Friday, September 28, 2012
Ryder Cup 2012: Medinah
It is a "genuine replica" in memorabilia terms.
Which means it's a Ryder Cup ISSUED trophy that goes to the winning Captain each year. This particular item belonged to Dave Marr Jr. who captained the 1981 US Team at Walton Heath. His son, Dave Marr III - who does work for the Golf Channel - was walking around outside our hotel with it, as the item is now in his care since his father passed away
I even kissed it.
Which made Mr. Marr a wee bit uneasy. (I wiped it off... come on!)
I always thought that there was a huge market for TRUE replica trophies (i.e. cheap) that could be sold to fans. However, after doing some research, I realized that such items are heavily suppressed by lawyers for the entities who award such trophies (i.e. NFL for the Lombardi, the PGA for the Ryder Cup, the Academy of the Oscars etc.) so that you just can't find good trophy replicas on the web.
Which is, I suppose, a good thing. It would only cheapen the real trophy, if every jackshine Steeler fan had 6 really good aluminum replicas of the Lombardi in his basement, as a cost of $199 each.
That's why when I saw this lovely "genuine replica" of the Ryder Cup, I bum rushed it for a photo, much to the embarrassment of Scott Linn who kept saying: "It's not the REAL thing, come on! Dinner time!"
The whole event has gone super-nuclear in terms of hype, money, and prestige.
And that's great. The Ryder Cup hyperspaces the sport into a format that is wholly unlike anything else in the game of golf. It is instant pressure from the first shot of the first tee. It is incredibly raucous crowds who are openly partisan, cheering good shots for the home team, and likewise bad shots for the visitors.
It is an international party. It is pomp and circumstance. It is a bunch of lone wolf players, suddenly getting to know each other a little better and compete shoulder to shoulder.
On the regular tour, there are big paychecks and even bigger paychecks.
Here, they get nothing.
(except a modest amount they can direct to a preferred charity of their choosing).
If you finish a big tournament in the top-10, you can say "hey, not bad."
At the Ryder Cup, there are winners and losers. Period. (and halves.... but you get the point)
These guys play for total pride and competitive juices. They dance when they win, and cry when they lose.
These are grown men. Millionaires.
Ridiculous. But true.
This, is the Ryder Cup.
Here's some more from the broadcast location. Big THANKS to Yahoo! Sports Radio and David Gow, Craig Larson, and Josh Vexler for making this remote broadcast possible. When I suggested it for our show as an alternative to dreary and played out "Radio Row" at the Super Bowl, they said "great idea." When I actually asked to execute it, to my pleasant shock, they did not blink.
And some cool videos.....
The Ryder Cup back in the quaint 1970's, where Europe couldn't hang with the US, and team uniforms were "brown" and "white."
Mark Calcavecchia's most devastating moment. Falling apart at Kiawah, in the War By the Shore.