Monday, April 12, 2010

Morality play at Augusta? Ya, you betcha!

By Rick Morris

Inevitably, the vapid talking heads of Big Media are out there cautioning those of us who they think are lapping up their gems of “wisdom” not to apply the “black hat/white hat” dynamic to the fates of Tiger and Phil at Augusta?

Well, why the f not?

Seriously, we saw all of the entitled punk act from Tiger Woods that he falsely told us would disappear from his game when he came back … from the creepy “Exploit Earl” ad from his enablers at Nike to his loud, foul and repeated use of God’s name on the Sunday after Easter to his ungracious final interview, the garbage continues to flow apace. Deep down – and if you looked hard enough, you could see this even before his multiple scandals – Eldrick just isn’t a very nice guy. Fair enough, and he’s in broad and deep company in the world of professional sports, but he feels bound to try to portray himself as a better person than he really is in order to keep his sponsors happy. That spells P-H-O-N-Y. I don’t waste a minute hating him, and anyone else who does is really a loser, but I do have a sense of “just go away” whenever he pops up on my teevee.

And as for Phil Mickelson, I have to admit, I haven’t always been a huge fan for reasons I can’t quite pinpoint. He too seemed to me to be something other than what the public image was supposed to be … perhaps not quite the clean family man he portrayed. But I have to admit, I have come around on him and I could not be happier that he was able to win one for his mom and his wife, both battling breast cancer. My family was hit with the same disease and I know the immense challenges he faced to be able to concentrate this weekend through the pain of his family. In the process, he took an enormous step towards permanently rehabilitating his big-tournament reputation, but amazingly, that’s actually a distant second in the grand scheme of things.

If you believe as I do that all things happen for a reason, you don’t have to look far to contemplate the meaning of this past week. We in American society entered The Masters consumed with the story of a man whose family had suffered immense pain – through his selfishness and irresponsibility. We exited the tournament consumed with the story of a man whose family had suffered immense pain – and were inspired to keep fighting by his grace under pressure and the unselfish love and dedication he showed in always putting them first.

That doesn’t sound too random to me.

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