Monday, June 17, 2002

Dan Hicks's hosting of the US Open golf tournament was downright grating. Not just uninsigtfu, not just boring, but actively annoying.

I was espicially annoyed by Hicks's efforts to breed conflict between the gallery and Sergio Garcia. As Johnny Miller noted (you could tell he was also annoyed at Hicks's comments), 99% of the fans love Garcia, and cheered him politely. So what did Hicks do? He turned the spotlight on the 1% of morons who jeered Garcia and chanted "USA, USA" around him, giving these hooligans the attention they were seeking but did not deserve.

I guess this is supposed to be "reality" and this conflict between the gallery and Garcia was supposed to hold our interest. But what's wrong with focussing on the competition? We've got a man in Tiger Woods who is in the middle of a string of excellence that is unparalleled in any other sport. He was being trailed by his two most repected challengers, Phil Mickleson and Sergio Garcia, who each have their own charisma. Why not make the story about, you kno, the actual golf tournament.

This further bugs me because my making the gallery the story, Hicks is encouraging similar behavior at future tournaments. Fans will feel like they're "part of the show" and continue to start jingoistic chants, and yell as soon as the players strike the ball.

This weekend we saw another excellent performance by probably the greatest athlete of our time. Too bad Dan Hicks decide to make a few unruly fans the story.
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