Don't get me wrong. I cheered for Watson like crazy yesterday. The only way you'd be rooting for him to lose if you were on the writing staff of fucking Slate. And not only did he lose, not only did he juuuust barely miss out on setting one of the most incredible records in all of sport, but he also managed to lose it in the worst way possible. That putt he boned is the exact same kind of putt you or I would blow with money on the line. To be that close, and to turn back into just another old man right at that crucial moment is so... GUHHHHH.
But I'm one to have a positive attitude, so there is some good to be taken from all this. For one thing, as the great Fake Chuck Klosterman Twitter feed noted, Watson's loss might spare us from 800 words of maudlin Rick Reilly dogshit this coming Wednesday. Then again, probably not.
The real bonus of Watson's choke job, though, is that it will hopefully not inspire old and infirm people that they still have one last run of magic in them. You know damn well there are 60-year-old men all over the place who hit the links this morning, trying to work a little bit of that Watson magic.
Well, don't get too worked up over Watson almost winning the big one, oldies. Just because he nearly climbed the mountain doesn't mean you won't bust a hip trying to follow in his footsteps. That means YOU, Brett Favre. I could just see Watson's near-victory inspiring legions of other old athletes to strap it on for one last go: Troy Aikman, Charles Barkley, Kamala, and such and such. Don't be fooled, olde athletes of yore. You aren't Tom Watson. And you aren't Dara Torres. She only won silver because she's a dude.
I'm on the record as saying that pro athletes should never, ever retire until they are forced out of the game. Being a pro athlete is a fucking kickass job, even if you suck at it in your later years. If someone still wants you around, I'm all for taking them up on the offer, even if it's with the Lions.
This is one of the cool things about golf, because golfers are NEVER forced from the game. They can play for fucking ever, and even occasionally show up on a major tourney Leaderboard at a major well past their prime, as Watson did this year and Greg Norman did at the British last year. It's cool to see. Golfers never have to retire, which in turn spares us from golfers unretiring, which would be annoying as shit.
Because while I approve of playing for as long as you can, I think if you're stupid enough to retire when you really don't want to retire, you shouldn't be allowed to come back. Ever. So to all you old athletes flying high after watching a 59-year-old man nearly pull of the impossible, stay right where you are. You're still old, you're still wrinkly, and we don't want you rushing back onto our fields of play with your walkers, and your pillboxes, and your balloon-powered houses. There's no need to taint Watson's wonderful run with the sight of you limping back into action, ruining our stadiums with your flaky skin and horrid old person stench.
Not that Brett Favre will ever listen.
Photo from golf.com.