Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Par for the Course - Don't Bogey That Birdie


It seems the more this country slowly comes apart at the seems, the more we can take solace in the fact that political correctness continues to rise in direct correlation. The most recent example of this assault on freedom of speech and intellect occurred on, of all places, The Golf Channel. First off, I wonder how many of you were even aware there was a 24 hour, seven day a week television channel dedicated solely to the game of golf. To a certain extent, I can understand people occasionally shooting a round of golf, watching professionals play on television or dressing up just like your favorite golfer when going out for the 4:30 pm "Early Bird Special" dinner at the Del Boca Vista Country Club. What I don't understand at all, however, is sitting in front of your television and watching talking heads pontificate about the game all day and night. What could any commentator possibly say about the game of golf that could be deemed even remotely interesting? I'm convinced one day there will be a 24/7 channel dedicated to watching the inside story of how the Mike Huckabee and potential first lady, Chuck Norris "friendship" blossomed into so much more. But before I report on that fair and balanced coupling, I suggest you whip out your putter and balls and start stroking along with me.

Kelly Tilghman, come on down. You are the next contestant to demonstrate how talking and thinking are two completely diametric behaviors. If you're anything like me, you're now asking yourself who the hell is Kelly Tilghman. She just happens to be a famous 38 year old South Carolina born golf announcer. Not just any golf announcer mind you, but the first woman to ever be a lead announcer in PGA history. She had a scintillating amateur career as a member of the Duke University golf team in the late 80's and early 90's. Upon graduation, she went on to forge a thoroughly unspectacular and nondescript five year professional career throughout Asia and Europe. In other words, she wasn't good enough to play on the coveted American LPGA tour in the States.

But despite what you're read so far, this article isn't so much about Kelly's talents as a golfer and announcer, but instead her mind numbingly idiotic comment regarding Tiger Woods last week. Unfortunately her slip of the tongue took place before literally dozens of loyal viewers. I can only assume Kelly's brain could not keep pace with the speed of her mouth, when she uttered her now famous quote during Friday’s telecast of the Mercedes-Benz Championship in Hawaii. While droning on and on with co-host and former tour professional Nick Faldo, Kelly responded to Nick's wondering aloud if anything could be done to stop Tiger Woods from dominating the game of golf. Kelly laughed out loud and suggested his competitors "lynch him in a back alley." Hmmmm, maybe not the best possible phrase for a privileged caucasian woman to use when referring to an African American male. I guess some people are still a wee bit sensitive to that reference because of 400 years of actual back alley lynchings of black men.

Professional golf's new ambassador of race relations was suspended for two weeks by the now suddenly happening Golf Channel. I dare say Kelly's momentary thoughtless phraseology has generated more buzz and interest in the obscure channel than the previous zzzzzz in their previous 13 year history. Even noted golf legend and I'm assuming regular viewer, Al Sharpton, decided to weigh in on the controversy. If you took a wild stab and guessed Sharpton demanded the Golf Channel fire Kelly for her insensitive remark, give yourself a big hand. You are clearly an Al Sharpton trivia expert. I'm waiting for the day Al tries to get an astronomer fired for making a negative statement about the region of space know as the black hole. You know how it always rains right after you wash and wax your car, how the delivery guy always knows to show up during the specific five minute window you run out to pick up lunch and how Al Sharpton is never too busy to demand every white person on planet earth should be fired every time they misspeak and say something stupid. I've heard the Reverend Al speak on more than one occasion. I often think he should be fired for some of the breathtakingly stupid remarks he has made. If that wasn't enough, there must be some law on the books regarding his hair that should get HIM fired.

Everybody does and says stupid things from time to time. Just look at the current occupant of the White House. Sure, he's an idiot of unparalleled proportions, but millions of Americans voted for him not once, but twice. Shouldn't that act(s) warrant some type of firing or suspension for all involved? Let's not jump all over Kelly Tilghman. Sure she's stupid, insensitive and has difficulty expressing thoughts and speech while lecturing on the complexities of golf. In her defense, she is after all from South Carolina. You know that place where they don't even have enough maps for US Americans to even locate North Carolina. How can she be expected to be taking part in highly technical golf conversations? Everybody involved will eventually live happily ever after. Tiger Woods will one day be a billionaire. The Golf Channel will double its core of viewers from 50 to 100. Kelly will be back on the air, at least until such time a younger, dumber and larger breasted replacement can be found and last but not least, Al Sharpton will soon find another white dumbell he can go on a crusade to get fired. Thankfully, life always finds a way to go on.......

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