August 26, 2006


'US Ryder Cup team rivals only Liechtenstein navy for intimidation power' (Rick Reilly, 8/26/06, Sports Illustrated)

[I] have turned European because I’m bloody sick of the US getting the haggis stomped out of it by the Europeans in these Ryder Cup golf matches.

Every two years the Euros dye their hair and smoke their cigars and get drunk and wave their blue Euro flags and beat us like Dickens’s orphans, then sing songs shoulder-to-shoulder and laugh and dance on the clubhouse roof and wave their private parts in our general direction.

No more. I’m a Euro now. Changed my passport and everything. I like real football now, not fat guys in helmets. I no longer see the point in regular dental check-ups. I tan by 40-watt bulbs. I eat tatties and neeps in my flat and see what’s on the telly. Ooh, brilliant! It’s Mr Bean!

I’d been considering turning Euro for a few years now, but on Monday, when the American team was announced for next month’s Ryder Cup at the K Club in Ireland, it ripped me knittin’, as we say down at the pub.

Have you seen the US team? It has all the intimidation power of the Liechtenstein navy. It would have a hard time beating the Winnetka Country Club ladies’ B team. It’s the single worst squad we’ve ever taken to a Ryder Cup, and that’s saying something, considering the last batch got pummelled 18½-9½.

“We’ll definitely be the underdog,” Phil Mickelson says. “You lose four of the last five Cups, you’re the underdog.”

This outfit would be the underdog to a stiff breeze. Or do Brett Wetterich, Zach Johnson, J.J. Henry and Vaughn Taylor make your timbers shiver? It sounds like somebody’s Webelos troop.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 26, 2006 6:43 PM

I've read enough of Reilly's columns to know he turned Euro a long time ago. There was no need to come out of that closet, since it had a sliding glass door.

Posted by: Patrick H at August 26, 2006 7:25 PM

Reilly's point is that the Americans have 4 no-names on the team. The Euros have beaten the US 3 of the last 4 Cups with the following household names:

- Thomas Levet
- Niclas Fasth
- Pierre Fulke
- Philip Price
- Per Ulrich Johansson (who beat Davis Love III)
- Ignacio Garrido
- Jarmo Sandelin
- Andrew Coltart
- Jean Van de Velde (OK he IS a household name, but for his ineptitude).

The golf afficianados are whining because the US hasn't jammed its ranks with legacies like the Fred Couples and Davis Loves that have been losing the cup for a decade or more. Give the kids a chance. I can't imagine they will do worse than the all-stars we sent up 2 years ago.

Posted by: jeff at August 26, 2006 10:19 PM

"It sounds like somebody’s Webelos troop" is a cruel and funny line, but I'll agree with jeff (above) - why keep doing the same thing if it doesn't work?

Posted by: Bruce Cleaver at August 26, 2006 10:46 PM

Those names aren't familiar in my household.

Posted by: Sandy P at August 26, 2006 10:57 PM

The thing with the Ryder Cup is that if Langer makes his putt on 18 in 1991, the Euros win. If Rocca makes his putt at 17 in 1993, the Euros probably win. And if Leonard doesn't make his in 1999, the Euros probably win.

Losing 4 of the last 5 could easily be losing the last 7 in a row, and 9 of the last 10.

Of course, finally being the 'underdog' might just portend a US win. After all, if Monty is remembering his 2nd shot at 18 in the Open, he probably isn't going to win 4 matches this Cup.

Posted by: jim hamlen at August 26, 2006 11:44 PM

What's a Ryder Cup?

Posted by: erp at August 27, 2006 6:57 AM

I'm with erp. Is this some sort of sporting event?

I think it's golf, some kind of amateur international golf competition. I suppose I could google it, but then I'd be wastng valuabe time I could be using to watch monkeys fling feces at each other on YouTube.

Posted by: Bryan at August 27, 2006 8:06 AM

Bryan, one of the reasons this is such a fun blog is that you get arcane posts about sporting events with your daily dose of inside jokes and "reasoned debate" on subjects, that to quote Tevye, "... would cross a rabbi's eyes."

Thanks to all who make it so.

Posted by: erp at August 27, 2006 1:46 PM

Irony Sandy, Irony.

Posted by: jeff at August 27, 2006 3:27 PM