A place for me to talk about San Francisco Bay Area sports.

Monday, October 17, 2005

SI sucks even more now

Any fan of Barry Bonds must necessarily be a non-fan of Sports Illustrated because of all the anti-Barry Bonds articles that they have written over the years. They have ceased being a journalist in my eyes for a long time, they have been pushing their agenda with him constantly. And just because Barry snubbed one of their star journalists for an interview (a totally rude act that I don't forgive Barry for) does not give them license to go after any athlete and not give a balanced story. I was especially mad when they published their hate piece in the middle of our push to make the playoffs in 2002 and solicited comments from Jeff Kent, who showed that he was no team guy with his interview with them for that hit piece.

Now I'm mad at them for costing Michelle Wie her first professional paycheck. A "reporter" for them turns in Wie for a rules violation, which I can understand, but he waits a day to do it, when she could do nothing about it other than to be disqualified. Either speak up as soon as you have a problem or shut up. He claims that he was speaking for the "integrity" of the game. If that was his high-minded reason then he should have spoken up when HE WAS VIEWING THE PLAY HIMSELF.

He was there, he saw the whole thing, he even stepped it off after the play was done and it bothered him enough to speak with tour officials the next day. If he had any question about it then he should have spoken then. "I was in my reporter's mode," was his lame excuse for that. Then why talk about it the next day? Are you suddenly not a reporter anymore?

He is obviously just jealous of her, just like all the people who were jealous about Tiger Woods when he became pro. He wanted to take her down a notch and "teach" her. All it taught her is the Barry Bonds rule: don't speak with Sports Illustrated.

Does anyone who isn't interested in the SI Swimsuit issue care about SI anymore, anyhow? I was never a big fan before and after the Bonds stuff I really haven't touched them. I read a lot more Sporting News, though, to be fair, I somehow lucked into a free subscription with them and don't plan to renew when it is time. I mainly make use of all the free websites news feeds, especialy those available through My Yahoo, to get my news and articles, which does include some SI articles. If it wasn't for the Swimsuit issue, would SI be dead today?

He probably did this to pull up some publicity for his dying magazine. How do these cockroaches live with themselves? The same things that were done to Tiger are now being done to Wie.

Just as he showed them, I know that she will show them as well. She is just 16 and had already beaten some professional male golfers, let alone female golfers. In her first tournament ever, she came in fourth before the disqualification.

SI is not the only one to complain, though. Some have complained that she hasn't done anything that Tiger accomplished while he was a teenager. Some have also complained that she should have used this time to win something, like the Amateurs, which Tiger did for three years in a roll, like his hero, the Golden Bear did. But to me, she has done more than what Tiger did: she has beaten a lot of pros already in tournaments. Sure, she hasn't won any but, really, how many pros themselves win tournaments?

To me the more important thing is that she has been very competitive in the events that she has been in. In seven LPGA tournaments prior to turning pro, she was second three times and third once. In four majors, she was close enough to win three of them at some point late in the tournament, coming second in one, the LPGA Championship, something most golf professionals have never done during their career, let alone a 15 year old girl (I find it funny calling a 6 foot person that but she is that age).

The wins will come when someone has talent like that. And Woman's golf is wide open right now, there have been a number of teenagers who have joined the tour in the past year or two, like Paula Creamer, who is local to the Bay Area, and Brittany Lincicome, who is doing very well, and winning some tournaments. So Michelle had to start her career now or possibly be elipsed by these young women, especially Creamer, who has won twice this year, came in second 3 times, third 2 times, for a total of 7 times coming in the top 3 in 22 events, in the Top 10 in 10 of 22, and in the Top 20 in 16 of 22.

Keeping the Bay Area angle, there have also been a number of Bay Area products who have turned pro in recent years before finishing college and have been doing well, like Dorothy Delasin of SF and Christina Kim of San Jose. Christina has become quite a voice for the game, reporters like to interview her for her comments; she is insightful, funny, and speaks her mind, which got her in trouble before. And the Bay Area has contributed greatly to the LPGA for a long while, with Julie Inkster and Pat Hurst coming from the area. I am sure there are others but none come to mind immediately; my apologies to those.

Just like what Tiger did for men's gold, Michelle Wie and the other young stars will bring more attention (and larger prizes for tournaments) to their sport and raise the money level for everyone involved, not just the superstars. And I would not be surprised if Wie one day wins a men's event. Hopefully she can do it at Augusta by winning the Masters and show those old fogey men what women can do when given the chance.


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