Sunday, July 19, 2009


First, there is the good.

Stewart Cink birdied the 18th hole and a few minutes later Tom Watson bogied it for a two stroke swing. Result: a tie at end of regulation play.

This forced a four hole playoff that Cink won. And he was classy in his win and his salute to Watson. However bittersweet was the win for Cink and us, it was a great day in that God destined there be a champion with class.

Tom said he regretted that he didn't offer Stewart more of a challenge in the playoff. He had lost whatever had allowed him to stay in the lead for four days of regulation play. Badly. Tom lost a four hole playoff by six strokes. Clearly, that was not characteristic of his play during all the rest of the tourney. It is my guess that his miss on 18 was simply more deflating than many will ever experience themselves. So he lost the playoff.

Clearly, Watson lost the tourney before the playoff. When he blew that last 8 foot putt for par that would have earned him the clean win, the old man may have been physically and mentally tired to putt well one more time.

There have been and will be no few commentators who will say he choked. And maybe he did. But, so what?

This is what.

What prompted me most to publish this update to Class of yesterday was a quip today by one of the ABC sportscasters.

He said "Tom Watson's deal with the devil lasted up to the last 30 minutes."

He may claim he was joking with a lame allusion to the old musical, Damn Yankees; but I have my doubts that more than 2% of the audience would get it. I'm not buying that it was anything but an attempt to kick Watson for his blowing it all on one last shot. Because it is exactly the sort of thing I expected.

As I predicted yesterday, "TV rarely gives us a chance to witness [class] without it self-consciously trying to tarnish the champion." Sad how predictably rotten TV has become, is it not?

How much more tarnishing could they have been had Watson won?

The best observation by the sportscasters followed right on the heels of Mr. jackass above:
"Had Tom Watson won this it would not have changed his life. But for Stewart Cink, it is a big event."
The people who currently are TVs lifeblood, its sponsors, may still allow the employment of broadcasters who understand common human decency and its desire to applaud efforts well done. What your humble commentator finds troubling is that foolish men, such as the first commentator, are more apt to find a welcome spot on national television in future.

Why? Our elitists believe that jackasses serve as perfect examples for how they view the rest of us.

The jackass who thought it cute to suggest that the devil had double-crossed Tom Watson today was certainly crass. The fact that the jackass was put in that job and will probably remain there is pretty much an indication of a much deeper problem.

Those at the top of our entertainment and news chain -- the moneyed backers -- are the crassest of all.

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