Tuesday, June 23, 2009

14 comments Wallace Matthews Battles Reality and Peter King Answers Mail Bag Questions

I have fully recovered from covering Peter King's MMQB yesterday, that's the good news. The bad news is that we have to suffer through more of his musings in his MMQB Tuesday mail bag and Wallace Matthews has written another bad article. There are many other small stories out there that are interesting to me but aren't worthy of being written about fully. For example, the AJC's resident senile old man, Furman Bisher, believes the offensively lacking Braves should trade Chipper Jones.

The why or logic behind doing this really doesn't matter, he seems to think the Braves should do it because Jones deserves one more chance to win a World Series. Nevermind Jones just signed a contract extension, the Braves spent many millions on pitching in the off season or trading Chipper Jones could be the final straw that gets attendance down to 5,000 people attending each game...Chipper deserves another World Series. It's so dumb on so many levels I can't even write about it.

I wrote (when Peter King brought it up in his MMQB) a few weeks ago about the Dolphins had made a deal with Jimmy Buffett and Landshark Lager, but now the Dolphins are allowing Gloria Estefan to buy a stake in the team.

Maybe she just really likes football, but I didn't even know she was still making music or liked football. This seems slightly bizarre to me. Anyway, on to the main events.

-Wallace Matthews writes an article about how the "Tiger Effect" hasn't drawn more African-Americans to golf. This is a stupid article for several reasons, one of which is that Wallace only counts inner city kids as African-Americans, and he doesn't count the many other African-Americans in the world who have gained an interest in golf. His premise is wrong but that has never stopped Wallace from writing an article before though.

Quick: Name the second-best African-American golfer in the world.

Quick: Name the best African-American golfer in the world. Tiger Woods doesn't consider himself to be African-American. Much to the dismay of the mainstream media of course. It is so much easier to just classify him as African-American for them, so they have always pretty much ignored Tiger's wishes and just called him African-American. This has allowed them to write articles like this one Wallace is writing and accuse him of cowardice by being politically neutral.

This allows the mainstream media to write that Tiger should have done more to support Barack Obama in his bid for the White House because they are both African-American...nevermind the fact Tiger doesn't actually consider himself to be fully African-American, the media doesn't give a shit about that. They care about taking people and breaking them down into the smallest and most basic, easily digestable components possible. Hence, Wallace Matthews writes the sentence above.

Don't feel bad if you can't, because Joseph Louis Barrow Jr., the CEO of First Tee, a foundation largely funded by the USGA to introduce kids, preferably non-white, inner-city kids, to the wonders of golf, couldn't come up with one, either.

It has been an entire 12 years since Tiger came on the scene, which means there hasn't been that much time to draw kid's interest in golf. You have to give it all some more time.

I always found it interesting in the first place that somehow people thought Tiger would help inner city kids find an interest in golf. Tiger was not an inner city child, he grew up middle class in the suburbs. So he really wouldn't serve as the best example for these kids?

I never thought there would be too much of a "Tiger Effect" because how many golf courses do you see in the inner city? The courses are not easily accessible for these kids. Sure they can go play at the local country club or municipal course but at a certain point they are going to have to start paying for their rounds of golf. I can barely afford to go play golf and I was born into better circumstances than your normal inner city youth, so how would you expect inner city kids to get money to purchase clubs, balls, and pay for a round of golf? Foundations can't pay for these kid's golf expenses forever.

I always thought the "Tiger Effect" was going to be overrated. Golf is a rich man's game. You need time and money to play it and I don't think this is going to change too much in the future. So nothing happened to the "Tiger Effect" there was just never going to be one involving kids in the inner city or those who could not afford to play golf in the first place.

the battle to: a) convince inner-city kids that golf is cool, and b) to convince the rest of us that he, Tiger Woods and especially the USGA are not fighting a losing battle.

I am not saying there won't be more minorities on the PGA Tour, clearly that is going to happen, what I am saying is there won't be a massive undertaking of inner city kids and kids that normally would have no interest in golf all of a sudden developing a yearning to go play a round at the local course. It's not like basketball where a kid can just find a goal and a ball, then start playing, or even like baseball or football where all you really need is a ball (and glove).

The success of Tiger Woods may cause there to be more African-American golfers to be on the PGA Tour but to expect an onslaught of interest is really not very realistic. Not to mention, it is going to take some time...more than 12 years of time.

Woods has not helped matters by acting the diva. Last week, he left a practice round early to avoid mingling with spectators and Monday, was escorted to his getaway car by three state troopers

You mean the most famous golfer and one of the most famous athletes in the world was escorted off the course by some sort of security before one of the major golf tournaments of the week? I would never expect that to happen. How uppity of him to ignore others while he is trying to win a prize of over a million dollars.

Mr. Barrow said that between 22 and 28 percent of the kids, between the ages of 5-18, enrolled in the First Tee program are black, as opposed to only 6 percent in all of golf, a number that includes the tour, country club memberships and what the National Golf Foundation considers regular participants in the sport.

There you go Wallace. There is your "Tiger Effect" you so badly believe is going to happen. Those numbers are pretty impressive considering the fact golf doesn't appeal to many kids for the same reasons baseball doesn't appeal to many kids. Like the fact it can be boring at times.

In the meantime, in New Cassel, a neighborhood barely twice the total distance of the Black Course from Bethpage State Park - but where the population is 91 percent non-white - the U.S. Open and its rock star performer were barely making a ripple.

Ok, again...There is not going to be a lot of interest in golf from inner city children. Just accept this fact and move on. Any increase in interest in playing golf is most likely going to come from middle class African-Americans because golf is freaking expensive and time consuming to play. No one goes to the inner cities and tries to get children involved in lacrosse, polo, or any other traditionally middle to upper class sport because it just doesn't appeal to many people, and not just in the inner cities.

You know what else? There is nothing wrong with this. If inner city kids don't want to play golf they don't have to. It's not like golf is their only ticket for success in life. Why does Wallace insist on taking data from a sample that really has no interest in what he is researching?

"I like Jordan better, because of the sneakers," said Genaro Patricio, 16, of Westbury. "Golf? You just hit the ball and see how far it goes. Why do millions of people like to watch that? I like football, there's all that tackling and stuff."

If there is a "Tiger Effect" look for it in other areas.

His buddy, Elvis Sosa, also 16, disagreed. "Before Tiger, golf was all white men," he said. "The only black men you saw was the caddies. To see him up there like this, it's outstanding, man."

But Elvis also probably does not routinely play golf. Therein lies the problem. Tiger is a role model for many but they don't have an interest in his sport.

The consensus was that Woods was no better than anyone's fifth favorite athlete, behind Kobe, LeBron, Jordan and the Brazilian soccer star Ronaldo, a position that could change, say with something as simple as a visit to the park from Woods, while he's in the neighborhood.

So if Tiger Woods visits, kids will start to like golf? Excuse me if I find this a little bit hard to believe that Kobe, LeBron, Jordan and Ronaldo have all visited this area of New York and caused the interest of the kids in their sport. Also, Michael Jordan is very famous for playing golf religiously and these kids like him. Just thought I would mention that.

That's been the problem all along. Golf still expects the hood to come to it. Not vice versa.

For fear of sounding elitist, this can't and won't happen simply because golf requires certain monetary outlays to play. I don't understand what golf can do to "come to the hood" other than have golfers visit the inner city to drum up interest in the sport. Maybe I am being ignorant but assuming kids in "the hood," as Wallace calls it, want to play golf they still have to get a set of clubs, golf balls, and pay a green fee. There is no way a foundation can pay for all these items for hundreds of kids, and if the kids in the inner city could find someone to pay for all this for them, I would encourage them to use the money to make their and their parent's lives better and not play golf with that money.

Bottom line, I am a logical person and want people in inner cities using their money to make their own life better, not play a round of golf. So considering foundations can't pay for everything and many kids can't afford to pay a green fee, how are they supposed to play golf? There is the rub for the inner city "Tiger Effect."

Wallace Matthews needs to realize that there may never be a "Tiger Effect" in the inner cities of New York. I don't know why the "Tiger Effect" can't cause more African-Americans who don't live in the inner city to develop an interest in golf and that would count as a "Tiger Effect." That would be too easy I guess. Why are inner city kids the only ones that count in Wallace Matthews' world? I thought the point was to get more African-Americans overall involved with golf, not just inner city children...unless Wallace thinks all African-Americans live in the inner city, which knowing him is possible.

-Peter King follows up his MMQB column with his Tuesday morning mail bag where he answers a select amount of questions that meet the criteria necessary to make it in a Peter King mail bag. He has to be able to answer without doing research or it has to involve Brett Favre.

Re Nick Collins, the Green Bay safety, being dissatisfied with playing the final year of his contract at $3.045 million: Come on. You're kidding, right? When Collins did his five-year contract, the Packers put an escalator clause in his contract, adding a $2.5 million incentive clause if Collins reached certain performance levels. He reached those incentives, and so the Packers added the big bump to his scheduled $545,000 salary. So what exactly is the problem here? The clause was put in to make sure Collins would not get screwed in the final year of his contract, and he absolutely is not. He's a top-25, top-30 NFL defensive back.

Yet somehow Peter is under the illusion that Eli Manning, a top 15 quarterback needs to have his deal redone as soon as possible or it is "overdue" as he wrote. I realize there is a difference in a good quarterback and a good safety but the fact remains if Collins is in the middle of the pack as a safety, then Manning just above the middle of the pack at quarterback. I don't think either player's team should be in a huge rush to get a new deal done.

Re the Roy Williams lack of weight training until this year: I should clarify to say that, obviously, he has lifted weights before. What he hadn't done before this year with the Dallas Cowboys is stay in a program consistently for an entire off-season or be devoted to lifting during a season.

Ok, because it certainly sounded like you meant he had never lifted weights before. You did not say he did not stay on a program for an entire off season or was not devoted to lifting during the season, you said he had never done a consistent weight lifting program and then quoted someone who said, "Roy never lifted before..."

It just kind of sounded like Roy Williams had never lifted weights before based on that quote.

NBC will show the mini-tournament on July 4 at 2 p.m., after the Wimbledon Ladies Final. I walked that course last week. I'm no golf scribe, but an 81 at Bethpage Black ... that's absurd.

I have no idea what I am talking about, but that's not going to stop me from giving my opinion like I do know what I am talking about.

We'll start with Trent Green coming off the bench next Monday to spell me. Enjoy this wise man of football.

Really? You are making this easy on me Peter. I don't know whether to say this shows any moron can be a journalist and do your job or use this to prove that Peter gets too close to the athletes to really be able to do his job effectively. I think it is a little of both.

From Michael Bailey of Creedmoor, N.C.: "Peter, interesting comments early in your MMQB with Warren Sapp. Being a big Penn State guy, I followed Kerry Collins a lot when he got to the NFL and saw what happened to him. It's interesting what Sapp said, about the 'kids' not wanting to listen. My question is, do you not think that neither Collins nor Sapp weren't one of those same 'kids' 10-15 years ago themselves?

Good question Michael! No, neither was willing to listen when they were younger. Hence their young mistakes they made.

That's a good thought, and it's an interesting concept.

What the hell? An interesting concept and a good thought? It is a question that is based on the fact both those players made mistakes when they were younger and did not seem to listen to anyone who could have showed them the ropes. Interesting concept? The truth you mean?

Sapp ran his mouth his entire career and tested positive for marijuana at the Combine, hurting his draft stock. He barely listened to what he himself said, much less anyone else. We all know about Kerry Collins' history.

That well might be true. But I do think that Collins listened to the veterans he shared locker rooms with early in his career, including Frank Reich and Billy Joe Tolliver.

Yes, he listened to Frank Reich who apparently taught Collins to be a racist and an alcoholic in the one year he played for the Carolina Panthers with Collins. That one year must have been incredibly beneficial since it was BEFORE Collins made all of his mistakes. Clearly, Reich must suck as a mentor or Peter is making things up.

From Mark of Parker, Colo.: "Peter, I have a comment about Joe Buck's show in response to yours. I think the reason the Favre piece was second page has nothing to do with the show. It is that most of us don't really care anymore, we want to move on, Favre is old news, he has tarnished his career with the lousy decision-making and this story needs to have an end. To add to this I want to say that most football fans I know really don't understand the love affair the media has with Favre. Yeah he was a good QB but we have seen much better in the NFL. This is just my opinion of course. Keep up the good work. Thanks.''

These are actually good "questions" this week, even though this is not really a question. I could not agree more. What says Peter?

I've tried to not over-Favre the audience while at the same time covering a story that I think needs to be covered.

He mentioned him four separate times in his MMQB yesterday.

the fact is that it's a story that could have a major bearing on the playoff race in the NFL this year. So it gets covered.

Need me to make a list of other stories that will have a major bearing on the playoff race that have gotten little to no coverage compared to Favre's massive amount of coverage? Will do:

-David Garrard's progression as a quarterback
-Julius Peppers holding out of camp
-Whether Matt Schaub can play an entire year healthy
-Which Giants receiver can step up for Eli Manning
-Is LT really done as a running back or was last year a mirage
-Can Green Bay get their defense corrected this year
-Who is Tony Romo going to throw the ball to other than Roy Williams
-How bad will Jim Johnson's absence hurt the Eagles defense
-Is Matt Hasselbeck healthy
-Was Joe Flacco a one year wonder
-Kerry Collins was a one year wonder, who is going to QB the Titans after he collapses
-How is Peyton Manning dealing with his life long offensive coordinator leaving the team
-Will the Patriots pick up where they left off 2 years ago

Should I go on?...because I can. It's not that I necessarily want to hear about all of these issues but these are all issues that Peter King could dig into and find out facts, but he refuses to do so for his own various reasons. These all affect the playoff race very majorly and none of these issues have gotten 5% of the coverage that Favre has gotten. In fact Peter talked about only 1 of these issues (Johnson's absence from the Eagles) in his MMQB this past week and he barely talked about it, while he talked about Favre 4 different times. Give me a break. Don't lie to your audience. You love Favre.

From Mark Freeman of Holliston, Mass.: "Could Roger Goodell's stance with Donte' Stallworth have a negative effect on the NFL? I have not seen anywhere where Goodell commented on the stand-up nature Stallworth has handled his situation. I am not a Stallworth supporter and have alw ys thought of him as an over-rated player that never put in the time to become the player people believe he can be. The way he has handled himself during this tough situation has changed my view of him.

There was only one page today of mail...but this is the dumbest email by fair that Peter received. Yes, because Stallworth was polite and did not constantly act up after killing someone with his car, he should get more leniency. That makes no sense. Mark, you my friend are clueless. How does one handle killing someone appropriately? I would like to know that.

I think we do get 4 weeks off of Peter doing his Tuesday mail bag, so next week I am going after Trent Green and blaming everything he says on Peter King.


KentAllard said...

"I've tried to not over-Favre the audience"...I just don't know what to say. How can you ridicule a statement that is already a parody?

In tennis, there was a similar bit of hoo-hah about how the Williams sisters were going to make black inner city kids omni-present in tennis. Any boost has been slight, and the next most prominent black player today is probably James Blake, a stereotypical inner-city kid. Well stereotypical in that he is multi-racial, grew up middle class, attended Harvard, and his favorite musician is John Mayer.

Bengoodfella said...

You can't ridicule a statement that is parody. That's all he does to us is over-Favre us all.

Tennis is mostly an upper crust sport as well, though it doesn't require as much equipment as golf, but people need to realize these things take time. Especially in the case of golf, I don't think you will be seeing a preponderance of inner city kids on the courses anytime soon.

James Blake also choked at Wimbledon this year and he is like everything you just described. Not exactly inner city material.

Chris W said...

Becoming a professional golfer requires at the very least a middle-class income.

Clubs+Green Fees+Lessons+Living in an area where it is possible to play golf year round=very few people at the middle class level or lower are going to be privileged enough to have the opportunity to play it at the professional level.

I would agree that starting a charity to try to encourage golf among low-income youth is an admirable thing, but frankly, unless you're paying for their green fees and golf-pro lessons and relocating them to southern california (NOT LA) or Arizona, you're fighting a losing battle.

ivn said...

do you think Trent Green will get carpal tunnel syndrome on Sunday night, allowing Kurt Warner to write the column for him?

Bengoodfella said...

Chris, you are exactly right. I wasn't sure when I was writing that if people would understand what I was trying to say. It's expensive to play golf.

Charities to help inner city kids play golf is a great idea but at a certain point that charity is going to have to raise a lot of money and have to be in certain areas of the country. I am still a little amazed that Wallace thinks inner city youth represent all of the young African-American population. I am sure Tiger has gotten some middle class African-Americans interested in golf. I have no real proof but I don't think the inner city is the most efficient place to put your resources.

Ivn, that was great. I would like to follow it up with a joke but I think you did it best and I can't top that...but yes, the odds that Trent Green won't be able to complete the entire column is not unfathomable.

Martin said...

Apparently those inner city kids are racists too, as those five favorites were all non-whites. Tiger was ahead of every football and baseball player though.

Seriously, has Wally ever been to an inner-city? Even if it was teeming with youths who wanted to play golf...where the hell are they going to play? There aren't any courses in the inner city. There might be a country club course secluded behind some gated enclave on the edge, but that's about it.

Other questions Peter might think about. Will the Seahawks actually have healthy wide outs to start the year, and will that be enough for them to get past the mighty Cards of Arizona?

As to the absurdity of the Stallworth situation...the guy who stole Lance Armstrongs bike a few months ago got three YEARS for theft. Stallworth got 30 days for killing someone. The Roger ought to just lay the hammer down on Stallworth because it won't come back to bite him, it will make him the most admired League Commissioner. just hold up a picture of the accident and go "30 days? Really? My ass, you got an indefinite suspension, come back in a year and see how I feel then."

Bengoodfella said...

I feel horrible saying it but there really is nowhere to play golf in the inner city...and no Wallace has never ever been to an inner city, at least not intentionally. He probably has gotten lost in "the hood," as he called it once or twice but that is about it. I also doubt he went there for this article either.

Bottom line: Too expensive, too little access to courses, and too little interest.

I don't know if those kids are racist, I just think they don't like white athletes all that much...or at least none of them are their favorites.

Peter's excuse is weak for why he is talking about Favre so much. Sure it could affect the playoff race but there are hundreds of other issues that could as well and they don't get mentioned multiple times a week in his MMQB. He just needs to say he loves Favre. It will at least allow me to take him more seriously if he admits it.

What are the odds Trent Green compliments Brett Favre next week at the request of Peter? He probably makes that a prerequisite for writing his precious MMQB.

I could not believe that guy got 3 years for stealing a bike and Stallworth got 30 days for killing a pedestrian. I guess that shows you what good legal counsel can get you in this world. I wonder how long Goodell would have Stallworth be suspended for, especially since he was not a chronic troublemaker, but he did kill someone.

That idiot who wrote in and said Stallworth was taking his punishment well and that reflected well on him is pretty clueless.

Martin said...

As for the kids being racist, I was trying to turn Wally's absurdity of an argument back on himself. I don't expect inner-city black kids to be big fans of Steve Nash or Padrig Harrington. As clearly as Tiger doesn't care about these kids because the week of one of the three biggest tourney's of the year he didn't come out and glad hand these kids, these kids must be racist since their favorite athletes aren't white.

This is why I'm not a writer on the Jimmy Kimmel show

Bengoodfella said...

Oh no, I got it, I just did a poor job of acknowledging the joke. You could get a job with Jimmy Kimmel don't worry Martin. Put your resume in, you would probably get a call back.

It's ironic reverse racism jokes, of course I get them. I don't know when Wallace wants Tiger to come to "the hood" to talk but I am not sure it should or could happen. Tiger is pretty busy these days.

AJ said...

So let me ask you, say you are Tiger and you have a chance to visit with people...who would you visit with? Kids that have no interest in the sport you play and dont list you on their top 5 pros...or visit the golf course and be around people that actually WATCH you play and understand the game? Pretty simple choice really.

I like that Elvis kids response, about the only black men you saw were caddies...this kid is 16 years old, he has maybe watched golf for what, 2 years? How many black men have you seen as a caddie in the past 2 years? And what would he know of "before Tiger" since Tiger has always been around golf in this kids life. And dont say this kid has done any research about before Tiger, he didn't. Seriously, if you are going to make up quotes, please do a little better next time.

I do love the part about golf expecting the hood to come to it...golf doesnt care. Golf is a sport, not a person. And golf as a sport doesn't care if the "hood" gets into golf.

The comment about Woods acting like a diva...wow! I guess not stopping to visit thees kids is worse then being accused of rape (Kobe), or acting more of a diva then someone running off the court and failing to speak to the media after losing a playoff game (Lebron), or someone with a huge gambling problem (Jordan)...and just to mention, no way these kids that this moron talked to actually mentioned a soccer player. Unless these "inner city" kids have access to all the cable channels in the world, they're not watching soccer.

Staying on the golf thing and Peter...why does he think its impressive for Ben to shoot a 81 at Bethpage? Does he think Ben is playing the same course as the pros? Seriously, does he understand golf at all? No way Ben is playing the same tees as they played, and no way is the course the exact same in terms of grass length.

I'm not sure I understand this Roy Williams thing...it seems to me like Peter is ripping more on the Lions not having a work out thing then Williams being a lazy piece of crap. Roy should do his own work outs in the off season, he is a professional! He gets paid millions and millions, but can't seem to work out on his own. Why doesn't Peter rip into him for that instead of kissing his ass? Here's hoping he doesnt get to big lifting all those weights, Dallas wouldn't want him to be any slower out there on the field. Most over rated player in the game in my opinion.

AJ said...

By the way, Boston apparntly has the best PG in the league up for trade...weird!

Thank god the Pistons rejected that ridiculous deal.

Bengoodfella said...

I guess Tiger is supposed to be an ambassador to the game so he is supposed to try and encourage those who don't have an interest in golf to gain an interest? I don't really know honestly.

I thought that kid who mentioned the only African-Americans on a golf course were caddies sounded pretty smart. I don't know if Wallace made that quote up but I would not put it past him. He was 4 years old before Tiger, so I don't know how much perspective he could have.

Ronaldo (or however you spell it) being mentioned really surprised me as well. I did not even know that his games were shown on television, I would think maybe if it were a soccer player it would be Beckham or something like that.

I am not sure if Roethlisberger was playing from the black tees or not but I actually doubt it. I am sure he is a good golfer but that seems like he is a bit too good. He may have played from the white tees.

Not a Roy Williams fan huh? I put the fact he has never been on a workout program on Williams with maybe 10% on the team. They should have forced him to do to a workout program but I think Williams should have also made a decision to do one. He did come from Texas and many of those players are being revealed as very coddled by Mack Brown when they make it in the NFL. Vince Young, Michael Huff, Roy Williams, Cedric Benson, Ricky Williams have all had problems adjusting to life in the NFL.

Chris W said...

Oh come on guys--don't take this kid literally. Clearly he's not saying "I always used to watch golf before Tiger and it was just blah blah blah."

It'd be like a black kid in 1967 saying, "Before Jackie Robinson, a black guy couldn't even be a batboy!"

Bengoodfella said...

NO! I will damn well take him literally. This supposed child from the inner city named Elvis.

Chris, if you take away my ability to take everyone literally it will ruin my chances of being able to make fun of them or prove them wrong.

I will not stand for this. I must be able to take people's words and misconstrue them.