Jul
1
2009
Gentlemen, So to Speak, Start Your Booing
By Stephanie Wei under General

This morning Tiger Woods played in the AT&T National Pro-Am with Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo and House Minority Leader John Boehner. The tournament is played in Washington, DC, home of the Redskins. Since the Cowboys and Redskins are both in the NFC East, the teams are historic rivals. So it comes with no surprise when Romo was welcomed by a chorus of boos.

According to Dan Steinberg’s recap in D.C. Sports Blog,

Some wise soul managed to write “Go Redskins” in Romo’s yardage book, which was one of the better moments of the day. The best, though, was the guy in the Art Monk hat standing directly behind Romo on the 7th tee. “Hit it like it’s December,” the guy said. That guy deserves an award. So does the guy following them around for nine holes wearing the “Dallas Sucks” t-shirt.

And people said New York fans were obnoxious. Actually, I find the whole situation pretty entertaining. Like I mentioned last week, the New York galleries at the US Open really weren’t so bad. I felt like I was at a baseball game and it was an absolutely electrifying atmosphere. From the sounds of it, the crowd at the Pro-Am generated an environment somewhat similar to a football game.

Look, I understand it might not have been the wisest decision for Tiger to invite Romo. But it’s not like the tournament was directly affiliated with the Redskins. And who really cares? Okay, everyone who is a Redskins fan, which would include most that attended the Pro-Am. So they booed Romo. I’m pretty sure he’s used to it. How many people were there? It couldn’t have been more than a few hundred. Let’s put it in perspective – when he plays against the Redskins at FedEx Field, he’s booed by upwards of 90,000 fans. I bet he was awfully bothered by the hecklers this morning.

Sure, a football game is different than a golf tournament. It’s also a lot more popular and many would argue they’re more fun. The bottom line is if we want golf to be considered as an entertainment sport, there has to be room for a bit of heckling - of course, as long as people don’t yell in the middle of a player’s backswing. Now that would just be downright disrespectful.

I’m not saying golf should become a bunch of thugs carousing around the course, nor am I saying etiquette should be disregarded. Don’t we want golf to continue growing? To have as many fans as sports like baseball and football?

The antics at the Pro-Am shows golf is becoming more mainstream. I mean, Romo’s girlfriend songstress Jessica Simpson sang the National Anthem. Come to think of it, the threesome of Tiger, Romo and Boehner is actually quite brilliant – you have the best professional golfer in the world, a top QB and a Republican Congressman. That’s a perfect example of diversity. Times are a’ changing. Golf ain’t just a buttoned-up, collar popped “gentlemen’s” sport no more.

[Photo via DC Sports Blog]