Marc Leishman’s wife, Audrey, has maintained a blog since nearly dying from sepsis in 2015. A quick scan of the site reveals her to be an good, insightful, reflective writer.
The blog, PSdontusetampons.com, is largely a vehicle to bring awareness to the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome and share Leishman’s near-death experience two years ago and what she’s learned since.
And if you think there’s something funny about/don’t understand her blog title, then you need to read beyond her post about the Presidents Cup.
Now, the article that’s placed Mrs. Leishman front and center in the golf media sphere: “This is not the Tour I know,” posted October 3.
In breaking down what Audrey Leishman had to say, we have to do a few things.
- Acknowledge her use of Daniel Berger’s quote to frame fan behavior doesn’t necessarily reflect her attitude toward the American team, and was really not the best stylistic choice.
- Acknowledge we don’t know 99 percent of what was said to her, to her husband, or to anyone else on the International team.
- Acknowledge Audrey is an American and she and Marc live in Virginia.
Here’s the Daniel Berger quote Audrey begins with.
“I mean, the goal from the minute we got out here was to just crush them as bad as we can and … I hope we close them out today and we got out tomorrow and beat them even worse.”
She then writes, “The fans felt the same way. I wonder why when that’s what they witnessed.”
Now, comparing boorish fan behavior to the desire to step on your opponent’s throat is not a good look. Competitors are supposed to compete and compete hard. Stay within the rules, yes, but do everything you can to beat your opponent as badly as possible. Surely, that isn’t problematic for someone married to a professional golfer?
The Berger quote is ill-applied and really only serves to undermine the rest of what she has to say. So, let’s throw it out and look at the meat of Leishman’s piece, which deals with U.S. fan behavior.
“There were many times last week that I thought about what the kids were seeing,” she wrote. “The crowds booing for good shots and cheering for missed putts. The drinking at 7 am? Screaming “Big Easy” to Ernie Els and begging for his autograph and then yelling at his players. Heckling a wife for her beauty and then her husband for his play. I was thankful my boys weren’t there to see the way people were treating their daddy. Their hero. My parents could simply turn the television off.”
Again, we don’t know the full extent of what was said to Audrey, to Marc, or what she overheard. It has to be said, however, that the offenses she chose to write about are incredibly minor by sporting event standards.
“Someone yelled “Blooming Onion!” to Marc. Check yourself and your facts because that’s not Australian in the least. Another yelled, “avocado!” at him. I feel sorry for you because if you don’t understand how delicious an avocado is, then you are living a sad, sad life. “You eat cereal with a fork!” Oh friend, maybe that’s actually you who does that, because how would you even think to say that? I understand that this was not every fan.”
Here’s the simplest take on Leishman’s complaints: the Ryder and Presidents Cups are not golf tournaments. They are sporting events. There’s more similarity in fan behavior at a New York Rangers game and the Presidents Cup contested just across the Hudson in New Jersey than the Northern Trust, which was contested in the same area earlier this year.
It’s tough to make an argument in favor of body snarking and other below-the-belt fan comments. That said, it is, and has been, a reality a sporting events around the world for as long as I’ve been alive.
Should the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup fans behave more like fans at a traditional PGA Tour event? Clearly, Audrey Leishman thinks so.
That said, there would seem to be a risk of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Rowdy, partisan lunacy is part of what makes these team competitions what they are. The best entertainment comes when fan behavior is right up against the line of acceptability. And as long as this is something we enjoy as fans, there will be those who cross the line.