With the complete meltdown of the great Tiger Woods, the suggestion that one of the greatest quarterbacks in history had the football deflated so he could grip it better in rainy weather and other revelations rocking the world of professional sports, we fans could be forgiven for feeling disillusioned.
The hype is unabated. The media are agog over Sunday’s Superbowl, and a 30-second TV ad is fetching $4.5 million, but somehow the thrill is gone – for me, anyway.
I was looking forward to seeing Tiger display his prodigious talent this weekend, perhaps with Phil matching his virtuosity stroke for magnificent stroke. Instead I’ll be treated to college golfers like Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth or some kid named Burger or Berger… I don’t know and I don’t care.
I am sure these unknowns are good. But they don’t ring my bell. They remind me of that Iron Byron machine that’s used to test golf balls. Like trained seals, they perform routines devised through the use of the latest scientific equipment and drilled into them through hours upon hours of repetition.
Of course, there’s still Bubba. He is certainly no robot. But his kind is disappearing fast.
I will probably watch the rest of the Phoenix Open, despite the noise and nonsense, the glorification of rowdy behavior and the lack of star quality in the remaining contestants. But my heart won’t be in it. I might even doze off.
And I will probably join the more than one hundred million fans who tune in to Super Bowl XLIX . After all, what else is there to watch on Sunday nights? I’ve seen all the movies I want to see – at least all the movies Direct TV keeps showing over and over.
But I am sure the spectacle will overpower the game, the event will be ruined by contrived drama – sound and fury signifying nothing. The hype’s the thing, not the skill of the participants.
Meanwhile, the sordid reality behind the glamor keeps emerging… a football player knocking out his drunk wife in an elevator for example… the glossed-over football injuries… the cheating… the hypocrisy…
And it’s not just football. Professional sports seems to be riddled with deception and deceit. It’s what happens when so much money is involved, I suppose.
But what about the fans? Don’t we deserve better?