I think this past weekend’s Ryder Cup in Chaska, Minnesota might have taught our little running sport a valuable lesson. America kicked Europe’s ass 17-11 to win the tiny goblet for the first time since 2008. But Team USA seemed to be helped by a tinge of Ugly Americanism floating through the alcohol-doused Hazeltine Golf Club.
The swagger and banter from behind the ropes seemed to bolster the Yankee Doodle Dandies of Captain Davis Love III. And remember this is the upper Midwest where all the nice people are from. Imagine if they were playing at Bethpage Black in New York or Baltusrol in Jersey. But the USA had been beaten in three straight Ryder Cups, so frustration was pent up.
Anyway, I saw Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy go into the crowd once to confront some jackass. And the NBC broadcasters commented a couple of times about “a few bad apples”.
Thing is, golf fans don’t normally display bully-boy tactics at the weekly PGA Tour events. In fact, they are usually the soul of hushed reverence, which golf has somehow imposed on the paying attendees. Jackassery just comes out during these team competitions when it’s the good ole US of A against the whiney wimps from across the pond. (more…)