124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2

The Loop

Sirak: Tavistock Cup just doesn't get it

February 14, 2011

Folks, you just can't make this stuff up. Those of you who are regular readers of what I write -- and that number is rumored to be in the high teens now -- might recall my run-in last year with the good folks who run the Tavistock Cup, the made-for-TV battle of gated communities. I went to cover the faux competition and they told me I had to wear either a Lake Nona Blue or an Isleworth Red shirt. I explained that as a working journalist I found it a conflict to be a billboard for their high-priced housing developments, and declined to attend under those conditions.


Well now, memories are short. Here's the email that bounded into my inbox on Valentine's Day, complete with my translation of what was actually being said in parentheses:

Hi Ron,

(Greetings you ink-stained wretch we nevertheless need for free publicity.)

Hope this email finds you well.

(Sorry to hear the alligator who we gave your scent to was unable to track you down.)

I'm reaching out to our core group of media members to invite you to this year's Tavistock Cup.

(*We really do have a difficult time getting people to take this seriously, so we are going to take another shot at you.*)

We are introducing an exciting new format that will include four teams. Attached is a press release with more details. I hope you'll be able to attend.

(In addition to Isleworth and Lake Nona, we are offering spots to the next two teams who fail to make the NHL playoffs.)

If you are interested in covering the tournament, you can apply for media credentials now. Attached is the media credential application.

(Like last year, we will wait to approve your application until after we know whether or not Tiger Woods will play. You will be accepted if he is not, and rejected if he is.)

We will be announcing teams in two weeks.

(As soon as the possible players find out whether or not they have a more lucrative offer.)

In the spirit of competition, we are encouraging attendees to wear one of the four club colors to support this year's participating teams (red, blue, pink or green).

(Apparently, we learned nothing last year about the desire by some journalists not to appear as if they have been bought off.)

Feel free to contact me with any questions over the coming weeks.

(Unless, of course, those questions have anything to do with the rules under which we insist you work.)

(Signed an under-paid person performing a thankless task.)

Here's what I wrote last year: Let me know whether or not you think I will attend this year.

-- Ron Sirak

(Photo: David Cannon/Getty Images)