Tuesday, April 12, 2011

FJMing the Sports Guy: So Much Poopy

Wow, another column from the Bad Tooth! It's almost as if he's a full-time employee. And if you can get through the first paragraph, you'll discover fantastic prizes. Prizes that don't float. Dig in!

My son watched a few holes of the Masters with me on Sunday. He's nearly 3 and a half and hasn't figured out how to crap in the toilet yet.

Does the man know how to write a lede or what? We're two sentences in to disgust that has nothing to do with sports. It's a gift.

Time was, Prince Willy held to the idea that he wouldn't put his kids in his columns, because he hated when other people did it. I seconded that emotion, especially since it tends to fall into the Prince's biggest problem as a sports writer; namely, that he doesn't really care about sports. Need someone to delve into the teenage soap opera level drama of things? The Bad Tooth's your man. Ready to talk about grade Z entertainment that's got nothing to do with real competition? Get comfy. But what the hey, we're here, how much worse can it get?

He spends most of his time naked or partially naked, barking out orders like "Put on Wow Wow Wubbzy!" and "I want graham crackers!"

Answer: much. Wow, Bill, your kid sounds like an unrelenting and unbearable tool. Wonder where he gets it from?

There was Tiger striking that putt as the gallery jumped up, everyone wanting it so badly -- and that's the one thing that stood out yesterday, how badly fans wanted Tiger to succeed -- then the putt going down as everyone exploded, and to cap it off, Tiger dusting off his old-school fist pump and yelping toward his fans.

I didn't actually watch the Masters yesterday, but really, having a crowd that's behind a guy makes everything OK again? Take a listen to a crowd when some old fat guy has a good round. Or some young kid. It's a golf tournament. People go to it, they want to see something historic. That would describe Tiger Woods coming back to win his first major since falling apart. It would also describe Tom Watson making a run, or Fred Couples, or the low amateur. All they really want to avoid is some guy out of nowhere taking it down. Which is what happened.

Oh, and what is a new-school fist pump?

"Again!" my son screamed.

Oh yes, the apple does not fall far from the tree. Maybe he fisted Daddy, too.

That's what my kids scream when they like something and want it to happen again.

Don't let anyone tell you different; your kids are geniuses, Billy. Well above average. Please spend much of the next twenty years plumbing him for column ideas. It'll be much more interesting than, you know, sports.

Once the electricity faded and Tiger morphed into a human being again, my son had better things to do.

NO! I demand that you follow him! Is he also into the Backyardagains? What's his feeling about Oswald? Does he dream of hunting Clifford The Big But In No Way Interesting Dog with a bazooka, like me? There's more details about him, and especially about his excretion habits, that we simply must know!

When he missed a seemingly easy eagle putt on 15, the gallery made a noise that you just never hear in sports anymore: the "Ahhhhhhhhhh-ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh" sound that happens with a missed 3, a warning-track fly ball or a bomb that misses a receiver's hands by two feet, only with a hint of "NOOOOOOOOOOO!"

You know, a sound you never hear in sports anymore, except for the three instances of where you hear it. One has to wonder, in moments like this, whether even the Prince is still paying attention.

I love so many things about the Masters, but ultimately, what makes that tournament special is that we know the course so freaking well. There are laws with the Masters.

Oh dear God. Of course there are Laws. The Bad Tooth can't live without them. I shudder to think what he was like as a little kid. Pure Calvinball.

You can't peak too early on Sunday. You can't miss momentum-swinging putts...

It's unlike every other golf tournament, where peaking too early and missing putts is the key to winning.

It's the only course that feels like a living, breathing organism.

That's true. Pebble Beach? Corporate suck, and the Pacific Ocean is just mailing it in. St. Andrews? Just a glorified cow pasture with the stink of haggis on everything; if you feel anything special here, you must be a tourist. Your favorite course, the one where you had your best round or the most fun? The Prince spits on your sad little mind. Only Augusta is alive and breathing. Must be all of the racism, sexism, and love of the Confederacy. If only other golf courses followed its example!

The muff on 15 mortally wounded Woods.

The muff. Oh, Billy. You clever, clever boy. Way to slip some porn past the Disney overlords!

He staggered through the last three holes dripping blood all over the course

Was it menstrual? I bet it was menstrual. From a waitress, and not washing up. Not that there's anything wrong what that.

He gritted his teeth, shook his head, snapped at the poor interviewer after his round, disappeared into the clubhouse … and the tournament kept going without him.

NO! I'm shocked, shocked I tells you, that the sport is bigger than a single player. They totally should have stopped the tournament when Woods slipped out of contention. You know, like when Bill clearly did.

Allow me to be the 10 millionth person to write that it didn't matter whether Tiger Woods won or lost, just that he mattered again.

Brave, Billy. Lofty. And I'm sure that people who actually care about golf (note: not me; I gave this game up a decade ago, when I had kids) really love this opinion.

We hated The Decision because we talked ourselves into LeBron maybe possessing that same gift; by choosing South Beach and Dwyane Wade, he was telling us, "You were wrong."

Wait, I thought we were talking about golf, or Tiger Woods, or your kid's crapping habits. Instead, we're making the same point you've been making for a year now, namely that LeBron James done you wrong, and he's a bad, bad man who needs to be punished for not doing what you wanted him to do.

That made us angry. That hurt our feelings.

Are we sure that his kid's not writing the column at this point? Might as well. He'd probably care about it more.

And suddenly, there was Tiger on Sunday, making another run at Augusta, pulling us back in yet again.

Well, you, anyway. Because you're all about soap opera, and nothing about sports. You and Tiger, sharing the menses...

The moralizing is over. The jokes are done.

Really. Um, Bill? The jokes will never be over. They weren't on Sunday; I've got the post-dated Twitter feed to prove it. Now that Tiger has entered his second career as someone who can't finish, there will be a whole new coterie of jokes. Even if that makes you angry, or hurts your feelings. Again!

We chopped him down to size, made him human, made him bleed. He never caved.

Woods' robotic press conference and bizarre Nike ad? Not caving. Tunneling, perhaps, but not caving.

I am supposed to think that he's a poor role model -- that he's an adulterer, that he's selfish, that he's a phony, that he behaves badly on golf courses, that he's someone I wouldn't want my son to emulate some day. That's horses---.

Let's just go out on a limb and say, for the record, that the Prince is not someone you probably want to take parenting pointers from. Woods *is* a bad role model. He *is* an adulterer. That's a bad thing. He doesn't stand up for social causes -- note that the predominant black golfer of his generation has never said Word One about Augusta's antebellum ways, and he could have ended them with a word during his peak years. He goes all over the world, to repressive regimes, in pursuit of every possible dollar. The next meaningful interview he gives will be his first. He may be the best to ever play the game, he might not. I don't want my kids to emulate competence, or focus, or any other form of potent psychopath. I want them to emulate character, compassion, listening skills, wisdom, and other attributes that help ensure that they don't, you know, leave their children devoid of the presence of a parent due to their need to pleasure themselves without any sense of responsibility.

I want my son to know that you haven't lived until you've fought back, that you haven't won until you've lost, that you can't understand what it's like to relish something until you've suffered, too.

Losing is now defined as banging anything that walks, and suffering the unspeakable heartbreak of getting caught.

If my son needs a role model, and he will, that person should be me.

God help the kid, but of course.

I don't need Tiger to teach my child how to behave. I need him to teach my son that it's fun to watch golf. Yesterday was the first lesson.

And there's the point, really. Why is it only fun to watch golf when it's Tiger Woods making a run? Is Woods' fist pump really that magical, and, well, why?

Look, I get that as a parent, you feel kindly towards anything that gives your kid some happiness. Particularly if it's something that you are interested in, rather than just enduring.

But you don't have to imbue what your kid likes with magical powers. My eldest has a special bear; it does not deserve a column, because even if it somehow had anything to do with sports (you remember sports, don't you, Billy?), it's a private thing. Along with, well, potty training, and the half dozen other wildly unnecessary details into your personal life, couched in the disappointment around Woods not giving you a better base to use to fill your word hole.

Tiger Woods should not be allowed near his kids. He's forfeited that. You don't need to root for him to make golf interesting to your kids; you just have to be interested in golf. At an early age, they usually like what you like.

But when you don't really like sports, and just like soap opera in the guise of sports?

Well, they still emulate you.

So put some slip covers on the sofa.

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