In the midst of NFL Week #4, baseball’s tight pennant race, and a lackluster college football weekend (except for West Virginia Mountaineer QB Geno Smith’s eight…or was it eighty?…touchdown passes against Baylor), the sports world minted a new, true American hero.
Golfer Rory McIlroy.
Yes, Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland. Our Greatest American Hero.
At the age of 22, Rory already displays everything we want in an American sports hero.
No performance enhancing drugs. No Bounty-Gate. No delinquent childcare support. No illegal firearms. No spousal abuse. No illicit affairs.
Rory McIlroy is the love child of Justin Timberlake and that ginger kid with the moppy hair from Harry Potter.
Really, someone please show me where it reads in the Declaration of Independence that our greatest American Hero must actually be born in the United States! (Tea Party supporters might want to focus on this new conspiracy after the November Presidential elections are over.)
This past weekend at the 2012 Ryder Cup at the Medinah Country Club in Central Standard Time Illinois, Rory McIlroy became the epitome of an effortless win.
Unless you’ve been trapped in a coal mine, you already know Rory’s story.
Team America (Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and a bunch of no-names that may as well be the Oakland A’s current starting line-up) were crushing the European squad.
Going into Sunday’s final individual match-ups, Team Europe was down 10-6. This meant that the Europeans needed to win eight of Sunday’s 12 singles matches.
Truth be told, Flaming Bag of Poo has never tried to understand golf match play scoring. Do you know the difference between “Wins 5&3”, “Wins 2&1”, or “Wins 1Up”? Why can’t match play golfers keep score like the rest of us duffers and simply say, “After that last hole, you now owe me two beers since the Beer Cart Chick last swung by.”
I’m sure match play golf scoring is relatively easy to understand, but maybe Flaming Bag of Poo just doesn’t want to understand. Ever think of that? Flaming Bag of Poo also doesn’t understand Cricket scoring. And I bet you’re not anxious to learn how—even if there is a (Cricket) app for that…
Point well made!
(That’s a rhetorical answer. Flaming Bag of Poo doesn’t believe in rhetorical questions, but I am known to blurt out rhetorical answers.)
But let’s get back to the Legend of Rory McIlroy.
Since John Daly is no longer golfing on Sundays, the definition of the consummate “laid back golfer” has a picture of Rory McIlroy right beside it. Just how cool and laid back is this champion? (That’s not a rhetorical question, because I’m about to answer it.)
Unaware that Illinois is not located in the Eastern Time Zone, Rory hadn’t even left his hotel half an hour before his tee time. Frankly, half the citizens in New York and California couldn’t identify the Central Time Zone on a U.S. map.
Eight minutes before his scheduled tee time, Rory McIlroy pulls up to Medinah in a police squad car…
…and strolls to the first tee box.
So with Rory expected to set the pace for Team Europe’s comeback hopes, Rory strolls out still chomping on either a Power Bar, a Snickers Bar, or a piece of beef jerky. Rumor has it, he inhaled a McDonald’s Big Mac in the clubhouse while lacing up his shoes. How’s that for not giving into any pressure?
With no time left to warm up, or practice hitting on the driving range, Rory is greeted by the American gallery chanting “Central Time Zone”.
“Just grip it, and rip it!” Every golfer has done that before–showing up late for your buddies waiting for you on the tee box. Grip it, rip it, and then meekly ask for a mulligan when you slice your first drive toward the 19th hole.
But this Irishman needed no mulligans. Instead, Rory never trails at any point during his match, and ultimately beats the weekend previous unbeatable, American Keegan Bradley. The entire round was merely his warm-up!
Of course, to add to the legend of Rory McIlroy, it is worth noting that he recently dominated the 2012 PGA Championship. He won by eight strokes over the rest of the field. Tiger Woods was so far back, you needed to take a Cadillac to reach him.
As the ratings and publicity have proven, Americans love a dramatic comeback story. Just not when it is against Americans.
Yes, Flaming Bag of Poo is a proud American. Yet a proud American who couldn’t help but chuckle seeing the Tiger Woods’ look of helplessness when Steve Stricker’s putt missed.
Being the Greatest American Hero should mean pulling out a win when your team needs you most.
Tiger lost three times during the 2012 Ryder Cup—tying him for the most losses (17) while representing Team America. Is it un-patriotic to expect more from Tiger? (OK, Flaming Bag of Poo really does have a serious addiction to rhetorical questions.)
Rory gives every red-blooded American couch potato something that Tiger Woods cannot give them: hope. Rory is more like us than Tiger ever was. We now know that Rory likes to sleep in. And Rory likes to hang out with his girlfriend–instead of hanging out with the guys in the weight room.
Yes, gentlemen, Rory’s longtime girlfriend is none other than former #1 women’s tennis player Caroline Wozniacki.
OK, minor technicality that Wozniacki is Danish, but she looks more American than most California blondes.
That’s an All-American couple if you ask me.
Rory McIlroy is a more perfect American hero than Tiger Woods could ever hope to be. Yes, they are both imperfect. Tiger’s imperfection breaks his wife’s heart. Rory’s imperfection breaks Team America’s hearts.
The Legend of Rory McIlroy is only beginning.
Imagine what Rory will do for an encore when the 2014 Ryder Cup returns across the pond.