Thursday, August 12, 2004

If golf ruled the world

In the days leading up to a major tournament, golf provides plenty of humor beyond the funny pants and free-bowl-of-soup hats.

The golfers themselves are hilarious with the way they talk about a particular course and how the greens are like this and the fairways are like that and how a bogie can be considered a good hole.

But how do these golfers ascertain such tidbits about a course before the event takes place? Oh, that's right, they play the course several times before the actual tournament starts. The acceptability of this concept is a topic of great debate for scholars, right up there with whether or not Julia Roberts is hot. (Note: She is.)

Rather than dive into that discussion, let's apply this "play before you play" concept to other sports and see what happens:

1) Football -- Herm Edwards calls Bill Belichick the Monday before their game. Fedex trucks deliver the Jets' playbook to Foxboro and the Patriots' playbook to Hempstead. On Friday, the two teams scrimmage against each other for two hours. On Sunday, it counts.
Plausibility level: None

2) Baseball -- Mike Piazza tells hitters what pitch is coming out of the pitcher's hand next and provides the location of this pitch. Hitter crushes pitch, pitcher leaves early, team loses.
Plausibilty level: Low*
*see "Bull Durham" or Roger Clemens' 2004 All-Star game performance.

3) Basketball -- Larry Brown calls a full timeout with 6 seconds left, his team trailing by two. Rather than trying to outmaneuver the opposing coach, Brown asks Phil Jackson to send over one of his assistants to stand in the huddle with Brown. The two teams then exchange what plays they'll run and who is the second, third and fourth options.
Plausibility level: None.

4) Soccer -- In a shootout to decide the World Cup, Paolo Maldini points to the exact spot he will kick toward, giving the goalie advance warning to make the save.
Plausibility level: Medium (soccer players are just cocky enough to do that)

5) Hockey -- Bettman informs the league that there will be a season.
Plausibility level: Low.

6) Tennis -- "Hey, Roddick, here comes a backhand slice to the far corner. Go get it, then hit me back a dinker just over the net," said Andre Agassi
Plausibility level: None (tennis isn't that much of a gentleman's sport)

7) Auto Racing -- Tony Stewart tells Dale Earnhardt Jr. what lap he will run him into the wall, allowing Earnhardt to pit one lap earlier to avoid Stewart.
Plausibility level: High (that guy is crazy)

Hmmm, what an interesting world it would have been if the Scots colonized the Americas first.

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