Thursday, March 25, 2010
A tradition like every other?
Contributed by Auggie
Master of nothing
The Masters claims to be “a tradition unlike any other”. We’ll soon find out. Unless you’ve been trekking across the Northwest Territories for the last month, you probably know that Tiger Woods will make his long anticipated comeback at the Masters in April. If you’re a fringe golf fan whose interest depends on Tiger’s participation, this is splendid news. If you’re a true fan of the game then not so much.
Don’t get me wrong, from purely a golf perspective the inclusion of Tiger is the best case scenario, it’s the other perspectives I worry about. Without tickets to the event, the only way to follow the action is through the filter of the media – and we know how that filter works. If the media executives had their druthers you could expect the following coverage breakdown: on-course coverage 85% Tiger; off-course analysis 94% Tiger; golf related analysis 9.3%. Great if you’re a Tiger fan, bad if you’re a golf fan. There is obviously a market for the trash, but I’d like to leave that coverage to the networks/programs that specialize in it like the E channel, TMZ and ESPN (which doesn’t even feign serious sports journalism any more), and let the golf fans watch golf.
It is here that I am counting on the Augusta National Golf Club to continue its tradition. There are those who claim that Augusta National has tight control over the network coverage and the media access, and that’s one of the reasons Tiger chose this venue for his return. I certainly hope that is the case. If so we can expect an exciting tournament based on good golf. Otherwise it will be a circus.
I realize that some people don’t know the Masters existed before Tiger came along, but trust me, it was a great event long before he was born, it was a great event when he was still a snot nosed 3rd grader (when he would have struggled to make the cut), and it will be a great event when he retires. Personally, it’s not only my favorite golf event but one of my favorite sporting events period. I was looking forward to the tournament even before the big announcement, now I’m not sure what to expect. If things get out of hand this could be the least interesting Masters since 2000 when Vijay “dead man walking” Singh loped up the 18th hole with the prize securely in hand.
If it’s a circus you want, check out Ringling Bros. They have real Tigers.