Ben Crane seems like a really nice guy, and his viral videos have done much to prompt a re-evaluation of his image as a plodding and sombre reflection of his pace of play. From anyone’s perspective, that’s most certainly a good thing.
So why, oh why, does he insist on giving interviews, like yesterday’s one with Helen Ross over at PGATour.com, that do their level best to corrupt his newfound appeal with an unwanted air of calculation and wide-eyed earnestness? Kill the joke if you must, but do try to avoid sounding like the lamest of youth pastors in the process, Ben. Sheesh!
“I think that a lot of people knew me as someone who is passionate about my walk of faith, someone who’s committed to my family and then on the golf course as someone who’s been in the limelight on slow play,” Crane said. “My image, amongst some of the golfers, is slow golfer/nice guy.
“So when friends go from slow golfer/nice guy to ‘WOW,’ it’s like the perfect storm of my image to the videos, it’s such a contrast. It’s had more effect because of it.”
It certainly did have more of an affect, until you told us that you decided to film your first video because you worried others saw you as being too boring:
“The videos were a byproduct of a 50th birthday celebration for one of Crane’s friends. This buddy had a high-powered roster of friends — including George Clooney, Lance Armstrong and Cindy Crawford — and Crane was among those asked to send in a 90-second video clip of what the man meant to him.
“So I sat down in front of the camera … and it was the most boring thing I’d ever seen in my life,” Crane said, “I didn’t even finish watching my 90 seconds.”
So he called his friend Sam Martin, who helped produce several charity videos for Crane and his wife Heather. The golfer remembers Martin encouraging him to “jump way over the line. You have to literally sell out to this dance or whatever we’re going to do for it to come off as funny.””
There’s much to be said for spontaneity in comedy.