October 12, 2011
Welcome to Teeing Off, where Devil Ball editor Jay Busbee and head writer Shane Bacon take a day's topic and smack it all over the course. Suggest a future topic by writing firstname.lastname@example.org, or hit us on Twitter at @jaybusbee and @shanebacon. Today, we discuss Hot Dog-gate, the decision of The Golf Channel and the PGA Tour, and the state of the fans in general.
Busbee: We've all read about the infamous Tiger Woods/hot dog incident of this past weekend. But only a select few of us got to see the video; the PGA Tour declined to release it publicly, and managed to yank from most sites a bootleg version that somehow made its way onto the web. All of this is perfectly within their rights to do, as this is their property. Question of the day, though: should the tour have pulled this video? Or does its "newsworthiness" demand its release?
Bacon: As we've seen with some other sites, the video is going to get out there, albeit for just a few minutes, and people that want to see it are getting to see it, so why wouldn't they take advantage of this? At the end of the day, nobody got hurt (well, except for the intruder's face), so why wouldn't they toss it up? Maybe with a disclaimer at the first saying, "If you run between the ropes at a golf event, you could face up to blah blah blah." Also, you could make a killing on advertiser dollars if you ran something before it.
The reason they don't do it is because they don't want to promote people being idiots, which I understand, so why not just blur his face? Seems easy enough, right?
Busbee: There's this weird Freudian death-drive thing that comes over you when you're that close to the action. You know, if you're standing at the top of the Hoover Dam, you look over the edge and think, "One more step and ... " You're there at a baseball game and you see Derek Jeter right there, and you start thinking, "What if ... ?" I'm not sure that the whole "you won't get on TV" thing is necessarily a deterrent when the ol' lizard brain takes over. Especially now with everybody having a camera phone, it's much more likely that someone in the gallery is going to get you onto YouTube.
Your take? Do you think it's possible to prevent people from being idiots, or is this something hardwired into our DNA? Please use the Waste Management Open in your answer.
Bacon: Running out into sports action has always been one of those things I don't understand at all. It's like someone asking you, "Hey, why don't you let some 300-pound police officer tackle you straight up without you being able to do anything, on a hard surface, and then go to jail for it," and responding, "Definitely! Sounds awesome."
That said, it will continue to happen until the end of days, which makes it even funnier when organizations are scared to show videos of people doing such things because they're scared it's going to add on to the problem. It isn't adding on to the problem, society is!
I just wish they would have shown it. A hot dog flying at Tiger Woods is newsworthy stuff, I hate to tell ya.
Busbee: Agreed. And while we do joke about this, there's also the Monica Seles aspect; you can get awfully close to golfers, and who's to say that someone might have more ill will than just throwing lunch? Still, though, you can't anticipate everything that could happen. I'd hate to see golf courses get any more restrictive than they are; one of the great aspects of tournaments is how close you can get to the action. (Or the action can get to you, if you happen to be at the wrong place when someone's teeing off.)
Of course, it's a good thing this guy did this at the Frys.com. If he'd slung a pimento cheese sandwich at Augusta, his entire history would have been wiped from the earth.
Bacon: And I think it's worth noting that this did happen at an event that possibly wasn't ready for the huge crowds Tiger brings. It makes Bubba Watson's comments earlier this year about the French Open all the more sensible. Yes, smaller events aren't as good at securing up the golfers, and like you said, if something like this happens at Augusta, they'd be ready for it (with shotguns, but still ready).
Maybe this is a perfect example of just how important Tiger is to what we do. Yes, Tiger brings us views and eyes, but do we ask for too much, like this video, that could have jeopardized his safety?
Busbee: I'm frankly surprised that nobody's tried anything like this before; it's a testament to the overall class of golf galleries that nobody has. If this were a [insert other sport here] game, yeah, some drunk fan would have been all over him by now, at least to "give him a piece of his mind."
I still think we're headed for a tragedy of this kind in sports; it's going to happen, there's too much venom and too easy access. But I don't think it's going to happen in golf. Wow, that got dark in a hurry, didn't it?
Bacon: Voldemort-dark. Let's wrap this up before one of us depresses another fan/drops another Harry Potter reference.
And as for your Waste Management Open question, don't expect anything like that to happen at TPC Scottsdale. It's tough to run out on the golf course when you can barely walk.
Now your thoughts ... would it have been in the tour's best interest to show the video, or is keeping it away smart because it shows fans that doing things like this won't get you the exposure you wanted?
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