AT THE RISK OF SOUNDING like Jimmy Carter in a cardigan talking about sports instead of about a national energy crisis it must be said: By almost all available evidence, a vast malaise is infecting this nation’s sports scene. What’s worse is that it seems to mirror our inability to win what should be winnable wars — or, rather, winnable peaces, if peace can be pluralized — in the Middle East.
Never in modern history has the American sports scene looked so bleak. Not just bleak, but weak. As in weak-willed and weak-nerved.
That’s a strong statement, of course. To back it up, it is necessary to set aside the obvious example of Tiger Woods. Woods is, of course, quintessentially American. But he is sui generis. He is no more representative of the general trend of things than is a giant in a land of Lilliputians. Indeed, it is his fellow competitors’ response to him that is representative — and it is not a pretty sight. Aside from weird-swinging Jim Furyk and bizarre-putting-gripped Chris DiMarco, both of whom at least have the grit not to wilt against Woods even if they can’t overcome him, no other American golfer seems be able to avoid being utterly intimidated by him. Or, for that matter, by the weight of their own, lesser, aspirations.
Starting with golf, then, let’s look at the evidence. Fewer and fewer Americans win tournaments on the PGA Tour. Fewer (only 16!) are ranked in the top 50 of the official world rankings. And outrageously few can even stand the pressure of trying to make the Ryder Cup team to represent our country against Europe.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?