Thursday, April 18, 2013

Golf’s “Snitches Get Stitches” Policy

By Jeffrey Boswell

Last week's Masters in Augusta was notable for crowning its first Australian champion, Adam Scott, who did with one putt what it took decades for blacks and women to do. But the Masters really opened its doors by allowing a television viewer to report a rules violation which, in part, resulted in a two-stroke penalty for Tiger Woods.

The rat bastard. Television viewers who notice a rules violation and call to report it are the scum of the earth. They are the Westboro Baptist Church of sports fans.

Pity poor Woods. Just when you thought Tiger could keep his sexual activity private, he gets publicly screwed on national television by a viewer at home. Luckily, main squeeze Lindsey Vonn was there to be hot and bothered with Tiger.

Golf is a game of honor, yet there is no honor in ratting out a golfer who likely doesn't even know he/she committed an infraction.

It's one thing for a golf fan to watch a tournament and actually recognize a rules infraction. 99% of viewers wouldn't recognize and infraction. It's another thing to recognize an infraction, and feel the need to call a network or golf course and report it. In grade school half a century ago, there was a name for people who did this — tattletales. In grade school in current times, there's a name for people who do this — bitches. What rhymes with "bitches?" "Snitches." And what do snitches get? Stitches.

That's why it's time for the game of golf to break tradition and institute a "Snitches Get Stitches" policy to rules violations. This would apply to viewers, spectators, and fellow golfers, but not to course officials, who are there to make rulings so some couch potato with a handicap, as well as body mass index, in the 40s, doesn't have to.

For too long, the sheltered game of golf and ghetto retribution have existed in two far different worlds, never crossing paths. The "Snitches Get Stitches" policy will change that.

How would it work? Simple. Anyone, besides a licensed official, that tries to report a violation will get shanked with a golf tee (Of course, the term "making the cut" will require further explanation), beaten with a nine iron by Elin Nordegren, or given a haircut of John Daly's choosing. Repeat offenders will be forced to spend 24 hours listening to Johnny Miller talk.

Will the "Snitches Get Stitches" program work in the sport of professional golf? Maybe. Maybe not. But it will certainly deter the kind of cowardice it takes to report a rules violation from hundreds of miles away.

In what other sport can a spectator impact an official ruling? None whatsoever. If basketball fans called the NBA every time they witnessed a missed call, then David Stern would soon announce a new franchise coming to India, but not before opening a call center to handle the deluge of phone calls. And, if fans were allowed to report violations on players, then the league would have a bigger problem on its hands — even more NBA players would have guns. Plus, this increases the possibility of Meta World Peace attacking a fan — in that fan's home.

And Major League Baseball? If MLB offices can't handle the number of calls, they should urge viewers to call only when an umpire makes the right call.

What about the NFL? The last thing Roger Goodell needs is fans complaining about rules; he has enough former and current players handling that already.

Golf has a problem, and that problem is, unlike other sports, they allow persons besides officials to often affect the outcome where penalizing rules violations are concerned. Golf needs to take action to put the "honor" back in an "honorable" game.

Contents copyright © Sports Central 1998-2009