No Thanks… I’m Full
By Jim McNaney
It’s not exactly the Hatfields and McCoys, but “there’s a feud a brewin’” on the PGA TOUR. Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka have spent the better part of a month in the news because of Koepka’s eyeroll “heard round the world.”
Clearly the two do not get along.
While it is starting to become clearer as to why Brooks appears to loathe Bryson, we still don’t (and probably never will) have the entire story. The closest thing we have to a full explanation came from Koepka prior to the Travelers Championship.
According to Brooks, Bryson went back on his word. According to Bryson… he doesn’t know what the problem is.
The two have taken shots both in the press and on social media over the last few years so clearly this goes back farther than the leaked GOLF Channel video from the PGA Championship and it doesn’t look like we will see the end of this anytime soon.
Now I am not here to tell you who’s right and who is wrong. In any argument, it is usually the case that both sides are somewhat right but also slightly wrong. I want to talk about the debate surrounding the situation.
Some, including both parties, have said this type of attention is actually good for golf. This story has had longer legs than almost anything in sports this year. There is an old saying, “Any press is good press.” so those in this camp want to see the action keep coming.
Then there are those that believe that, since we tout that golf is a game of integrity, this type of behavior is unbecoming for anyone involved in the sport. I have heard one commentator say they are both acting like petulant children and called for the feuding to stop immediately.
Even Ryder Cup Captain Steve Stricker has admitted that the situation will not make his job any easier this fall. He suggested that he would try to get the two to come together and work it out.
Here is where I come down on the issue… WHO CARES!
Look, I like things to be a little interesting from time to time. It was fun to see the “spring break boys” like Fowler, Spieth and Thomas acting more like fraternity brothers than competitors, but it got tiresome after a while. Of course, it was interesting when Patrick Reed was playing the role of the villain but, here too, the constant coverage of it made me not want to hear about it anymore.
The problem here does not lie with either DeChambeau or Koepka. The blame lies, in my opinion, with the media and those of us who consume it.
It would help if the press would simply stop talking about it. It won’t necessarily go away, but humans tend to move on quickly and the more the media continues to ask about it, the more the public will consume it.
If pushed, most in the press will say they only are covering this story because the public is showing interest in it. They cite the number of interactions on social media as proof of the public’s insatiable appetite for this type of news.
Let’s be honest, if someone is feeding you really bad food long enough, you will eventually get used to it. In fact, if crappy food is all you know, when you get hungry enough you will actually crave it.
To some extent, the appetite for “dirty laundry” (as Don Henley called it in his 1982 release of the same name) is there because that is what the media consuming public has been fed for years in most arenas.
We are accustomed to it in politics. There is an entire subset of the media dedicated to it for Hollywood. So now it must be the norm in sports too?
Well, I for one, am sick of eating crappy food. We get enough of the salacious in other areas of our lives. Are we so overfed on crap that we need to crave it in sports? I hope not. I believe sports is where we could start the process of demanding to be better fed.
My argument against the media does not absolve the public of our guilt. We have a choice, don’t consume the garbage. Don’t spend so much time looking for this type of news story on social media, especially in sports.
A friend of mine recently quit drinking. Not for any other reason than he suddenly realized he just wasn’t interested in it anymore. As the story of Brooks v Bryson continued to be told, I came to that very same conclusion… I’m just not interested in it anymore. In fact, I don’t care about who gets along with who. I just want to know who played well and who did not.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back to watching videos of cute puppies.