It *is* just a golf match, and the "playing for your flag" thing, while not
totally a concoction of the media (players said it was the prime motivating
factor to earn a spot on the RC team long before the matches became a TV
attraction), has changed in meaning over the years. The frenzy whipped up
by it becoming a national spectacle (not so much by the media "stirring" it
up, but rather just because it's now in living rooms around the world) has
changed the dynamic.
Fans share in the blame for it becoming this new "frenzied" event. During
the '80s and '90s, fans became more and more insistent upon injecting
themselves into the event -- from streakers on the field to fans doing "the
wave" to the "YOU 'DA MAN!" idiots to untold numbers of examples of fans
trying to attract attention to themselves. The media is not to blame for
this. In fact, for many years, ABC (and perhaps other networks) had a
standing policy of keeping the camera off these people. Some networks still
Sorry, I wandered a little off the subject. So what's new?
> The "playing for your country" stuff is just hype. It draws a certain
> type of fan to the event, but it is just a golf match. The only winners
> and losers are the players.
> > > "Pat McLean" wrote ...
> > > > The President's Cup on the other hand, is 5 years old, and
> > > > it's been very obvious that it was created not so players
> > > > can play for their country, but so that the PGA Tour could
> > > > cash in on the financial success the Ryder Cup has enjoyed.
> > > That's easy to say, and there's no question there's a financial reward
> > > seeing the President's Cup succeed. But you display something of a
> > > memory...
> > > At the time when the President's Cup matches were launched, there was
> > fair
> > > amount of e***ment within golf circles because the matches filled a
> > void.
> > > Namely, to give players outside the U.K. a stage upon which they could
> > > showcase their considerable skills in a Ryder Cup-like format against
> > > US. If you'll go back to the money lists of the early '90s, you'll
> > > names like Greg Norman, Nick Price, Steve Elkington, Ernie Els and
> > > international players not from the U.K. among the leaders. And it's
> > to
> > > say they were fan favorites as well.
> > > So while there might very well be a good financial reason for staging
> > these
> > > matches, if there weren't a demand for it, it never would have worked.
> > And
> > > there wouldn't have been a demand for it if some of the world's best
> > > most popular players weren't being excluded from the Ryder Cup.
> > > That's the real reason it was launched.
> > You're not incorrect in your statement. But your statement explains
> > why no one considers it "playing for your country", and all these "it
> > be honor" complaints ring hollow for that exact reason.
> > It's a nice event, don't get me wrong. But it's hardly the Olympics or
> > Ryder Cup even when it comes to "playing for your country."