I like to watch the occasional half-hour of golf during a major, and this weekend made me wonder whether anybody out there enjoys it when a tournament becomes more about the golf course than the people playing the sport.
Even in my limited knowledge, I understand the concept of the U.S. Open and the golf-course tyrants who spend an entire year trying to fashion a course that discourages birdies and encourages anger and homicide. I forgot to look, but I imagine there was some anti-stroke medication at the top of the sponsor board.
And, hey, mission accomplished. The greens-greasers and fairway-narrowers got their wish an even-par champion. Backslaps all around. But what does it prove? Hypothetically speaking, if you make a green the size of hardcover book and circle it with bunkers, chances are you're going to "beat" the world's best golfers. Congratulations.
Maybe that's what the people want to see, especially after so many weeks of 15-under-par champions on the wide-open TPC courses. It probably makes the casual golfer feel better to see Retief Goosen fumble his way through an 81.
But if one of the biggest weekends in your sport's calendar becomes a dissertation on architectural engineering and landscaping, maybe you ought to put the protractor back in your pocket, loosen the belt a notch and take a deep breath. Who knows, it might even be fun.
This week's list
• Proof that it can always get weirder: Mason, the Pistons' one-named (if you listen to the broadcast) public-address announcer.
• If I was Larry Brown, here's the first thing I'd say before Game 6: "Tayshaun Prince needs more than 10 shots."
• Like everything else, this is just a guess, but here's one possible reason why the NBA Finals are having a hard time attracting a wide television audience: Too much noise pregame, in game, postgame unrelated to the game.
• The next time you rail against the money being paid to a star athlete, remember this: That dim bulb "Runaway Bride" is getting a reported $500,000 to tell her story just because she got on a bus and pretended to be missing.
• Call now and get your free video: The San Francisco 49ers recently engaged in a telemarketing campaign aimed at discovering whether their season-ticket holders would be willing to pay more including $2,000 seat licenses to support the team's push for a new stadium.
• The 49ers would see this as an opportunity to charge more for the next race: Formula One auto racing fans at the U.S. Grand Prix in Indianapolis were somewhat disappointed after a tire-related boycott reduced the field to six racers.
• He had an excellent game, but let's not blow all the circuits trying to make it something it's not: Robert Horry was described by one commentator as "maybe the best clutch shooter in the history of the NBA."
• Let's also remember this: Horry's game-winning shot came on a play pass in, get pass back that you teach fifth-graders how to defend.