Friday, 5 September 2008

The Golden Bear takes a dump on Captain America's strategy- claims them Europeans ain't as good as they were back in his day

That's just what you'd love to read in the paper in the morning if you're Paul Azinger, sipping on your coffee with a low fat bagel in your dressing gown. You've spent the last six months constantly downplaying your hand, telling everyone how terrifying brilliant the European side are, bemoaning their strength in depth while bemoaning your own lack of it, convincing the world and his wife that this American team are huge underdogs, a win would be a miracle. You've staked your entire motivational speak on building up the European side so that your boys will march out there feeling they have nothing to lose, they can just go out and have a bash because no one really expects them to win.

So you've done that very successfully thus far, everyone's convinced you've got less chance of winning than an American Relay team, you'll drop the baton, they've all bought it. And out strides THE LEGEND of American Golf, for that matter, WORLD GOLF, the Golden Bear himself, Jack "I've got more Major than you" Nicklaus. And what does he do? He takes a big Golden bearshit all over your best laid plans...

"Even without Tiger, they should win easily".

Azinger chokes a little on his pop-tarts, 'what the hell is doing, my whole strategy is based on the world seeing us a bunch of crap... win easily, that's way off message? ', he thinks, worriedly reading on.

"I just believe we have better players. I think American golf is better than perceptions based on recent Ryder Cup results. Europe has a lot of good players and a host of very promising young guys. But who among them has a great record?"

'For Christ's sake Jack, don't start looking at Major Records, you always judge everything by Major records, just cause you win all the time if we start into Major wins Top Trumps, doesn't make it the benchmark for Ryder Cups too!' Azinger frustratedly thinks as he downs his third espresso entering a minor panic, 'Our buggers have done nothing in the Ryder Cup, Nothing, don't feckin' raise expectations on me now!' But Jack ain't finished, he's pissed off about America not being where he thinks it should be in the eyes of the world. That and losing to when he was captain in '87, it still cuts deep...

"It isn't like the 1987 European team that had (Seve) Ballesteros, Faldo, Sandy Lyle, Bernhard Langer, Ian Woosnam and Jose Maria Olazabal. We probably didn't give them enough credit at the time, but history has proved those guys were great players. It was no accident they won. But there's no reason the US team should lose."

'That's great Jack, so you reckon that Harrington, Garcia, Westwood, Casey, Karlsson, Poulter and McDowell won't do what that group did and go on to win a bunch of Major's, no that's impossible. Telling American Golfers they should win hasn't worked for years, we need to tell them they're rubbish, maybe then they won't act like such Prima Donna wusses and actually play well together! Why are you doing this to me!' Azinger cries as his tears collect in his Orange Juice.

What does Azinger do now, come out and say straight off the bat that Big Jack is wrong? You don't mess with golfing royalty. But then he has just totally undermined the way that Azinger has attempted to position his side in the eyes of the media. Maybe it is time for him to change tack and start telling his boys they ain't so bad, with all the bigging up of the Europeans he's been doing, they could probably all do with a hug and a reassuring soothing word from their Captain.

Meanwhile, back in European HQ, El Capitan Faldo laughs 'til his sides are sore, as he finishes his breakfast tea and takes the scissors to his morning paper, carefully trimming out the article which he will pin to the changing room door and hang on the wall beside his team room drum kits. "We'll beat them easily... Thankyou Jack..." Who needs motivational speaking when you've got ammo like that...

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