As 2011 ‘regular’ season of men’s pro golf concluded today @ Greensboro tourney [previously best known for being last event won by ‘Slammin’’ Sammy Snead (see left) before shuckin’ his stylin’ straw chapeau for PGA posterity], a vexsome hexing has become apparent now related to all Tiger surrogates whom Nike vainly promoted when their marquee idol’s smutty Ambien exploits originally were exposed.
Specifically to be cited are collectively + positively dreadful 2011 performances by that Nike Golf-sponsored quartet of graphite shaft charisma: S. Cink, Anthony Kim, Justin Leonard & P. Casey.
At least former most duo of group actually made 1st (but not necessarily 2nd) round of ‘playoffs’ by finishing in Top 125 for year. Cink wags-in as multi-finger winner amongst this Leper colony squadron, by coming to rest @ #82 in rankings. ‘AK’ - as countless Vegas croupiers reputedly call Mr. Kim when he rolls large in their little desert town - clearly is pacing himself with #92 slot as of year-end.
The other – besides ‘Lil' Stewey’ Cink - ex-British Open winner of group, Lone Star state's own Justin Leonard, found way not to harness his admittedly best skill – putting – on today’s final green by blowing a nice 13 footer to finish just outside Top 125. If he were a horse, laggard of group – Mr. Casey – still would have fans spying back stretch with binoculars … and waiting crock-pot cook times … for any sight of strong 2011 finish. Casey seemed to get 2x helping of toxic g. ball karma due to his excessive product enthusiasm in a couple of TV spots.
What ties together these 2011 PGA mediocrities is all were propped-up by Nike to primetime ad status once Tiger’s negatives started approximating 5 year job approval ratings of Col. Gaddafi. You remember the ads. Casey opined, on camera, re new Method putter that he “could put this into play tomorrow”. Unfortunately he meant on Hooters Tour. Justin Leonard, in contrast, calmed a wind storm just by removing head cover from new Nike Driver. Bad move by Justin L., however, as helping breeze would have given him extra 25 yards off tee so that Texan now would only be 35 yards behind average PGA tee ball.
Case of 2 'curse' survivors – Cink & Kim – is a bit confused. As to chrome-dome Stewart, Mr. C. 2x-jinxed himself prev. year by besting Tom Watson in last round of British Open, thereby denying Grim Reaper his own perverted joke. That uber-bad mojo though might have acted like 2 negatives multiplied with one another to yield positive. Regardless, Nike hawked Stewart relentlessly during drought of Tiger to burnish appeal of their new clubs, shirts’ moisture-wicking properties + “it’s resin, not rubber” balls. Dude drips manliness, so move understandable.
Regarding case of ‘Marine cut-to-Woodstock shag’ Mr. Kim, he was sidelined early in year by bad dice-throwin’ injury to right hand and, therefore, full impact of curse couldn’t seep into his golf DNA. Mostly, however, A.K. was used as background pretty boy in most of Nike’s non-Tiger focus TV ads, no doubt partially because some of his most recent casino antics allegedly not quite Rev. Billy Graham family hour material.
Said marginal behavior, however, might have been Mr. Kim's 2011 PGA performance’s salvation. Word to wise: Remember such when chance to double-down on some poor ‘schlub’ tossing snake-eyes ever presents itself!
Lesson of this post is a powerful one – other Nike golfers simply ain’t Splenda, baby! Only the ‘Real Thing’ works for ‘Swoosh’ minions in the mythic land of Ben Hogan. The anti-suits from Oregon tried to go square (besides, that is, in Driver design) & keep their golf franchise going by using lemons to peddle some hybrid club lemonade, but spell of Tiger is more powerful than French Quarter voodoo Queen with a mess of blood-marinated chicken hearts during Mardi Gras.
Give up the ghost, Nike CEO Phil Knight, and put Tiger back front-and-center in all future, at least, TV ads – even with that silly ‘soul’ patch on his devious chin. Can't possibly be any worse than conglomerate of sand wedge under-achievers you have presently muggin' in front of lens.
All those T.W. imposters are statistical chum in water now, so Nike hasn’t done any good for the brand with this alternate strategy. Time to admit defeat & embrace your 'inner bad ass' instead. Turn this setback into opportunity by repositioning Nike as sole golf brand with any 'street cred'.
As my philosophical icon, Oliver Cromwell, wrote, “Friends, hear, truly, my words & understand, earnestly, their meaning … for your own (damn) good!”. Nike Golf, your welcome in advance.