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Every April I watch The Masters. I'd say it's a tradition of mine. In fact, I'd say it's a tradition unlike any other.
The Masters isn't the only tournament I tune in for either. I'll watch pretty much any PGA Tour event. That's partly because I'm a fairly serious golfer and I appreciate the players' skill level. But even if I wasn't a golfer I'd watch simply because it makes for good television. It's not a bunch of boring old white guys engaged in a nap-inducing activity. Honest.
Don't believe me? Here are just a few reasons golf is so exciting.
There is gun play.
Seriously. Tom Lehman was shot at last week while he was driving from Augusta to the airport to pick up his family. Luckily, he wasn't injured. But I think the likelihood of Lehman's ever releasing a rap album just increased from about 1 in 10 billion to 1 in 9.8 billion. The guy's got some major street cred right now.
There is eye candy.
Sure, there aren't cheerleaders or scantily clad female fans like there are at a lot of the more "mainstream" sporting events. But TV producers do a good job of throwing in shots of Tiger Woods' supermodel wife, Elin Nordegren, as well as Phil Mickelson's wife, Amy, who is also attractive. If your tastes tend to lean a bit more toward what's the right word here "busty," then there's John Daly or Phil Mickelson to leer at. With Mickelson sporting his new longer, shaggy hairdo, if you squint your eyes really tight when you look at him, you can almost convince yourself it's Alyssa Milano. Almost. (It also helps if you've had a few beers. And are lonely. Very, very lonely.)
All races and ethnicities are represented in golf.
True, all of them are represented in just one player -- the Cablanasian that is Tiger Woods -- while almost everyone else on the PGA Tour is as white as white can be. But I think my point still stands. Sort of.
There are azaleas.
Beautiful azaleas. Tons of them. Augusta National is practically the world's azalea capital, and all of them are in bloom during Masters week. While this may not interest you, most studies suggest that approximately 10 percent of the males currently reading this would, in fact, be interested in watching The Masters simply to see the colorful flora of Augusta National. And I think that's fabulous.
The announcers whisper.
How many sporting events have you watched and wished the announcers would just shut up? For me, the number is very close to however many sporting events I've watched in my life. (Not including those on ESPN, of course.) But in golf, thanks to the mandatory low-talking, even the most annoying announcer is bearable. And for that, I'll gladly whisper a joyous "Booyah!"
Phil Mickelson wins the Masters; Tiger lurking
Mickelson's cleavage complemented by low-cut green jacket
Bears, Lions, Vikings praying Brett Favre decides to keep playing
1-6 Pirates excited to be just a game off the pace of the mighty Yankees
Brewers, Tigers setting themselves up for historic collapse
MLB steroids investigation concludes steroids saved baseball in the mid-90s
Dwight Gooden pitches no-hitter in Florida Penal League opener
Three Things I Thought I Thought While Trying to Start a Tradition Unlike Any Other
1. One more thing on The Masters: What's with all the constant "a tradition unlike any other" stuff? Aren't all traditions unlike any other? Couldn't the World Series be "a tradition unlike any other," or the Daytona 500? Or the WNBA playoffs? Or anything that is a regular occurrence, really? DJ Gallo doing his taxes the day before they're due, a tradition unlike any other.
I just don't quite see the need to push that over and over. It's kind of like saying: "The Masters: We're the only Masters." Well, uh, yeah. That's why I'm watching. But thanks for the reminder.
2. In case any legitimate media folks are actually reading this for some reason, I wanted to let you all know Favre's press conference schedule for the week so you are forewarned (all times ET):
Monday, 3:30 p.m. -- press conference to announce you wasted your time by showing up to his press conference.
Tuesday, 4:45 a.m. -- press conference just to make you get out of bed at an ungodly hour.
Wednesday, noon -- press conference to announce he doesn't value your time.
Thursday, 1 p.m. -- press conference to announce that he needs more time to decide when his next press conference will be.
Thursday, 4:30 p.m. -- press conference to announce it will be Friday at 2 p.m.
Friday, 2 p.m. -- press conference to announce the 2 p.m. press conference has been pushed back to 2:15 p.m.
Friday, 2:15 p.m. -- press conference to announce you wasted your time yet again by showing up to his press conference.
Saturday, 1:30 p.m. -- Favre just laughing and pointing at you and saying that you're dumb.
3. No matter your opinion of President Bush, it has to be said that the man is fairly gracious. On Thursday at the White House he honored 12 NCAA teams that won national championships during the 2005 and 2006 seasons. And not once did he complain about getting yet another -- and another and another -- "Bush No. 1" jersey.
Win McNamee/Getty Images
I have to say, if I was in his position, with all the stress the presidency entails, I doubt I'd be so courteous: "Oh, wow. A Bush jersey with a '1' on the back. Whoopdie-doo. How ever did you think of that? My goodness. Look, I'm a second-term president here, people. You think I don't have 100 of these things already? I live in a house that was built more than 200 years ago. There's not a lot of closet space, OK? Where do you think I'm going to put all these stupid jerseys? I have to say, you all might be good at your respective sports, but you're absolute crap in the originality department. I'm trying to win a war on terror, in case you didn't know, and you expect me to walk around in some field hockey jersey with my last name and the No. 1 on the back? Yeah, the terrorists are really going to be scared of a guy in a field hockey jersey. 'Ooh! Let's not attack America anymore. Their president has a personalized field hockey jersey. He's not to be messed with.' You know what? Just get out here. Get off my lawn. All of you. You disgust me."
4. The Reggie Bush marketing machine made its first deal last week, as the former USC tailback signed a major endorsement contract with Subway Restaurants. As part of the deal, Bush will be writing a blog and regularly chatting online at SubwayFreshBuzz.com. I'm guessing this is how the first chat session will go:
Reggie: Hey, everyone. Glad to be here. Let's get started.
LenDale White: Reggie, hey, it's me, LenDale. Can you hook me up with some free subs? Like, say, three or four foot-longs? And lots of cheese on them, please. I'm starving.
Reggie: I don't know. I'll see what I can do. Aren't you always starving?
LDWhite: Yeah, pretty much. No matter how much I eat, I still want more.
Reggie: Obviously. You look like you're going about 260 or 270 now.
LDWhite: It's closer to 300 actually. Jkl#fg*!t98ah@gy
Reggie: What was that?
LDWhite: Sorry. I dropped a turkey leg on my keyboard.
Reggie: I see. Look, you've got to get in shape, man. You're killing your draft stock.
LDWhite: Well, sort of. My agent says I'm falling compared to other running backs, but in the last month alone, I've eaten my way to the top of the offensive line prospects, so that's something.
Reggie: Well, good. I guess. Hey, look, I've got to respond to some other questions now. Catch you later.
LD White: Understood. Oh, one more thing. Don't you think Matt and Nick make a great couple?
Reggie: Definitely. They look cute together. Jessica is probably SO jealous.
DJ Gallo is a regular contributor to ESPN The Magazine as well as the founder and sole writer of the award-winning sports satire site SportsPickle.com. He also contributes headlines to The Onion.