Tuesday, March 23, 2010
The Tavistock Cup Continues to Earn Fans
When people start jobs, there is usually an incredible amount of tension and confusion that comes with it. It's just becoming familiar with what you are and aren't supposed to do, and it usually comes with certain humorous ridicule from the veterans.
As a journalist (or as much of a journalist as I've been in my career) I remember covering my first "big" sporting event (I put big in quotation marks because when I was a student at the University of Arizona, to obtain tickets to a Wildcat football was nearly as easy as scoring a hot can of Keystone Light. Just ask and it'll be there within seconds).
I was told of my rules, and rules I had to stick by. NO CHEERING! NO FANDOME! NO AFFILIATION TO ANY TEAM!
I always thought it was quite odd. While most journalists are smart enough not to blatantly cheer for this team or that, everyone got into sports for a reason, and that reason is because we love sports. Picking a side is in our DNA.
That is why I found this story by Ron Sirak so incredible. Sirak is, and will continue to be, one of my favorite golf scribes. He usually tells it like it is, and in a day where we have Kelly Tilghman asking Tiger Woods about bracelets, it's nice to see guys that aren't taken back by the golfers they cover.
Sirak was at the Tavistock Cup, an event that I have dogged on this website since I started it. Honestly, if you could find a more pointless event in the world, I'd send you my entire closet full of left shoes.
Anyway, Sirak has been around long enough to know you don't pick sides. Like me at the Arizona Wildcats first home game of 2003, I'm sure Sirak was once scolded by his predecessor NOT TO CHEER! So why did Sirak get in trouble when he tried to stay neutral? Here is the report, in his own words.
When I picked up my credential at Will Call they also handed me a shirt. Nothing unusual there ...
... So I get to the shuttle and a friendly enough chap says, "Didn't they give you a shirt?" to which I replied: "Yes they certainly did and a damn nice one it is." That was apparently the wrong answer. The guy, who now was getting very serious about his job, says: "In the spirit of the competition, everyone is expected to wear either Lake Nona blue or Isleworth red," or maybe it was the other way around. Frankly, the absurdity of the request -- which wasn't really a request -- directed my attention away from the details. Anyway, I replied: "In the spirit of journalism, I cannot wear your corporate uniform while I am covering your event. I am here as a journalist, not as a billboard."
It turns out, no matter journalist or journeyman, if you were at the Tavistock Cup, by God, you were wearing blue or red!
Sirak ended up leaving the event that second. He said, as most of us can agree, that he'd rather spend an afternoon with Arnold Palmer than covering an event that is more about pats on the back than putting percentage.
I'd love to get the chance to cover the Tavistock Cup one day. While you couldn't handcuff me into wearing one of those atrocious mock turtles, it would be fun to simply ask one of the players the one question everyone wonders -- "What the hell exactly is the Tavistock Cup, and do you remember who won last year?"
I'm guessing Ian Poulter would just roll his eyes and walk off to pinker pastures.