Thursday, April 20, 2017

What "Fore!'?

I remember playing golf a few times with some friends back in my carefree teens. I usually did pretty well, although a couple of times, I couldn't get the doggone ball past the little windmill and through to the hole.

Kidding. I did play 18 holes of golf, and only fell asleep once or twice.  

I get a lot of looks for saying this, but I think golf is deadly boring. In fact, any smart detective who wants to pin some sort of crime spree on me needs only to lock me in a room with a TV and a broken remote that's stuck on the Golf Channel. I'll confess to whatever I'm falsely accused of, and also help clear up cases that have baffled the local gendarmes for decades, just to get out of watching Bubba and his pants smacking a little ball around while a rapt crowd stands, well, rapt, and silent.  Until the guy sinks a two-foot putt, and a wave of polite applause ripples through the crowd.

If you play baseball, a sweaty man 60' 6" away is going to throw a small white ball toward you at 90-some miles per hour. Football players have to tackle a man the approximate size of Delaware as he lumbers down the field toting a ball, and basketball players get thrown around like toothpicks battling for rebounds.

And all of that is happening while tens of thousands of people hoot and ululate and holler.  

Have you ever heard a ballplayer say, "I was going to catch that fly ball, but a rude fan in the left field bleachers said something derogatory about my parentage and I lost concentration, so upset was I"?

No, and you haven't heard of a football player asking that the crowd sit on their hands while he tries to make a 47-yard field goal.  "You pays your money and you speaks your mind" is the law of the ballpark.

But oh no! Golf, and tennis, another game requiring funny pants, require total stillness while play goes on. In fact, they probably ask that you be totally silent while you're driving to the match, just to get quiet enough.  I don't get this, and since I wouldn't pay to attend a game during which I could not boo or cheer or razz someone, I turned to the good old internet to find out why the ban on volubility exists at The Snootington Tennis Club or Morning Wood Country Club.

"Etiquette," said United States Golf Association historian Robert Williams in the Florida Times-Union. "Golf has been a gentleman's game from the very beginning and players treated each other with respect. During the early tournaments such as the British Open and U.S. Open, the spectators were almost 100 percent golfers themselves so they all practiced etiquette and the tradition has carried on ever since."

"You know, despite what happened, I-I'm still convinced you have many fine qualities and I... I think you can still become a gentleman some day if you understand and abide by the rules of decent society."  - - The words of Judge Smails to Danny Noonan in "Caddyshack."

Judge Smails to Al Czervik: "You're no gentleman!"
Al Czervik to Judge Smails (as he dances away): "I'm no doorknob, either!"
 (op. cit.)
You know what?  I'm with Al!

"It looks good on you, though!"

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