I enjoyed watching the Masters golf tournament today. It was a great tournament as Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson tried to come from way behind to get on the leader board while Kenny Perry and Angel Cabrera tried to hold onto their spots on the board. In the end, Cabrera held on in sudden death and won. It was very exciting to watch if you’re a golf fan.
I got to go to the Masters in 1988 and 1989. I was there for the Thursday and Friday rounds. It was probably the highlight of my ‘sports spectator career’ as the Masters is considered one of the most difficult sports tickets to get. I went with a dear salesman who called on the company I worked for at the time, which made it even better. I got to go to the Masters and didn’t have to pay for it!
I consider myself very fortunate to have gotten to see Gene Sarazin do the honorary tee off on the first hole. I got to see Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus an Gary Player and Chi Chi Rodriquez play golf. These gentlemen are icons of the game and are icons of an era where golfers were first and foremost gentlemen. These golfers and others like them have shaped my competitive nature. I learned from them that there is a lot of satisfaction as well as a lot of fun in the game alone (whether it’s golf, tennis, basketball, or any other game). I can play any sport I chose to play and have a great time, win or lose.
I see lots of people who are so bound up in trying to win a game that they forget that its a game and its supposed to be fun. Now, I can understand how a professional athlete gets bound up in winning; it’s his livelihood. But, when I play a game, whether a team game or an individual sport, I’m not getting paid for it.
Now, I’m not a proponent of having kids sports where ‘everyone is a winner so we don’t keep score’. I believe in playing to win and in teaching my children that we play games to win, but I am very much of a proponent that games should be fun and we can all have fun, win or lose.