Aug 21, 2012 / 5:00 am
Brian Williams is so Canadian that there is a strong possibility that when the Winnipeg, Manitoba native slices open that famous pointing pen hand, he bleeds some form of high-end maple syrup. And that is awesome…because it takes a tremendous amount of in-studio skill to convince a proud Nation that the “Own the Lower Step of the Podium” program is actually an unparalleled success once more at the Summer Olympics. While I fully respect Rosie Maclennan’s sacrifice and success for returning with Gold in Trampoline/Bouncy Castle, it is Williams’ ability to double somersault in the pike position at the desk which truly impresses me and here, I paraphrase… “Canada has succeeded in winning more medals at these Olympics than any Nation before with only one Gold.” This is the kind of Sweet Genius that would turn Chef Ron Ben-Israel into a pillar of Equal and leaves all of us Sports Fans wondering how Williams can top it in 4 years time in Rio. Perhaps, with the return of golf to the 5 Ring Circus in Brazil, the crack CTV Research Think Tank will don their Loudmouth gear, load up the Prius and discover in which International House Of Pancakes between Sarnia, Salt Lake City, Trinidad and Tobago and Calgary, Mike Weir and Stephen Ames left their golf games.
In the meantime, let us return to an un-Olympic time of golf – a time of Monday morning finishes made all the more remarkable by the coffee-hour sighting of Sergio Garcia, the PGA Tour’s Walking Dead, holding a shiny silver Wyndham Championship Trophy while smiling somewhat awkwardly having just realized he can’t see his reflection! While it is true that Sergio won twice in Europe last year, topping the field at the Castello Masters and the Andalucia Masters is hardly comparable to winning the final PGA Tour event before the start of the FedEx Cup Playoffs. (Listen, be very, very quiet… that’s Jim Mora in the background… “Playoffs… playoffs?!”)
For Garcia, whose Spanish self-confidence has ebbed to microscopic levels, largely due to a Vijay Singh-like disdain for extended use of putters and grips, this victory is most important as a spring-board to September’s Ryder Cup festivities at Medinah and will enable Euro-Captain Jose Maria Olazabel to spend his 2 meager Captain’s Picks elsewhere. If I was a betting man – and we’ve discussed my position on that before – I like the long hitting Alvaro Quiros and the rah-rah leadership of Ian Poulter to fill those 2 spots, although trying to read the enigmatic mind of Olazabel is best left to those more qualified. Or, in this case of course, that will be the NBC Golf Team led by that Miracle Of All Things About Me Johnny Miller and his on-course ventriloquism dummy Roger Maltbie whose ability to pump Johnny’ tires is surpassed only by his ability to win every Mo-vember contest he’s ever entered. Expect Golf’s Greatest Spectacle to be 3 days of questioning the wisdom of not only Olazabel’s picks but also, Heaven forbid the USA fall behind early, Davis Love III’s decisions on everything from and including Alternate Shot pairings and Team Cardigans. Hey, I’m not the first guy to be irritated by Miller and I certainly won’t be the last…but I am going to be the first to send him some Brian Williams footage to study – it’s called CLASS Johnny and you just can’t buy it.
CLASS is a word that has often been used to describe The Masters and The Augusta National Golf Club although, truth be told, it is a term that has rarely been applied to the so-called Men Of The Masters, the membership executive and the policies that the legendary House That Jones Built have upheld for the past 80 years. It took far too long for the membership to admit its first African American member (which it did in 1990 following the Shoal Creek PGA fiasco) and it has taken far too long for the Green Jacket doors to open to women. While the Martha Burk protest debacle in 2003 which prompted former Augusta Chairman Hootie Johnson to say he would never make membership decisions “at the point of a bayonet” was certainly a catalyst to the sudden policy shift, as was IBM’s appointment of Virginia Rometty as CEO earlier this year, (the previous 4 CEO’s of the computer giant had all received Augusta membership) recent reports suggest that this move may very well have been in the works for the last 5 years.
Today, Monday, August 20th, 2012 present-day Chairman Billy Payne announced that Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore, a South Carolina financier and partner in Rainwater Inc., would become the first female members entitled to the storied drive down Magnolia Lane. While many in the media have consistently maintained that Augusta, as a private entity, has every right to manage its membership as it sees fit, it is sad when an institution which represents much of the tradition and honour of the great sport of golf needs until now to transition to what Payne deemed a “joyous occasion.” Noted LA Times columnist and Around The Horn stalwart Bill Plaschke may have stated it best when he Tweeted, “Cheers to Augusta for opening a door it wasn’t required to open, but I still wish this American sports shrine looked more like America.” Amen to that. All that’s left to wonder is whether or not a 2013 date has been set for The Ladies Club Championship, because I am here to tell you that after watching Condoleezza Rice launch it off the 1st Tee today in front of a stunned and surprisingly silent Jerry Pate, the former Secretary of State looks match-play ready.
For now Kelowna, stay classy of course…
Read more A Sports Fan Speaks articles
- Playoffs? Are you kidding me? Jan 29
- And we're back... Jan 22
- Looking ahead...and a bit behind Jan 15
- Collective disregard Jan 8
- Gettin' Dickey with it Dec 18
- Retirement parties Dec 11
- A sad day to tailgate Dec 4
- Honing The Blade Nov 27
- Initial impressions Nov 20
- To Rank or not Too Rank Nov 6
- Reasons to be fearful Oct 30
- Live strong until proven guilty Oct 23
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