September 28, 2012 — I’m currently watching the Ryder Cup and letting that simple fact make my day. Watching any segment of the Ryder Cup is almost as good as watching the back nine of the final round of a major. For example, it’s just past 1 on Friday afternoon and I’ve been watching the Ryder Cup for three hours.
And I feel the need to explain this because I feel like a huge portion of sports fans and people in general either don’t know that there is a Ryder Cup or don’t know what it is or don’t care (and maybe a combination of all of these). In case anyone has surprised themselves by reaching this point in this Ryder Cup essay, let me further explain that the Ryder Cup is a golf match-play championship pitting teams from the United States and Europe. It happens every two years and alternates between courses in the United States and Europe. This year it’s being played at Medinah Country Club near Chicago.
The Ryder Cup holds massive significance among people who love golf. I once stood at the bar at my favorite pub in St Andrews, Scotland, and listened to a British gentleman argue that Graeme McDowell would value playing on and contributing to a winning Ryder Cup team more than his major title earlier that same year. This was a bold statement, considering a week earlier I called the local NBC affiliate and inquired why the Ryder Cup wasn’t being televised on the network, which held the broadcasting rights. The nice girl on the other end of the phone replied “the what?”
I should confess here that I’m a golf snob, which is probably the same thing as being a golf nerd.
But I realize that most things work this way. Take any facet of culture — entertainment, sports, business — and you’ll find a wide circle that captures the attention of the masses and a tiny circle that attracts only the most die-hard enthusiasts of that thing. But you’ll often find the most intense passion from those people in the smallest circle. In between, there are sometimes innumerable concentric circles.
A few of the areas where I can at least partially identify the concentric circles of interest:
I’ll start with golf, since it’s the catalyst for this essay.
Wide circle: The Masters
Intermediate: PGA Championship
Bull’s eye: Ryder Cup
Wide circle: Big summer blockbuster — The Dark Knight Rises
Intermediate: The Academy Awards
Bull’s eye: Sundance Film Festival
Wide circle: Bud Light
Intermediate: Shock Top
Bull’s eye: Brew Dog Tokyo
Austin live music.
Wide circle: Austin City Limits Music Festival
Bull’s eye: Something I’m not hip enough to know about yet.
Wide circle: Super Bowl
Intermediate: Cotton Bowl
Bull’s eye: NFL Combine
Wide circle: Facebook
Bull’s eye: Reddit.com
Wide circle: Star Wars
Intermediate: Star Trek
Bull’s eye: Comic-Con
Fashion (my friend Anna helped me).
Wide circle: Project runway
Intermediate: New York Fashion Week
Bull’s eye: It has to be in Paris but we don’t know what it is. Anna said she is fancy enough to go, but I’m not.
That’s all. I hope this weekend you’re enjoying the bull’s eye of whatever thing brings you the most happiness.
Graphic via here.
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