Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Post Where I Rant About Michael Jordan Being a Presidents Cup Co-Captain

If you've watched any coverage Thursday of the Presidents Cup, you noticed the presence of Michael Jordan, NBA legend and golfer and friend of Fred Couples and Tiger Woods, among others.

At one point, with Sean O'Hair needing to hole a chip shot for eagle on the 17th hole to extend his match, the announcers (don't get me started on the damn announcers) talked about how O'Hair was Jordan's main focus this week. "To up his confidence," they said.

Which brings me to this question. What .... the .... fuck is Michael Jordan going to do to up the 14th ranked player in the world's confidence? Work on his jumpshot? Teach him to play under pressure? The guy has won three PGA Tour tournaments, including the Quail Hollow Championship this year. He's 27. He's really good. His dad used to make him run a mile for every bogey he'd make. The kid knows pressure and all that jazz. Why do we have Jordan out there at all?

Now, I have to admit, I like MJ just as much as any sports fan that lived in the '90s, but I don't get this at all ... I think I'd be insulted, personally, if some coach said I needed to talk to a f-ing basketball player about my golf game.

What is Jordan going to tell me about the focus it takes on the golf course? On the basketball court, sans free throws, the game is played at a pace. It isn't walking and thinking and pondering, "Holy shit I have a six footer to win the Players Championship what if I pull it or push it or leave it short or it lips out and I have to go to a playoff and I don't want to play the 17th and my mind is racing and, oh look, Michael Jordan is here so I can just ask him." That isn't how golf works.

Sure, he can talk about winning all he wants, but there is no need for him to be riding around in a golf cart "boosting morale." These are the greatest golfers on the planet, sans Padraig Harrington (and, fine, Sergio Garcia).

If this was the U.S. Junior President Cup, I'd get it. These are grown men doing something they've always done, and done damn well. No legend is going to teach them something they don't already know.

Chris Condon, PGA Tour


Adam said...

What, we don't think Michael Jordan has something to say about confidence in big-time team competitions?

(Sorry, just playing devil's advocate)

Mike said...

Are they really "grown men," Shane?

Say what you want, most of these guys still suffer from hero worship. (Don't we all?) Perhaps it comes from our inability to succeed in everything we want; after all, just because you're a great golfer doesn't mean you didn't have a desire to be a great basketball player or a great soccer player or whatever. We want those idols of ours to acknowledge and even like us. And when they do, even the most jaded among us tend to perk up and feel better about ourselves.

MJ is the guy many of us grew up wanting to be. Pro golfers aren't really that much different from the rest of us. The fact that MJ wants to hang out with them probably means as much to them as it would to most of us.

Shane B. said...

Fair points by all. I agree with what you're saying, I guess I just would feel different in the situation.