Monday, September 27, 2021

The Ryder Cup: an embarrassment or a celebration of macho culture?

I don't know much about golf, and I've never knowingly watched a match, even on television. I've never seen the point in whacking little ball around a field. But it is undeniably a popular spectator sport, and one of the most popular golfing events is the annual Ryder Cup competition between the USA and Europe.

However, this is not a genteel sporting event. This is not St. Andrews or Augusta. This is a raucous, alcohol-soaked bro-fest (and make no mistake, you don't see many sis's at the Ryder Cup). This is drunken guys yelling "U-S-A" (or "Fra-a-ance" or "Ger-ma-ny"), booing the opposition, cheering the opposition's muffed shots, and generally being boorish. In particular, it's a bunch of macho guys wearing baseball caps backwards, being steotypical Anericans (and a few brave stereotypical Europeans) and generally making a hyper-partisan spectacle of themselves, while a game of golf continues somewhere in the background.

As it turns out, the Americans won this one handily - the home team almost always wins the Ryder Cup; maybe it's something to do with all that booing? - although the Europeans still lead the series, which began back in 1979. But the score is almost secondary to the event itself, that celebration of manliness and buffoonery. Some golfers roll their eyes at it; some just lap it up.

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