With the advent of the Tiger on the PGA Tour, the game's popularity has skyrocketed. People that, at one time, thought of the game as a combination of Thurston Howell III and Mr. and Mrs. Havercamp, now think of it as in.
The game now has more participants and spectators than ever before. But there is still a large faction of the population that finds golf mind-numbingly boring. In all their infinite wisdom, the unenlightened spew brilliance like, "It's worse than watching grass grow" or, "It's like watching paint dry." Yeah, funny.
Well, it's time to bring these non-believers to our side. But how, you may ask. Well, we do this by enhancing their TV-watching experience. We suck them in hooking them on something to which they can relate, something they enjoy watching. This is no easy task. Buckle in.
First off, we've got a teddy bear-esque marketing tool just waiting to be taken advantage of. We have our own Lumpy. Although on the blunt end of many jokes, Lumpy is publicity gold in a sweet little XXXL wrapping. I say we pit him against "The Tsunami," Takeru Kobayashi in a hot dog eating contest. Kobayashi is about 1/8 Lumpy's size at around 150 pounds, but he can pack away the hot dogs like no other in the world, or so he thinks. Kobayashi managed to eat 44 and ½ hot dogs in 12 minutes at last year's Fourth of July Coney Island festival.
I think Lumpy's got him. We could do it at the turn when Lumpy's at his hungriest anyway. If this doesn't work, we could just put John Daly in the group with Lumpy at every tournament in which they both play, and we could pit them up against Kobayashi. J.D. is probably the most powerful marketing tool in the history of the game. Who doesn't love the long-shot long-baller?
Actually, this could work as a series throughout the season. We could get rid of Kobayashi and start a Chubster hot dog eating contest. It would be set up similar to March Madness, with the number at which a contestant is seeded inversely proportional to his weight. The climax would be a no-holds-barred match at the Tour Championship at the end of the year. People would tune in every week to see who moved on and who was out. It would be just like "The Apprentice," but without Donald Trump or annoying aspiring businesspeople; instead, it would be Chubsters and hot dogs, a can' t miss one-two punch.
Many say that Tiger has lost his swing recently because he's spent too much time in the gym. He's bulked up too much. So let's use it. We could pull in quite the crowd if we just put Tiger in a Speedo. Most golf enthusiasts love to watch Tiger play because of his sheer talent and near mastery of the game. Let's get everyone else who just likes to watch him because he has a nice smile and an incredibly attractive wallet. There is an infinite number of women - and men - this would attract.
But why not take this a step further? Sex obviously sells. Let's not only put Tiger in a Speedo, but let's put Elin, his fiancé, in a bikini. She's a model anyway. And she could hold an umbrella for her Tigey while he waits like at the American Motorcycle Association races. It captures all genders and sexual orientations in one shot: Tiger in a Speedo, his female model fiancé in a two-piece. In fact, let's bring in all the wives as umbrella girls. Who would decline to seeing Amy Mickelson in part II of that "Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition" shoot?
That doesn't work for you? Well, this one better, because if it doesn't, I will personally come to your house and give you a wedgie. No one really notices caddies. So let's get rid of them, and put monkeys on everyone's bags. Here's the deal: Monkeys are funny. They just are. There's no way around it. Monkeys are funny. If we put them on the bags, it's a guaranteed laugh, and people will keep coming back for that. Had a bad day? Tune in. Maybe, if we're lucky, they'll throw their poo at somebody. If that doesn't ring your bell, why not midgets? They're inevitably funny too. If you don't think either of these are funny, you're dead inside.
Finally, golf just needs to be more physical. The NFL has fans, and it will always have fans. There is a huge faction of the TV-watching population that pines for football 365 days a year. Well, let's give them something in the offseason. Actually, they have the AFL, but let's get serious. Golf just needs more tackling. I think NFL players should be able to contract with the PGA Tour in their offseason.
Here's how we would do it: On heavily tree-lined courses, NFLers would hide in the trees, and every once in a while, they would pop out, sprint over and blindside a guy, without holding back. There's something about some guy getting completely creamed that makes us innately cringe but laugh hysterically at the same time. If nothing else, it's our one chance to see Vijay get plundered on national TV. I know some of us are secretly smiling at this thought: other members of the media? Annika?
Let's give it a whirl. If nothing else, there will be monkeys.
November 3, 2004
We all love golf course rankings, but there's quite a bias involved, huh? Host a major championship and you're basically guaranteed a spot on the list. What about the average duffer who's more impressed with the beer list than the slope/rating - or prefers friendliness over the fine, imported lotion in the locker room? Where's our list, hackers? Answer: Right here.
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