Yesterday afternoon I wrote up a story for Yahoo! that you have probably heard all about at this point. A college kid let another college kid win a playoff so he could advance to nationals, intentionally hitting his tee ball out of bounds on the first playoff hole so the other guy would make it.
To give you a better buffer on what happened. A kid named Grant Whybark played for the University of St. Francis, and his team had won the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship to advance to the NAIA Championship. If your team wins that tournament, everyone advances. But Grant wasn't done, because the sophomore had also tied for the individual trophy. He was going up against Olivet Nazarene's Seth Doran, a senior. If Whybark won the playoff, Doran wouldn't have advanced. If he lost it, both advance.
Whybark then hit his tee shot 40 yards out of bounds on purpose so Doran would have a chance to make it one more tournament. I wrote yesterday about how the act was something we never see in sports, a person putting his competitiveness away for a moment in place of humanitarianism. He basically felt like the other kid deserved to advance, and took matters into his own hands.
When I wrote the story I felt like it might get some traction, but I never thought it would blow up the way it did. People are very heated one way or the other. It was so big, that "Mike and Mike in the Morning" actually quoted me from the article (the debate starts at the 10:17 mark of this link, but you have to be an Insider) , vehemently disagreeing with my take because they felt it was a slap in the face to Doran.
What I feel is being missed here is that it wasn't disrespectful. Mike and Mike, and whoever else is on that side of the argument, think that by doing this, it was somehow putting Doran down. That wasn't Whybark's motives. He was doing this simply to give a guy he thought deserved a shot at nationals a chance to go. People argue that he could have been more subtle, but are they even golfers? What if Whybark holes out on accident, or hits it two feet? Is he supposed to just keep putting around until Doran holes out? Is that more respectful?
What Whybark did should be praised. He was a friend first, opponent second, and made a gesture most of us would never think to do. With all the crazy shit that goes on in this world daily (and I'm looking at you, LT), why would anyone get mad at this guy?