Some random thoughts and observations after The Open:
Emily Post and the VCR:
Technology poses a lot of etiquette challenges. Is it ever okay to check on a score when you’re out to dinner with your significant other? What sort of conversation is appropriate on public transportation? Well, here’s another: what is the right thing to say when you know the outcome of an event, say for example the oldest Open championship in golf, and the person to whom you’re talking has told you they are recording it? What do you say? Well, I have the answer: nothing. Absofuckinglutely nothing.
Last Sunday I was told by someone in the know that the end of The Open was “interesting.” On the surface that’s neutral enough. No names were provided, no definitive result was divulged. Except for one obvious fact: even a casual fan of the game, as in your typical SportsCenter viewer, knew that Adam Scott started the day with a substantial lead, so what would be interesting about having him win? Even my lovely wife inadvertently got into the mix by saying, when I got home from playing and announced that I was headed into the den to watch the recording, that I “should” watch, and that she knew the outcome. She knows I love the game, and has come to accept that when she turns on a TV in the house it will almost without exception be tuned to the Golf Channel, but she has rarely been one to encourage me to watch the sport. But at that point the damage had already been done. The “interesting” comment was the smoking gun.
So I headed into the den suspecting that a collapse was in the cards, the only element of suspense being the when and the how. I also knew, as the last pairing played the final holes, that a playoff was not in the cards since the time remaining on the recording was not sufficient for another three holes of golf. So I sat there, remote in hand, awaiting an outcome that no doubt seemed improbable in real time, but felt preordained from my perspective. I knew the protagonist died in the end. I just didn’t know who killed him.
They’re better than us in a lot of ways
Before The Open started I heard that the players were generally enthusiastic about the course, describing it as fair. Well, let me admit this: if I were in a match at Royal Lytham and smoked a drive only to have the ball take a random bounce into one of the fairway pot bunkers and come to rest up against the sod face, I would be whining like a baby. I would not consider that fair in the least. So my hat is off to guys who have a whole lot more at risk and yet can accept that kind of outcome as fair.