A Wolfpacker's Perspective

Brewster's back discussing Annika Sorenstam and the UNC faculty voting AGAINST expansion.

SOMETIMES I WONDER WHY I bother to read the newspapers. In Tuesday's edition of the USA Today, Christine Brennan wrote an article titled, "Annika accomplished more with her achievement than she realizes." The "Annika" of that article is Annika Sorenstam, the female golfer who recently made news by playing in the Colonial golf tournament (a male golf tournament). Sorenstam is universally considered the best women's golfer in the world; the Tiger Woods of the LPGA, if you will. But despite her dominance on the women's circuit, when the people who run (and divvy out the five million in prize money) decided to give Ms. Sorenstam the sponsor's exemption and allow her to play in their tournament, it was unheard of. Oh the scandal!

I don't get it. The sponsors can give their one exemption to whoever they want to, it's their tournament. If they want to give it to me, to you or to Christopher Reeve it's their right. It's their tournament. SO, they chose to give it to the best women's golfer in the world to see how she would stack up against some of the not-quite-best-mens-golfers-in-the-world-but-better-than-your-local-Elks-Club-yahoo. Tiger Woods did not play in this event, so its legitimacy was in question from the get-go. So how did Annika do at the Colonial golf tournament? Well, she finished 100 out of 111 and didn't make the cut. Not bad…for me, or for you or for Christopher Reeve, but for the most dominant women's golfer in the world? That's hardly a breakthrough. Granted, it's not exactly a breakdown either, but I can find more inspiration in your standard Jim Nabor's album than in Sorenstam's outing at the Colonial.

Which leads me to the bogus rallying cries I've heard from every politically correct talk show host/caller/columnist about the Sorenstam situation. Make no mistake, I was all for her playing the tournament; it's Bank of America's tournament and their money so they can do whatever they want. My problem is with the sudden revisionist history being regurgitated all over the sports world. SHE FINISHED 100 OUT OF 111. That's like praising Stuart Sutcliffe for the success of the Beatles. Or better yet, Sutcliffe's roadie, Pappy. Here's the deal: Annika competed, got her putter handed to her and didn't make the cut. If that's inspiring, it's a very sad commentary on our expectations as a society.

Here's my other beef with this whole thing, I have no problem with women playing in men's tournaments as long as they are the sponsor's exemption. But that's as far as it goes. Otherwise to be fair, you've got to let men play on the LPGA circuit. And don't think for one second that some golf pro at a country club in upstate Wyoming wouldn't jump at a chance to win $30,000 playing against a bunch of ladies at the Sophie B. Hawkins invitational. But this would never happen because equality in cases like this has parameters and therein lies the problem. Equality can't have "ifs" or "buts."

Women's tennis is far more captivating than their male counterparts these days. But should women be paid the same as men? The answer is no, of course they shouldn't. And the explanation is simple: it's not equal pay for equal work. Women play two out of three sets; men play three out of five. Most men on the tour can serve faster than my car can go (which isn't necessarily saying that much) but no women on the tour can (which IS saying that much).

If these Annika-ists truly want equality, then they'll rejoice in my request to do away with any and all gender boundaries and have just one grouping for all sports. LPGA? Nope, it's the PGA or bust. What WTA? To be the man, you've got to beat the man. Literally. And forget the WNBA…no really, forget the WNBA. It blows. Lets do away with boundaries and let the best man, woman or hermaphrodite win. In the spirit of NAFTA and bringing Miami into the ACC, it's sink or swim. Only the strong will survive. Now THAT'S fair.

Oh yeah, about Christine Brennan's article. She grossly exploited the Sorenstam two-day stay-of-a-four-day-outing as a means to voice her opposition to any changes in Title IX. See, the esteemed Ms. Brennan sits on a committee that the Bush Administration has appointed to review Title IX and see if any changes are needed. She is vehemently against altering Title IX in any way, shape or form. Now I'm not going to go into the argument about Title IX because that's not my point (but I would sure love to hear the East Tennessee State football coach's opinion about Title IX). My point is that Christine Brennan used Sorenstam's ho-hum exercise in mediocrity to claim victory for little girls everywhere.

In her column Brennan gloats, "A woman crash-landed into their [the men's] world last week and didn't make a fool out of herself." So that's what success is to Christine Brennan, not making a fool of yourself in public (well, it appears that four years of Hillsboro Street while I was at N.C. State has robbed me of any chance to be successful in her world, I suppose). But if I were a little girl, I would ask Ms. Brennan to stop telling me that finishing 100 out of 111 is a platform worth grandstanding from (and if I were Supercuts, I'd thank her for showcasing our work in her photo on page 13C). But that's what I get for reading the USA Today, anyway.

PER THE SPORTING NEWS, THE UNC FACULTY RECENTLY voted to oppose ACC expansion. Apparently Bobbi Owen, a UNC dramatic arts professor, doesn't approve of expansion. Wow, this is big. Now we're hunting for bear. That's it, John (Swofford), call the whole thing off. Chop, chop.

Let me get this straight: some UNC dramatic arts or anthropology or whatever else useless-in-the-real-world subject professor opposes ACC expansion? That's like my colon opposing my goatee. So the hell what? Why is this news again? I'm done with the newspapers, I'm sticking to coloring books where the boundaries have purpose and the text doesn't pretend to be non-fiction.

Stay safe and stay tuned…

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