And then I wrote...

by Dick Schilling, Editor Emeritus

... with my interest in college basketball all but over for the year, I spent some time TV watching Iowa’s Zach Johnson compete in the pro golf event in Texas over the last weekend of March. He was in good shape after three days, then blew to a less than satisfactory round Sunday.
But the pro golfer’s life reminded me once again why I prefer that game to most other pro sports, and that is that the golfer has to earn his paycheck each week. Sure, they are paid to wear a certain shirt or cap insignia, or to play a certain ball with certain clubs. But the “real” money they have to earn. Johnson, for example, would have made about $150,000 more with just an average round on the last day. Those extra four strokes cost him about $37,000 a stroke.
A good year for a pro golfer can earn him maybe six to eight million dollars. In a bad year, he may not even earn one million.
Contrast that with, say, a professional baseball player. An outfielder might hit .278 and have 24 home runs one year. Next year, he could bat .223 and have 11 home runs. But because he signed a three-year deal for $45 million, with $30 million guaranteed, his paycheck remains the same.
Plus, golf is the only sport which is self-policing. Players report their own violations of rules.
A gentlemen’s game, even if all the golfers are not always gentle men.
As one of those long-suffering fans of the Chicago Cubs, I will suffer even more this season, since management has cut off both WGN radio and WGN-TV from coverage of the Cubs. So we middle class types who rely on basic cable won’t get to see the Cubs lose, or even simply hear them lose, as often.
I understand one of the TV stations in Cedar Rapids will be allowed to televise about 60 of the 162 games. Don’t know if that will be day or night, or both.
I did get to see the Iowa softball women and the Iowa baseball team beat Big 10 foes in televised games, I think on the Big 10 Network, over the weekend.
If I have any interest in the NCAA men’s final four, it is only because two teams from the Big 10 made it. The usual suspects, Michigan State and Wisconsin. Coaches Izzo and Ryan respectively are well known for that achievement. The coaches of the other two teams are probably even more famous, or infamous, or notorious, if you prefer.
Their names are also harder to spell: Kentucky’s Calipari and Duke’s Krzyzewski.