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The Ryder Cup – the moose that roared, and what will Donald say?

October 2, 2016

Golf is only a game? Stuff and nonsense!

As the this year’s Ryder Cup goes into the third day, the most important question arising out of the competition is how the outcome will influence the US presidential elections.

If the US lose against the odds, will Trump add the defeat to his narrative of a broken America that needs to be raised up and redeemed? If they win, will he send subliminal messages about the triumph of white America, since not a black, latino or Asian are to be found amongst the victors?

Note that I’m not dwelling on how Hillary will react. You wouldn’t think that golf was her thing. She’s probably delighted to pack Bill off to the golf course, where he can happily send his balls into bushes without damaging her campaign.

As I predicted in yesterday’s post about Danny Willett’s loquacious younger brother, the fans are rowdier than ever. Boozed up, according to the American commentators. The European Sky TV pundits, mindful of their status as guests in the country, dare not make such observations. They also remember the disastrous fallout from The Sun’s coverage of the Hillsborough disaster – allegations of drunken Liverpool fans and all. Rupert Murdoch, who owns Sky and The Sun, has a long memory.

Judging by the amount of times the European golfers had to step back from their shots after being cat-called mid-swing, there certainly seem to be a respectable complement of Hillary’s Deplorables, masquerading as P J Willett’s “pudgy, basement-dwelling, irritants, stuffed on cookie dough and pissy beer”. The cameras, however, preferred to dwell on America’s equivalent of the Barmy Army, the extravagantly-clad travelling fans who support the England cricket team. Except that these guys – for they were mostly men – incessantly chant “Yoo Ess Ay”, as opposed to “Barmee Armee”, and dress up as Vikings, rather than Henry the Fifth and Daffy Duck.

In both cases, these fans are not economic pond life. It costs serious money to spend two weeks in Australia watching English batsmen get peppered by Mitchell Johnson. And I’m guessing that admittance to the Ryder Cup for a weekend is way beyond the pocket of an unemployed steel worker in Pittsburgh.

And if you think that moronic encouragement to the European golfers to deposit their balls in a nearby lake is typically American behaviour, then you haven’t listened to the neo-Nazis whispering sweet nothings to the opposition at a Saturday afternoon football match in any one of a dozen European countries.

As for yesterday’s golfing proceedings, I confess that having spent the morning at my local golf course, drenched by rain and failing dismally to learn from Rory McIlroy’s bunker technique, and then spending the rest of the day watching Patrick Reed bellowing like a moose after a series of miraculous death blows, I ended up golfed out, and went to bed rather than witness the three American victories that put the ultimate result firmly in the hands of the home team.

Returning briefly to Trumpery, there was one interesting episode on the first day worth thinking about. When Phil Mickelson and Ricky Fowler were interviewed after their win on the first morning, Mickelson spent the whole time talking about what he did. It was “I this”, “I that” and “I the other”. Whereas Fowler spoke throughout about “we”. Moreover, Phil looked bored, Ricky engaged.

Mickelson is an old-timer. He’s the guy who likes to blame his captains for his own misfortunes in previous Ryder Cups. Fowler, on the other hand, is a relative newcomer. Might the fact that there are fewer Mickelsons and more Fowlers this time around be the reason why the US is prospering in the 2016 Ryder Cup?

And I wonder if a sense of self being less important than team is a penny that might drop when America decides whether or not to award its biggest prize to the most incorrigible narcissist ever to contest a presidential election?

I for one would happily concede a dozen Ryder Cups for that to be so.

From → Social, Sport, USA

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