Well, they snuck a lot of things by us, but one of the most embarrassing has been hoodwinking us into thinking that things about sports are as interestinig as sports themselves. Silly us. We let it happen.
So it is that millions of guys (women are smarter) just tanked a perfectly good spring Saturday afternoon watching the National Football League draft. Oooh! Buncha stiffs in suits and too-tight golf shirts sit around on the phone and talk about whos going to actually play the game! Oh, the bone-crushing non-hits! The unthrown, uncaught passes! The endless yap! I cant take this kind of excitement.
Drafts, selection shows, trading deadline tickers ' all that stuff curls my lip faster than unsweetened lemonade. Its the derivatives of sport, the junk bonds of real action, the detritus that feeds sell-advertising-itis.
Again, golf has shown its smarts by never even sniffing at the idea of things for which you dont need TV. Drafts and such are for newspapers, maybe the Internet for the need-a-lifers who insist on hearing in real time that the Steelers bypassed QB Rex Grossman in the first round in favor of a defensive back. (Good pick, by the bye; I read about it in the newspaper.)
Thank goodness theres no Ryder Cup selection show. Merit is the ticket into matching outfits with 10 of your closest friends. True, we do get the captains picks announcements on TV, but its a short press conference, not an over-analyzed extravaganza complete with Boomer and the boys.
But what if golf had a business and endorsement draft? How would the picks fall out? If TaylorMade-adidas Golf really bought the remaining golf assets of Spalding Sports Worldwide (the current rumor, no comment from either party), who would get Spaldings picks?
In the spirit of fantasy leagues (ooh! More scintillating non-action!), here are a few possible picks:
First round, first pick: Despite some strong seasons from Hal Sutton and Jim Furyk, Spalding gets first pick. The Colin Montgomerie acquisition from Callaway helped broaden Spaldings international foothold. To cement the deal, Spalding would take Sergio Garcia or Ernie Els in the first round. If it could.
First round, second pick: Ping would nab either Els or Garcia, depending on who Spalding took. Again, if it could.
First round, third pick: Callaway would simply put a Great Big Bertha II in every PGA Tour players locker at about 3 a.m. on Thursday morning. Bombs away!
First round, fourth pick: TaylorMade-adidas would draft companies, not players. They bought West Coast custom putter shop K&M, now perhaps Spalding club and ball? CEO Mark King can be heard rummaging through his desk for his checkbookoh, thats right, Mike Weir has it.
First round, fifth pick: Titleist, happy with its stable of players, drafts more accountants and bodyguards to satisfy and protect its Midas-touch Pro V golf ball research and development team.
Second round, first pick: Having traded away so many draft picks all those years ago to get Tiger, Nikes lucky to be picking even this high. Theyd gladly take Charles Howell III if he werent under contract to Callaway; the thinking is that CHIII is the likely contender for the next eon-stopping, down-the-stretch, Nicklaus-versus-Watson type of major championship duel. Why not swoosh it up wall to wall? As it is, the Beaverton sages will keep an eye out for a phenom to be named later.
Second round, second pick: Cleveland Golf had to give away some picks to get Vijay Singh and David Toms, but theyre almost assured of that pair increasing their majors totals down the road. To add to the depth chart, they wisely drafted Beth Bauer. So far, so good: Industry numbers now show Cleveland to be the nations fourth largest golf equipment company, measured in dollar sales.
The remaining picks go to major corporations seeking big-name endorsement space on various TV-worthy hats, shirt fronts, sleeves and bags. Then theres the last pick:
Thirty-second round, fortieth pick: The Golf Channel drafts a business editor to be named laterjust in case.