Vijay Singh, the least compelling "star" in all of pro sports
The most interesting thing about all the well-deserved Mercedes Championships moaning - besides TravelGolf.com’s own Tim McDonald showing both his East Coast Bias and Senior Citizen Bias in one blog - is how it’s never mentioned that Vijay Singh is actually in the field.
For good reason.
Is there a less compelling “star” in all of pro sports than Vijay?
All the focus is on who wasn’t in Hawaii, because the only way Singh can carry a tournament marquee is if he’s fighting with his caddy. If this is who we are left with when Tiger Woods has a rare off year (2004), the PGA Tour had better hope Woods never gets bored again.
Really, how did anyone ever think Vijay was a star?
|« Los Angeles' smog problem underplayed||From the Rose Bowl and Vince Young to the Mercedes and Fred Funk? »|
I realize that this is the nature of the market and that it ain't changin', but I still lament it.
It speaks volumes about our collective values.
Now maybe you see what it is about Chris Baldwin that has a lot of us Michelle Wie fans upset.
1) Hogan was better than Singh will ever be;
2) Hogan didn't cheat.
So what is Tiger, then, if not a private man? Have you ever seen him unguarded or candid in an interview!? Never. Not saying this is a bad trait (I'd be the same way -- heck if I had just HALF what he earns in a single year, I'd probably hole up in compound and never talk to ANY of you schmoes!). Anyway, I just don't see how being a private man is in any way in conflict with "the Tiger Woods era."
I also agree with most everything stone just said. And yes, the 'Singh Asian Tour incident' /was/ over twenty years ago, but the fact remains that he tried to meddle with his scorecard in order to make a cut. He was DQ'ed for no reason; he really did it. That got him banned; he's also been banned from the Australasian Tour for not paying his bills (or something - not sure of the exact details). Except for them two incidents, as far as we know, he doesn't cheat anymore. Looks like he learnt his lesson.
I am one of those people who believe players from completely different /can/ be compared. Playing acheivements lose a bit of relevance during this comparison, but after all, talent is talent. The 'average' PGA Tour player today is no better than in Hogan's day; he might just hit the ball further and putt better due to improvements in course maintainence and equipment.
I'm not actually sure if Vijay /is/ popular. He seems to me to be a miserable bastard, and I've heard he's quite unpopular with the press (and with Tiger Woods, obviously). Not sure whether his playing peers like him or not. (Sidenote: I think Tiger Woods is a better player than Vijay Singh, if only by a small margin. I don't actually understand how anyone could deny this.)
Though Hogan supposedly did not have many friends (on tour or otherwise), that was probably because a lot of his peers would have been jealous of his far superior playing ability (and wealth). He was always to the point, spoke his mind, and was always very private, which I also doubt went down well with the press or with some of his peers.
Returning to the era-comparison point, I think given today's equipment, Hogan would still be the better player. I don't think Singh is /that/ good of a shotmaker (certainly not as good as Hogan or Woods), and unlike Woods' and Hogan's swings, Singh's swing is butt-ugly. (I don't know whether Hogan would be as good as Woods - probably not - but nobody had to overcome more than Hogan did.)
Finally, most 'cheating' incidents in pro golf are just. Montgomerie really did replace his ball in the wrong spot (cameras don't lie), Arnold Palmer really did play a rule which doesn't exist, and Vijay Singh really did magic pencil his scorecard.
Of course Woods is a better player, by more than just a little bit, too, I might add.
However, to say that the skills of the average tour player today aren't better than those of the average of Hogan's day is ridiculous. Ever hear of talent pools and depth?
An analogy is the ancient mathematicians. There were mathematical geniuses in the year 2000 B.C., and there are mathematical geniuses today. Mathematicians thousands of years ago found division very difficult (now, 6 year olds find this easy!), but place Euclid in the year 2006, let him teach himself modern maths, and he would still be as clever as any living mathematician today.
A genius is a genius, just as TALENT is TALENT. However, a genius can never, to a large extent, overcome the social limitations he/she inherits; just as a Hogan-era golfer could not smack the ball 400 yards with a pathetic wooden-headed club, or roll the ball perfectly over a then-furry green (with a silky smooth, pendulum stroke with no 'wrists').
Golfers do not get more 'talented' - a talented person is superb no matter what; it depends on the state of the game as to what he/she can do with those skills. It's the same with everything else, really.
Just think about it.
Your analogy proves my point! The argument didn't involve whether or not they are more talented today, only whether or not they're better today. If people find math easier today than thousands of years ago, they're better, plain and simple. WHY they're better is a different matter.
Having said this, the talent pool HAS to be better today. Why? Because the best 100 out of a million will be better than the best 100 out of a thousand. And the fact is that there are far more people playing and competing today.
Please don't tell me that I have to explain it more in depth than that.
Nope, my fault; I misread it. :)
(I still think Hogan could take on some top PGA Tour players. :)
I also didn't plan on ending up in a debate with someone who seems to be an expert in social science.
I wasn't arguing about Hogan -- he very well might have been able to take them on. After all, he was a prodigy. However, the overall depth of the field is a different matter altogether.
Comments are closed for this post.