Golf came in for more abuse this week. One instance got a lot of attention in the golf blogosphere, the other was more of a glancing insult. The first was Time Magazine’s list of the Top Ten Evil Sports in the World.
Here’s the link: http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2078670_2078669_2078664,00.html Golf came in sixth. Seriously. In case you’re wondering the list was as follows:
1. Soccer 2. Female Gymnastics 3. Camel Racing 4. Boxing 5. Bullfighting 6. Golf 7. Poker 8. The Hunt 9. American Football 10. Wife Carrying Races
Before we get lost in the particulars, let’s just consider the adjective ‘evil’. C’mon son! Hitler was evil, Stalin was evil. Sexually abusing children is evil. Sports can strike you as boring or pointless, or, in the instance of the Afghan version of polo where they use a dead goat, in need of an equipment upgrade. But evil?
Now this list contains several of the usual suspects when it comes to ranking unpopular sports. Bullfighting, boxing and any form of hunting are always going to pull down some top spots. His two racing entries (wives and camels) just seem odd. In fact the Wife Carrying nomination at #10 smacks of desperation. Seriously, that was the best you could do? In order to get to ten you had to resort to something whose championship takes place in a small town in Finland? Soccer and American Football are transparent attempts to be provocative and I wasn’t really aware that poker was a sport.
Unfortunately I can’t find any information about what sports, if any, the writer, Ishaan Tharoor, likes. This ‘evil’ list would still be irritating but at least have some credibility if the guy had a Top Ten List of Wonderful Sports. But I suspect that he views the notion of a wonderful sport as some form of oxymoron. And so his list is kind of like getting restaurant reviews from an anorexic.
The second instance was on the Daily Show on Monday when Jon Stewart lambasted the Obama-Boehner golf outing as being pathetic because they couldn’t possibly have come up with a setting that was more out of touch with economic circumstances in the country. Oh Johnie, I think he yanked that one O.B. Really, Jon, you’re usually so sharp and manage to find the unusual angle on events but this time you fell for the conventional. How about yachting or polo if you’re looking for a truly elite setting? And if you want to get completely out of touch with reality, have them attend a dog show next time. Having them ooh and aah over little dogs who are better fed and better groomed than millions of American children: that would be out of touch. Playing a wimpy two-dollar Nassau on a Saturday morning? Not even close.