Where’s the Respect? Pehaps You’ve Done it to Yourselves

1. Beware of the Drunk Driver

As lifelong golf enthusiasts who can recite more Masters champions in the past 20 years than current quarterbacks in the NFL, it pains us at OnFire to write an insulting diatribe on golf. But we understand that it is our job to attack all ridiculous occurrences in all sports and (sigh) this is no exception.

Here we go: 43-year-old J.P. Hayes, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour, disqualified himself from the second stage of qualifying school for playing a “prototype” golf ball not accepted by the USGA. (By the way, even Robin Williams’s character in the memorable comedy “Flubber” was impressed by the distance Hayes could get.)

But we digress, the point is: apparently, golf balls just aren’t golf balls at a certain level.

Golf has a lot of stupid rules. People have been disqualified for putting a ball that may have moved less than one millimeter after the player set the putter on the ground.

People have been penalized for kneeling on a towel to hit a ball that rested under a tree. People have been penalized for telling someone what club they hit.

Golf is a game of integrity and honesty above all else. We golfers police ourselves out there and are required to follow the rules. And we totally respect that, but if golf is really about integrity, maybe they should consider banning John Daly or the billboard athletes they have begun to put on the course day in and day out. Seriously, golf will always be considered a country-club sport. We get that you’re trying to appeal to a bigger audience, but the Happy Gilmore approach should stay in movies. Please don’t follow the NASCAR model.

Hayes should be commended; it’s golf that needs to use this opportunity to reevaluate its position in the sporting world.

Because we are not about to watch the Budweiser or Hooters or Nike or Trojan or Phillip Morris Open.

2. Wildcats? More Like Quiet, Tamed Kittens

In what has recently become a more lopsided discrepancy in talent than the Rolling Stones vs. the Jonas Brothers, the University of Kentucky Wildcats and North Carolina Tar Heels battled it out in their annual Bourbon-Tobacco bowl. After Kentucky’s fifth consecutive loss to the Tar Heels last night, 77-58 in Chapel Hill, perhaps we need to take a look a closer look at one of America’s most historic programs.

Simply put, Kentucky stinks. They are about as wild as a Catholic nun before Easter and as terrifying as little Michael Jackson. Before this loss to North Carolina, they fell at home in Rupp Arena to the Virginia Military Institute — No. 209 in the widely used and respected Sagarin ratings. Not exactly a powerhouse.

But this has unfortunately happened before on second-year Head Coach Billie Gillespie’s watch. Last year, the team fell to Gardener-Webb by double digits in perhaps the most embarrassing loss ever for the program.

Oh, how far they have fallen since slick Rick Pitino left in 1997. The Wildcats lost in the Finals that year and won the title in 1998 under Tubby Smith. After a series of mediocre performances for Kentucky standards, Smith left the team after the 2007 season. Mind you, he still managed to go to four Elite Eights and compiled a 263-83 record. But hey, in Lexington, where horses are more beloved than the people who live there, you take your anger out on whomever you can.

Now, we are smart enough to recognize that Gillespie has had none of the players he wants, and that he needs time to enact his strategy. He was very good at Texas A&M. But there’s a good chance Gillespie may not even have the chance to stay at Kentucky for long. He has been rumored to get with more drunken co-eds than any frat star Emory has ever produced. Just a further embarrassment for those in the shadow of Adolph Rupp.

In the end, Kentucky’s decline from respected power to the doormat they are slowly becoming is upsetting and saddening.

Unless, of course, you’re a Louisville Cardinal fan.


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