Editors' BlogJune 25, 2008

Michael Lewis on Tiger and Golf

__There's an obvious need for some physical activity that can pass itself off as a sport in which rich, important people can easily participate, and simulate the motions of a pro, without fear of total humiliation. Michael Lewis

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I liked everything Michael Lewis, author of "Moneyball" and "Blind Side" until I read his rant on golf today. (Thanks to Tony Wong for pointing it out). Lewis calls golf a "faux sport". Oh, Michael, say it isn't so:

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The striking thing about the recent U.S. Open wasn't that Tiger Woods won it playing on a broken leg. The striking thingwas how much he -- and the golfing world -- clearly relished the idea of Tiger Woods playing on a broken leg.>

As he limped and grimaced up fairways and around doglegs, with the crowd and the cameras lusting for every wince-laden drive, he was no longer just golfing. He was elevating golf to the status it so desperately seeks: the status of a genuine athletic event.

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Odd that at a time when Woods has been mentioned as one of the top athletes in the world, Lewis goes so wrongly in the opposite direction. But then, he has a point to make.

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Rich, important people often lack athletic ability, and so any faux sport would need to be doable without balance or dexterity or coordination. Many rich important people are also fat and physically lazy -- and so the faux sport must also be doable with a minimum of exertion.

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It would be a plus, for instance, if it could be done, without shame, while riding around in a little electric cart.

Enter golf. If it didn't exist, some rich, important person would have had to invent it for himself.

It gets worse. Michael, walk 36 with me at Ballybunion and we'll see what's a sport.

Please, all you non-athletes out there, tell me what you'd say to Michael Lewis.

--Bob Carney

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