1. You make it Wiesy
Recently, the Michelle Wie Dynasty tied the Shun Dynasty as the most short-lived one in history. Wie, now 20, was hyped as a 10-year-old kid after she became the youngest player to qualify for the Women’s U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship. Within a few years, she set records for the youngest player to make the cut in an LPGA event and the U.S. Open. Girl had game, and she decided to next tee it up against the men.
Granted, she missed the cut in those men’s events by more shots than it would take a man the size of young, fat Jack Nicklaus to get drunk, but that’s beside the point. She was the “It Girl” — sans the short curly hair of the endearing (not really, she was gross) Clara Bow. Some guy named Arnold Palmer said she’d have as much influence on the women’s game as Tiger Woods does on the men’s. We’d argue Tiger has more influence on the ladies.
And throughout her teens, Wie struggled to make it on tour. Perhaps a $10 million contract, millions of people expecting things and the limelight got to her.
But the phoenix rose, and in a big way. The Big Wiesy dominated at the Solheim Cup (the women’s version of the Ryder Cup). She won three points for the victorious U.S. team and this past weekend, Ms. Wie won her first title, the aptly-named Lorena Ochoa Invitational. We say “aptly” because it is named after the best player in women’s golf two years after Wie withdrew from then-No. 1 Annika Sorenstam’s tournament because she was not going to break 88. For those of you who don’t, a pro not breaking 88 is like a vice presidential candidate not being able to state more than one Supreme Court case on national television — pretty embarrassing. (Let’s just hope that same woman doesn’t do the equivalent of win a tournament though.)
Anyway, congratulations to Michelle Wie. You are now only 626 years shy of tying the Three Sovereign and Five Empires reign from prehistory. Take your vitamins.
2. What ever happened to the three “Rs”?
You gotta love those academics. Nothing is too mundane, too off-the-wall or too obvious for them to turn into research. We now present Exhibit A.
A recent Ohio State study showed that fans with exceedingly low expectations of their teams enjoy the games much more. Well, duh. We didn’t need a team of researchers to tell us this, just the ticket-sale data from the past 80 years at Wrigley. In case you haven’t noticed, the phrase “lovable loser” is thrown around to describe just this “phenomenon.”
Apparently, the study continues, winning is more exciting if you don’t think your team is going to win in the first place. Again, this makes perfect sense, and a cursory glance at our social lives would let us know that. For example, we’re always thrilled when we get the girl — often because we’re not expecting to move past the “Hey, my name is X” stage. If girls were throwing themselves at us on a daily basis, well, the whole thing would lose some of its excitement.
Thank you, Ohio State researchers, for these absolutely mind-blowing and astounding findings. Don’t you dare come out of your ivory towers until you give us more information just like this — even if it means missing an unexpected win from your team.
3. Going against the grain
While 95 percent of the sports commentators across the country are on their high horse criticizing Bill Belichick for his decision to “go for it” on fourth down of the Patriots-Colts game, we would like to take this time to defend him. You have one of the best quarterbacks in football on your side, and maybe the best one waiting on the sidelines — why not try to keep him off the field? How many times do we see a team not stop an offense all day long, then play conservatively with a lead in the final minutes, only to hand the ball back to the same offense with a chance for a game-winning drive? Aren’t the Patriots’ chances of making the “fourth and two” pretty high there? Either way, we’re impressed the Belichick went with his gut instead of being afraid of the media’s second guess. Bill, we salute you.