Rory McIlroy’s spectacular capitulation at The Masters on Sunday night reminds me of a brilliant Steely Dan number, Deacon Blues.
The song is about the Demon Deacons, whose football team have the distinction of winning just 7 games from 1972-1975, including back-to-back 1-10 seasons. During the same period Alabama were winning all round them.
However, the Demon Deacons got more media coverage because of their amazingly consistent losing streak.
Hence the chorus –
“They got a name for the winners in the world
And I want a name when I lose
They call Alabama the Crimson Tide
Call me Deacon Blues”
McIlroy – leaving aside the fact that golf isn’t really a sport – fucked up good and proper as Renton said of Spud after the interview scene in Trainspotting – in Augusta on Sunday.
The British golfer was leading by four strokes – I’ve no idea what that means. The only strokes I’m aware of are the ones pulled by Fianna Fáil – but then self destructed going down the final stretch.
One drive rebounded off the branch of a tree and wound up in the front garden of a house. The wheels came off the wagon big time from there on in and to cut a long story short he made a complete and utter bollocks of it.
Speaking of which. An American golf commentator, seeking to ingratiate himself with British and Irish audiences, was looking for some vernacular to go with his waffle for a big tournament in the UK a few years back.
He obviously spoke to the wrong people because when some golfer missed a relatively easy putt Leroy told an astonished TV audience.
“And he’s made a bollocks of it”…….
Meanwhile, back in Augusta, we were told that it was hard not to feel sympathy for Mcllroy. I don’t know about that. I didn’t feel any sympathy for him. If a herd of wildebeest had stampeded across the course it wouldn’t have cost me a thought.
However, despite his loss, McIlroy got maximum coverage on today’s papers. It will be even more craven tomorrow because Sunday’s 10:30pm deadline restricted today’s post mortems.
They had plenty of time for the purple prose today though. Likewise, expect reams of auld bollocks on Tuesday’s sports pages about this nonsense.
His capitulation is already being compared to Devon Loch’s collapse at thr 1956 Grand National. The nag was just a couple of hundred yards from glory but splayed all over the turf. No one can remember the winner, only the loser.
Elsewhere on Sunday, our boxers claimed five gold medals from five finals at the Elite Gee Bee Multi-Nations in Helsinki. They also finished on top of the medals table and won the Boxer of the Tournament award and the best Technical Boxer of the Tournament award at the 15-nation event.
Forty eight hours before that the other Elite boxing squad won three gold and one silver at the Feliks Stamm Multi-Nations tournament in Warsaw. The IABA were using 13 Elite boxers in total at the two tournaments and they claimed eight gold, one silver and one bronze medal.
The boxing squad comprises World and European champions and Olympic medallists. They are our best hope for podium positions at the 30th Olympiad in London in 2012.
However, their astonishing achievements in Helsinki and Warsaw were unrecognised in today’s broadsheets. One paper, shamefully, gave it no mention at all, while another squeezed in two paragraphs. Another managed three paragraphs. Overhead all this winning – so distracting – half a novel was dedicated to the loser in Georgia.
What sort of parallel universe are our sports editors living in that our world-class sportsmen, proven winners, get sparse coverage after hoovering up eight gold medals and a person who bottled it in Augusta is taking up half the page?
We had another example of this in the Irish Times late last year when the swimmer Gráinne Murphy – she won one silver and one bronze in Europe – was selected as the Irish Sportswoman of the year.
But Katie Taylor, who claimed her third World title on the trot in Barbados last year – and her third European Union title in a row – and who was awarded the AIBA World female boxer of the year award, was overlooked.
How can an athlete who won two non-gold medals in Europe be chosen ahead of an athlete who won her third World title in a row and was recognised as the best on the planet at what she does?
What sort of an Ireland have we arrived at when we grant failure the oxygen of publicity and ignore our winners – not that Murphy is a loser. She’s not, but she’s no Katie Taylor.
Maybe our Sports Editors like to paraphrase Steely Dan.
All together now.
“We’ve got no space for the winners in the world
But you’ll get a page if you lose.
They call our boxers the Crimson Tide
Rory’s Deacon Blues”