Term Does Not Apply to Rickie Fowler
It’s around seven months to Christmas, but it’s never too soon to be thinking about it. I know what I want for Christmas this year – I want to be overrated…just like Rickie Fowler.
Fans are, of course, notorious for this, fans who have never circled a track, run for a first down, gone fifteen rounds with a good heavyweight, or have never broken 80 on the local municipal course. And yet, somehow, we have the magic of sight when it comes to choosing the “Who’s Who?” in the sports and games world, deciding which sportsmen and women of our generation are “overrated.” We are brilliant prognosticators of every sport we’ve never tried, and in every game in which we have never succeeded – amazing how that all works.
However, the PGA player poll designed to designate the most overrated players on tour is more serious, because it comes from people who do or try to make a living at the game of golf. I would like to see that poll broken down into more specific categories, mostly in terms of who said what. Were the men who chose Rickie Fowler as the leading overrated player the people who regularly appear near the top of the board, or were they also-rans with lesser average scores than Ricky?
Is it a pattern of choking that decides who is overrated? Rory McIlroy is number one in the world, but hasn’t exactly been setting the world on fire – plus, he threw away a Masters. He must be overrated, right? I wouldn’t be the one to say so, because the moment I do, he’s going to string together a couple of 62s and show me how wrong I am.
Is it our expectation that a successful collegiate or prodigy golfer start winning on the tour before a certain amount of time has elapsed? How long shall we let you go before we call you overrated? One year, two years? This isn’t Tiger Woods time anymore, the time when we looked for the same name to be near or at the top every week, and expected the whiz kid to win out in at least half the tournaments.
It couldn’t be the pressure that makes Rickie Fowler so overrated, because there was a ton of it on Sunday, and it didn’t seem to bother him very much – in fact, it appeared as though he thrived on it. Isn’t real success the ability to come with the goods at precisely the right moment? If I remember correctly, Rickie came in somewhere around 6 under in the last six holes of regulation. How overrated is that? The fairway wood that flirted with water, but bounced up for eagle should dispel the “overrated” thing all by itself. That’s certainly the kind of overrated I’d like to be. Further, unless I have miscalculated, Fowler went three under in three playoff holes? Being that kind of overrated would be one of my fondest dreams.
I’ve fallen for it more than once, saying that this person or that will become the new dominant player, but being dominant isn’t just winning week in and week out. It can be dominance within one tournament, such as Fowler’s Players, for which he walked away with half a lifetime of income for the likes of me. Such a gathering of riches can’t be overrated, either. Anyone who intends to seriously prognosticate about over and underrated players has got to develop a flexibility about when great players blossom. They don’t come on to the tour with little alarm clocks, then suddenly win tournaments. They are complicated human organisms trying to perform sports surgery with metal rods at great distances. They bloom when they bloom.
Well, so much for Rickie Fowler being overrated. He’s no fun anymore. I guess we’ll have to pick on someone else.