Brandel Chamblee: No Need to Apologize

by Jeff Skinner

Brandel Chamblee may have received some behind the scenes criticism for his Golf.com article banging on Tiger Woods and his “cavalier attitude” towards the rules but there are plenty that think he was right on the mark.

I am one of those who thought Chamblee’s piece was on target and in this morning’s USA Today, national sports columnist Christine Brennan supports Chamblee’s comments and says there was no need for any apology. 

Brennan thinks Chamblee’s remarks should be celebrated not retracted.

Where sycophants lurk, criticism is hard to come by. Yet it is the contrary view that makes any sport more interesting, especially to the casual observer. Chamblee’s column was thoughtful commentary, intelligently delivered. The buttoned-up world of golf should have welcomed it as a breath of fresh air.

She thinks the PGA Tour brand of athlete needs a little toughening up.

Chamblee’s take was unique, coming as it did from inside the PGA Tour bubble. It had the added benefit of being true. Woods indeed was a little cavalier with the rules of golf in 2013 – probably even more than “a little.” He was involved in not one, not two, not three, but four rules kerfuffles this year – a veritable Grand Slam of rules controversies.

Even though Chamblee said he was not asked to apologize, it’s pretty clear that the culture in men’s professional golf just couldn’t handle someone pointing out the obvious about the sport’s meal ticket. When one of the very few golfers-turned-broadcasters who has the courage to blast Tiger backs away, you know that this is not a sport filled with tough guys who take criticism well.

Had something like this been written about an NFL or Major League Baseball player, it likely would have had a shelf life of a couple of hours. Because it was written about a male golfer, it nearly became a miniseries.

What’s with these guys not being able to handle a little honesty? It’s not just Tiger and his agent. Over the years, others have gotten worked up over the candid musings of NBC’s Johnny Miller, or have been known to run to on-course marshals to evict a fan who screams out something mean. And more than a few pros whined when told they had to join the 21st century and submit to drug tests.

Is this sports, or is it the opera? Actually, opera singers seem tougher.

I love it.  She’s right, just how thin skinned are these athletes?  If you want to collect big paychecks in front of millions of fans be ready to take a little heat every now and then.

In my family when one of us is feeling a little beaten up by the world or maybe feeling sorry for ourselves we have a saying: “Grow a sack.”  It’s time Tiger and Steiny and the rest of the thin skinned, prima donnas that dominate the PGA Tour grow a sack.

Click here for Brennan’s article.


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