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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Negative Space

By Charlie Schroeder

A couple months ago a friend pointed out the subliminal arrow in FedEx's logo. If you don't know what I'm talking about check out the "negative space" between the "E" and the "x." Trust me, after seeing this you'll never be able to see the "FedEx" name again, just an arrow pointing to the right.

That's kind of what it's like with the FedEx Cup, the PGA Tour's NASCAR-like end of the year playoff system. Once you see some of its negative space it's hard to focus on anything else.

For one thing the winner gets a $10 million annuity. Not a $10 million dollar direct deposit (checks are so 1995), but $10 million that'll mature in 2027. Just in time to buy that new jetpack!

Secondly, it's not quite the same thing if Tiger's not there. Last week's no show at the Barclays was a strong opening statement by the World's #1. Personally I think Tiger should take a four-week holiday and spend some time with his wife and daughter, just to get under Tim Finchem's skin. Or just show up for the Tour Championship, blow out the field and win enough money for his daughter's college education (because that's what it'll cost twenty years from now). Sadly that's not going to happen as Woods is playing this week. Ernie Els on the other hand, who's already admitted he knows nothing about playoffs, will be in London getting his kids ready for school. Seems Ernie doesn't have much interest in winning funny money either.

And really why should he? For that matter why should Tiger or Phil? (Come to think of it Lefty is sticking around more than usual. Surprising considering he loves the pigskin. I guess he TiVos the preseason games. We'll see if he sticks around come opening weekend.)

Even though I'm a golf nut I liked it more when the season ended earlier. Most casual golf fans tune out after the PGA Championship, some who don't get jazzed for that so-called "fourth major" zone out after the Open Championship. With the fun-to-watch Presidents Cup on the horizon, I wonder if the FedEx Cup is just a big distraction for the Tour?

The irony with the FedEx Cup is that the players it's most important to are the guys viewers like to watch the least. The journeymen who grind it out each week, praying they don't have to go back to Q School, the Doug LaBelles and George McNeills who are dangerously close to not getting into the BMW Championship (and, as result, staying stuck around the all-important 125 money list ranking). These guys don't have huge endorsement contracts and a $10 million direct deposit would really make a difference.

Oh, and one more thing. If the PGA Tour really wants to add some excitement the season should end after the playoffs. Don't forget there are still seven tournaments on tap after the "playoffs" end. If the McNeills and LaBelles had to fight for their lives during the playoffs some Cinderella stories could be written.

1 comment:

Patti said...

Excellent points, all!