it was a word starting with F. Too bad because it was the American flag and Cal Tech, being good citizens, left it pristine.
“There was never any intent to make the world’s greatest prank,” says Lyndon Hardy, who is 77 now and a respected physicist. "There's a fine line but I think we stayed on the right side of it. It could have been obscenities or something in very poor taste, but we didn't do that. So I'm proud of that — we acted responsibly and nobody got hurt."
Then he reflects, “There was a lot of luck. What were the chances of pulling that off? I'd say zip. But you don't know that when you're young.”
Hardy, who has written three sci-fi books, adds, "As you mature you get more conservative. Life starts hitting you with brick walls. If I was approached tomorrow and someone asked if I’d do this I’d say it was crazy. But here we were, 19, and committing felonies.”
Then he laughs. "I hope the statute of limitations has run out."
And, oh, yeh, the Huskies took the 1961 Rose Bowl crown 17-7. Urban Meyer wasn't there.
Dave Empey has developed five major league
players, including Yankees ace James Paxton
and Ryan Dempster, who dominated the hill
for 16 MLB seasons, was an all-star twice, and
won a World Series ring with the Red Sox.
Plus Rowan Wick, who was called up by the
Padres in September and then traded to the Cubs.
Dave has coached 19 pro players, 11 members of the
Canadian national junior team, and more than
100 collegiate athletes.
As a sports writer with the Vancouver Sun
Dave interviewed home run king Roger Maris,
iconic heavyweight champ Rocky Marciano,
legendary sprinter Jesse Owens, Hall of Fame
pitcher Bob Lemon, classic daredevil Evel
Knievel, and NHL hard rock Tiger Williams.
Dave has covered almost ever sport you can
name, including baseball, football, basketball,
soccer, hockey, horse racing, lacrosse, boxing,
hang gliding, swimming, figure skating, rugby,
track and field, tennis, curling, and skiing.
In Kelowna he sat next to Billy Schumacher,
the greatest hydroplane driver of all time, as
they blistered through three laps at 150 mph.
"That ride with Billy was a lot of fun," he says.
Dave also managed and produced an album for
the rock band "Paul Anthony and The Invasion.
Ryan and Dave in Las Vegas
REDUX--The Masters...or the Master Race?
REDUX--Moneyball, the Farce
REDUX--The Grand Daddy of all Sports Hoaxes
My Buddy, Duke's Coach K
The Golden Age of Morneau and Dempster
The Pendulum Swings West
Jupiter's Win at Any Cost Jackasses
A Tale of Two Trades
The 800 Grand Party to End all Parties
Bring On the Sloth Triplets
The Insanity of Tommy John for 15-year-olds
Is Icing Good for a Pitcher's Arm?
What has Hockey got to do with this?
Koufax versus Kershaw
The Greatest Pitcher Who Ever Lived
"Just Play the Game"
The Spirit of Billy The Kid
One Bad Pitch
"The Players All Love Him"
The Mick's 600-foot Rocket Shots
Innocent Until Proven Guilty
The Lethal Weapon No One Uses
The Ineffable Ernest Hemingway
The Incompetence of MLB Coaches
Alabama and Ole Miss Never to be Found
The Bringer of Drizzle
Rowan Wick called up to the Padres
What is wrong with human beings?
The Dempster Slider
"I Gotta Go"
The Rock Star on the South Side
Flamethrower Michael Kopech
The Inane Babble of the Media
Rocky and the Nerds
Moneyball, the Farce
Killer Koepke and The Assassin
THE PITCHING PACKAGE (2)
Simplify, Simplify, Simplify
SEE HOW EASILY YOU CAN THROW HARD
Protecting Your Arm
The Road to Velocity
LOAD--Lead with your Hip
Throw through the Catcher
"White Lightning" at 110 mph
Johnny Chung, the Celestial Comet
THE PITCHING PACKAGE (1)
The Catch 22 of Relief Pitchers
Shadow Boxing Your Delivery
Balance Like a Gymnast
A Controlled Knee Raise
The Gold of Coil and Go
Lefthander's Pickoff Move
Stealing Against a Lefthander
Sidd Finch and his 168 mph Fastball
What Utter (Bleeping) Nonsense
Selects Rev Up for Canada Cup
Hands as Deep as an Oil Well
Hitters: Forget the Useless Knee Raise
The Terror of The Dreaded Shift
"Knock Somebody Down"
The Cougars are prowling once again
Wind Sprints--Fast Twitch Endurance
Playing Shortstop on a Donkey
What Are Scouts Looking For?
A Cure for Betances
The Six Foot Basketball League
Thank You, Aaron Judge
Sweet, Sweet, Sweet Caroline
Baseball Players--Tough as Marshmallows
We Are All Unique
Sale Shovels Horse Manure
The INCREDIBLE shrinking Strike Zone
How Many Rings are on the Wrong Fingers?
The Cure for Sorearms?
The Saga of Showalter and Bonds
The Tragedy of Brien Taylor
Blue Jays: No Standards, No Discipline
James Paxton--The Blueprint for a No-Hitter
"Play it Loud"
The Sportsnet Cheerleaders
The Blaze Turn Up the Heat
Tyler O'Neill and his Magnum Guns
Back Foot Pivot
Giancarlo, Are You Listening?
The Virus Invading the MLB Cyberworld
Are the Sox an Australian Cricket Team?
Using Ted's Head for BP
It's a RELAY, Buck, Not a Cut
Pillar Didn't Steal Home
Eating for Explosive Energy
The Magic of Man City
March Madness and You
Much more in the January 2017 Archives