The most generous reading of Rick Reilly's latest column, large parts of which are lifted wholesale from a 2009 Rick Reilly column, is that he just wants to give readers something from a time he wasn't mailing things in. But that 2009 column was awful too. Rick Reilly disdains you so much that he's recycling his crap.
The conceit of "Don't act like you've been there" is a fictional foursome (from Reilly's 1997 book, the Amazon page for which he helpfully links to in the first sentence) discussing Kevin Stadler's win at the Phoenix Open and his lack of a boisterous celebration. The conceit of 2009's "You just won the U.S. Open. Act like it!" is the same fictional foursome discussing Lucas Glover's win at the U.S. Open and his lack of a boisterous celebration. Reader Luke brought them to our attention; see if you can spot any similarities.
2009: "If I won a U.S. Freaking Open, I'd go absolutely electroshock, three-alarm, bat-guano nuts!"
2014: "My point is, if I'd just won $1.1 million zops in a PGA Goddang Tour event, forget about my first win in 239 tries, I'd go absolutely electro-shock, three-alarm, bat-guano nuts!"
2009: "In tennis, when Roger Federer wins a major, he falls backward like he just got poleaxed."
2014: "In tennis, Rafa Nadal wins and practically falls dead where he stands, like he just took an arrow in the chest!"
2009: "If this were football, the guy would be doing the electric chicken right in front of the other team's bench..."
2014: "If this was the NFL, he'd be twerking in front of the other team's bench!"
2009: "I'd pick up the flagstick and fire it like a Tommy gun at the crowd."
2014: "I'd pick up the flagstick and fire it like a Tommy gun at the crowd."
2009: "I'd make my caddie give me a piggyback ride and I'd whip him like a jockey on a horse."
2014: "I'd make my caddy give me a piggy back ride and whip him like a jockey on a horse."
2009: "I'd extend my hand to the guy I'd just beaten like I was going to shake it and then, when he started to grab it, I'd pull it back. Psych! When the guy in the blazer came out with the winner's check, I'd snatch his toupee off and fling it like a Frisbee."
2014: "I'd extend my hand to Bubba, yank it back and yell, 'Psyche!' When the guy in the bad plaid jacket came out with the winner's check, I'd snatch his toupee off and fling it like a Frisbee."
2009: "I'd rip the mike out of Bob Costas' hands and say into the camera, very sincerely, 'I'd just very much like to thank (pause) my sweet butt for being so good! Nobody's hittin' these shots but me, you fools!"
2014: "And at my speech, I'd start out with, 'I'd really just like to thank ... my sweet BUTT for being so good! Nobody's hittin' these shots but me, you fools!'"
2009: "I'd go to Ricky Barnes' hotel room at 3 in the morning and be very sincere and contrite and go: 'Sorry to come by so late. But I just wanted to apologize for my behavior this afternoon on the 18th green. I really want to take this opportunity to say how sorry I am that (pause) you're such a gag artist!' Then I'd hold up the trophy, polish it on my butt and say, 'Take a look at how shiny it is! Really, look close. What do you see? A loser!!! Don't worry, though. I hear the food's great on the Nationwide Tour!' "
2014: "I'd go to Bubba's hotel room at 3 in the morning and go, 'Look, I just wanted to say I feel terrible that ... you're such a gag artist!' Then I'd hold up the trophy, polish it on my butt, hold it up to his face and go, 'Look how shiny it is! What do you see in there? A loser!!! Don't worry, though. I hear the food's great on the Fuzion tour!"
2009: "I'd take my 3-iron out and have my caddie kneel before me and I'd knight him like I was the queen."
2014: "I'd take my 3-iron and knight my caddy like I was the queen!"
In conclusion, Rick Reilly's cultural touchstone updates are replacing Federer with Nadal, the Nationwide Tour with the Fuzion Tour, and the electric chicken with twerking. This has been another edition of Rick Reilly Just Doesn't Give A Shit Anymore.