MAY 15 OFF THE MARK COLUMN — MARK SPENSLEY, CO-PUBLISHER
Is no sporting event sacred anymore where gentlemanly traits are as pure as the sport itself? The verbal shellacking has found its way to golf this past week when Sergio Garcia accused Tiger Woods of distracting him while he was in the middle of his backswing by selecting his next club which drew a small outburst by his gallery.
Oh no Sergio, what next? Will the croaking frogs that have made golf ponds their sanctuaries be responsible for your next verbal tirade? After all, you seemed to get to know those croakers quite well on Sunday after blasting back-to-back tee shots into the drink on hole seventeen.
To be honest, a little friction might be just what professional golf needs. Maybe we should allow the type of behavior displayed by Happy Gilmore and Bob Barker when they were debating if the price was right!
Most of us sporting fans are drawn to violence; we love bench-clearing brawls in baseball or fisticuffs during a basketball game. We love to see the big wrecks in a NASCAR race or a couple of big linemen get after each other in football. And fans of hockey go nuts when a fight breaks out.
But lately it seems like tempers flare quicker and easier than ever before in sports. And someday someone will suffer the consequences. Just a couple of weeks ago a young teen soccer player punched a referee, who eventually died from his injuries.
Early in the baseball season, L.A. Dodger pitcher Zach Greinke, who signed with the Dodgers for millions of dollars, broke his collarbone after he was involved with a skirmish with Padre’s outfielder Carlos Quentin.
What happens when a fight or a brawl or a intentional car wreck ends a player’s career or worse yet, his life? It’s sports folks and both competitors and fans alike need to realize that. It’s just a game. It’s not life or death but it could be, unfortunately.