Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country
of West Texas
Tuesday, May 27, 2003
By Smokey Briggs
is my hero
Let's hear it for Vijay Singh - a man walking upright in a world of stoop-shouldered,
I am proud of the boy.
First, for speaking the truth.
Second, for not whining like the Dixie Chicks about his First Amendment
rights being trounced on when he was criticized.
Third, for not backing down when the fire got hot.
Two weeks ago if I had been told that I could feel such camaraderie and
admiration for a guy who makes his living playing what may be the stupidest
game ever invented I would have laughed.
In case you have not guessed, golf has not climbed very high on Smokey's
worthy-ways-to-pass-time list. It still flounders down near the bottom just
above getting a root canal, and just below getting a root canal if the
dental assistant is cute.
It is not a fun game to play and the only thing less entertaining to
watch on television combines ways to spend money and work like a rented
mule while decorating your house and is hosted by a guy whose manhood is
I bet Vijay does not watch shows like that - even if he does play golf.
A couple of weeks ago Vijay was almost unknown to me - nothing more than
a name that popped up in the sports section every now and then.
Today, he is the latest sacrificial lamb to be crucified in homage to
the Women-are-the-same-as-men-and-should-be-called-men club.
He was crucified for speaking his mind when Annika Sorenstam was allowed
to sign up for the Colonial.
The Colonial apparently is a big golf tournament and part of the PGA
The PGA is the men's tour. The LPGA is the women's tour. Sorenstam is
a heavy hitter in the LPGA and got some kind of a sponsor's exemption to
play at the Colonial.
Vijay said she should not be allowed to play because she is...
...shock, gasp, arhhhggg,...
He is right of course. She is a woman. And, she should not have been allowed
to play. By allowing her to play some guy who is trying to make a living
on the PGA tour did not get a shot at competing in the Colonial.
This guy makes his living playing golf - as hard as that is for me to
believe - and playing in tournaments is how he does it.
More importantly, he worked hard and qualified to be on the tour.
Ms. Sorenstam has not.
Even so, not really the end of the world you say?
No. It is not. But Vijay is right.
It is not right, nor fair. As a matter of principal Sorenstam should
not be allowed to play.
Apparently Vijay is a man of principal.
But the women's lib crowd never gave a hoot about such out of date and
chauvinistic concerns as fair or right.
Their only concern seems to be eliminating the perceived differences between
men and women.
Notice I say perceived.
Because there are differences.
Physical and mental.
And it is a disservice to men and women alike to pretend these differences
do not exist.
In the past few decades we, as a culture, have committed this disservice
again and again - imposing unrealistic and silly expectation on everything
from our armed forces, to dating - all in the name of politically correct
gender neutrality. In the process we have lowered the bar, the moral and
most importantly the effectiveness of many of our institutions and professions.
Last week we did it to golf, although briefly.
Except for a two-day boost in ratings the Sorenstam story did nothing
for the PGA.
On the other hand the casualty list ranges from the guy who should have
played at the Colonial but did not get an invitation, to the LPGA which
gender neutrality relegates to a second-class tour, to the elemental value
So, Vijay, here's to you - for your views and for your willingness to
state them publicly and take the heat.
Even though you play golf for a living, you are man, and that is no small
statement even in today's world.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Smokey Briggs is the editor and publisher of the
Pecos Enterprise who's column appears on Tuesdays. He can be e-mailed at:
Pecos kids should not be in school on Memorial Day
Yesterday was Memorial Day.
The day that we as a nation take to remember and celebrate the thousands
and thousands of men, and no small number of women, who have paid the ultimate
sacrifice so that we could be free.
We raise the flag, fire salutes, decorate graves and give speeches. Mostly,
we silently remember.
Part of the day really is for the dead. We do what we do for them - in
appreciation of their sacrifice for us.
I do not know if they can hear us from beyond the grave. I hope they
But there is another audience out there that needs to hear this message
even more so than those who we honor.
That audience is our children.
There is a lot for a child to learn on Memorial Day whether it is spent
fishing with a grandfather who served and listening to his thoughts, or
being still for five minutes in between barbeque and sandlot baseball as
Taps sound and the salutes are fired.
Every Memorial Day kids of all ages learn something new about themselves
and their country and their history.
Or they should.
They should at least have the opportunity.
Yesterday Pecos kids may have learned a little more English, or mathematics
while attending school, but they missed out on one of the more valuable
educational experiences of the year.
What a shame.
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York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321
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