A game? Most definitely. A competition? Certainly. But a sport, golf is not.
Webster’s Dictionary defines a sport as “an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature…” So, like I said, a competition? Absolutely. But an athletic competition? Absolutely not.
Disagree with me and Noah Webster? Fantastic. But answer me this, what’s so athletic about the game of golf. Sure, I could see Tiger Woods keeping a steady jogging pace for a while, and maybe even hammer out a few push-ups, but take a decent look at some of these “golfers”. Why, you could be a 90 year old man with a colostomy bag and man-cleavage that sags down to your ankles and still make par. Can you possibly define him as an athlete? Christ, I hope not. After all, what kind of athlete needs a golf cart because they can’t handle the grueling task of walking?
Now, I’m never wrong, but for the sake of your argument, let’s say it makes perfect sense that coverage of the PGA Tour belongs on ESPN. Well, if that’s the case, then we’d have to incorporate a multitude of unstrenuous activities into sports phylum. It’d only be fair to them.
I can only imagine it, thankfully. Millions of Americans huddling together in droves around their LCD flatscreens to watch the UCC (Ultimate Checkers Championship). And when that board is inevitably cleared, and a victor is crowned, have no fear. There’s always the NBL, or National Bingo League, and the World Macrame Cup to tide you over until next season.
Those games too fast-paced for you? Well, calm down. There’s always dominoes, Pin The Tail on The Donkey, charades and monopoly to suit your spectating needs. Gee, I can’t wait…to take a nap. Hey, while we’re at it, we might as well put poker on ESP…oh, that’s right. Damn it.
But maybe I’m being a bit too harsh. Okay, I’ll gladly concede and call it a sport, if that’s what you want. But, as a fair warning, if I’m going to willingly go incorrectly, I’m not going to go too quietly. So let’s do some negotiating.
Here are my terms of surrender:
#1. I want explosives. And, no I’m not talking about dinky, little starter pistols or smoke bombs. I’m talking about some real wrath of God-type stuff. Military-grade weapons are always acceptable like, just for instance, stinger missiles, land mines and fully-automatic rifles.
#2. I want full contact. Bare knuckle brawls might and should ensue at any moment, especially in determining the spotting of a ball. Pads (or Kevlar) are optional but frowned upon.
#3. I want drugs. With golf now being the most cutthroat sport invented by modern man (or me), why not guarantee that it’s second to none. That being said, steroids will be required for all participating athletes. Like baseball, there will be random drug tests, but unlike “America’s Pastime”, athletes will be banned from the Pebble Beach if the lowest quality anabolic steroids are not flowing more freely though their veins than blood. Of course, drugs like smack, crack and horse tranquilizers are not only welcome, but will give golfers a proper handicap to better guarantee their place on Wheaties boxes across the country.
You may say that I’m a dreamer, but that is what I had in mind for the game of golf. If you had your own suggestions, I’ll gladly take them under advisement.
Am I hypocrite? I sure am. There was a time that I carried around a bag of clubs. I even took golf lessons for a while, believe it or not. But then I realized that I can still sprint, jump, tackle, hurdle, climb and dribble. I can also throw a football, a baseball, a jab and shoot hoops. In fact, I can just about anything that will make me sweat, at any given moment, without even so much as a warm-up stretch. Never once have I worried about shattering my pelvis, and do you know why? Because unlike most golfers, my future is a lot longer than my past.
Sure, there’s a possibility that I’ll pick up my clubs and tee-off again. But by then, I think I’d much rather be senile and frighten young children as I crap my drawers yet again. It may not be glamourous, but at least I won’t be kidding myself into thinking that I’m some kind of athlete.