Not everyone reading this might like football but I do so I’m going to write it anyway.
The Ryder Cup excites me because it is so much like a football game.
Firstly there is a ridiculous over-analysis by so-called pundits who overuse cliches to fill time before the event starts… it’s tedious.
But then that is completely forgotten as soon as the whistle blows and the first ball is kicked. Although in the Ryder Cup there are a lot more nerves on this first shot with a way smaller ball that you have to propel 300 yards away whilst thousands of people go deadly quiet.
It’s amazing viewing and Justin Rose absolutely cannoned one down the misty fairway.
All this talk beforehand of form players and rankings completely goes out of the window and it’s just sport in its purest form. A couple of guys and another couple of guys trying to make birdies, and each one is greeted like a goal by the rawkus and partisan fans!
Momentum (Sorry for the cliche!)
As more birdies are made and more holes are won about the only cliche that seems to be true is the one of momentum.
Players just seem to play better and hole more putts if their teammates are doing well… it can only be a mindset thing but we saw it as Spieth and Reed set the tone for the others to follow.
All the talk beforehand of experienced players and arguing over captain’s picks seems pretty silly as Westwood plays like he’s drunk and scores an own goal.
We go into half-time and the home fans are buoyant, and these are American ones so they are very buoyant... to put it mildly!
And just like in football as a fan that cares you think the worst, what happens if this is over before the second leg? Can we bear to take stick off these guys incessantly for another two years?
But you cling on to the solace that things can turn around and that you have some tweets that you can get them back with good if they do…
Some of us know to not be too loud when we’re winning early as we’ve been hurt before in that position. It seems the Americans haven’t and to quote Kevin Keegan now ‘I’d love it if we beat them, I’d love it.’
The fans were hostile in Minnesota and I may be in the minority but I quite enjoy it.
It creates a great atmosphere and you see some great reactions from the players, especially Sergio and Rory who gave as good as they got!
Who cares if some dude says ‘Get in the water,’ it’s unlikely the dude has the power to divert the ball by mind control. If he does we should be happy he isn't in their team!
People underestimate how mentally strong top sportsmen are. You see the incredible drives and fantastic technique but what sets them apart is what's between the ears.
So maybe if someone shouted shit at us normal folk you might take it to heart but these guys have the ability to harness it and use it as positive energy. It inspires them, and it is plain to see.
I'd probably avoid heckling the likes of Henrik, Sergio and Justin if I were American, it hasn't worked before and don't see it starting now... just look how yesterday afternoon went!
And trying it on with Rory? As ideas go it's like flicking a grizzly bear in the balls, marking Lionel Messi and telling him he's having a shit game or taking Usain Bolt's chicken nuggets before a race. None of them end well for you!
But in my opinion for the viewer it’s like sledging in cricket and adds a nice bit of spice and banter to proceedings. I’m not sure how well our American cousins are doing on originality marks with the ‘BABA-BOOEY, BATH WATER and HAMBURGER shouts… but there is a bit of gold in there laced amongst the verbal tourettes of turd.
The reported rendition of 'Sweet Caroline' to Rory is top banter if you ask me!
You could call it a comeback
But just like in football when you are 4-0 down at half time it’s all about how you come out for the second half.
You can crumble under the pressure of the away fans or you can fight.
An early goal back from Stenson and Rose who ran to the net to get the ball. Sergio and Rafa grind out another and your superstar Rory scores a wonder goal before the final whistle.
In footballing terms it’s 4-3 going into the second leg and you can’t predict what’s going to happen there… we tried that before and it didn’t work!
All we know is that both sets of players and fans have been put through a rollercoaster of emotions in just one day…
And although at the time it’s hard to tell exactly, but this is what sport is all about, and that’s why we love it!
I'm the Managing Editor at The Club. I like putting and Rioja. I dislike my low slice.