It’s official. The slowest time of the sports year is upon us, ushered in by the most boring event of them all, MLB All-Star week. I get that baseball, much like golf, is a game enjoyed by purists and people who grew up with the game. But aside from Josh Hamilton’s insane 2008 (an event which he didn’t even win), I can’t remember one Home Run Derby off the top of my head that was remotely interesting. Can we not spruce it up a little for the people who are craving some sort of sports this time of year? The most riveting part of this year’s Home Run Derby was Chris Berman not knowing his directions, and John Kruk thinking he was at an all-you-can-eat buffet.
It got me thinking about the skills challenge that the PGA Tour puts on. Golf could learn a thing or two from the mistakes baseball has made. Things like, don't bore your fans. I don't want a competition to see who can hit balls the farthest or the closest to the pin. Just as I could tune into any baseball game and see a home run, if I wanted to see guys hit normal golf shots, I could watch any weekend. They’re really good at golf, I know that. What I don’t know is who would fare the best in the following skills competitions, but I would certainly tune in to find out.
Event 1 – Minigolf
1. You must use the equipment provided for you by the minigolf course (yes, fighting over the ball color is expected).
2. Defense is encouraged. Anything short of tackling the other players while they are putting is permissible.
These guys are rich, famous and have endless resources. Get creative. Hire a mariachi band to play only while the other guy is putting. Maybe a supermodel in a bikini could walk by as your opponent has a crucial putt over a ramp on the ninth hole.
Who wouldn't tune in to watch Tiger try and close out the competition with a putt on 18 through the windmill and into the clown’s mouth as Kate Upton walks by in a bathing suit and Mickelson blows a vuvuzela in his ear?
Event 2 – Accuracy
Do we already have accuracy events, sure. But how do we make it better, more relatable to the hackers that watch the PGA Tour every week? Move it to a driving range, and make the targets the range pickers in golf carts. You know your ears just perked up a little. Does anyone not aim for that cart at the driving range?
Event 3 – Freestyle trick shots
This could be a game of H-O-R-S-E, or the shots could just be judged individually, I don’t care, I just miss these days. Can anyone top this? I'd love to find out.
Now I’m not foolish enough to think any of these ideas will actually come to fruition, but hey, a guy can dream, can’t he? That’s what this time in the sports calendar does to people ... it makes them dream. And I dream the biggest on the couch, with my eyes shut, a little drool on my pillow and potato chip crumbs on my shirt.