Monday, 4 October 2010

Ryder Cup - a spoilsport's view of Europe's victory

Europe’s win over the USA in the Ryder Cup golf contest at Celtic Manor has left me for the most part unmoved. Golf is a particularly Monty Python sport in concept – chasing, as it does, small balls into only slightly larger holes with long sticks. Given the often tasteless clothes all that is needed are silly walks for the comparison to be complete.
For reasons I can’t fathom, I don’t feel the same antipathy towards snooker. Perhaps it’s a matter of size.
Golf might be fun to play with friends but to grow into a billion dollar spectator sport, the world has come to a strange point in its history.
There are, however, some aspects of the Ryder Cup, which warrant closer examination for the positive messages it communicates.
The tournament drips money in terms of sponsors, ticket admissions, and television audiences. But at its heart matches are played for pride and not prize money.
There are other sporting events contested on the same basis but few can count on drawing participants from the cream of their sport – therefore its richest players - and get them to eagerly compete for nothing.
The selection of pan-European teams to participate in the Ryder Cup – it was extended beyond Britain and Ireland in 1979 – was a significant milestone in opening up UK sport. Since then soccer with its large numbers of foreign players and managers has further reduced sporting xenophobia.

4 comments:

  1. Golf is beyond me.

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  2. Very Good GC. Writing about something you profess to know nothing about. Quite right too. Jaffa.

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  3. Jaffa, I never professed ignorance about the Ryder Cup - indeed a poor basis on which to judge anything. I'm mystified by the size of golf's spectator following. GC

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What do you think? GC