Well folks the 2016 Ryder Cup is right around the corner this year. I’m hoping I’m not the only one getting excited about this one. Many of you may be thinking this year’s battle may be a bore, since the Europeans have been dominating the Ryder Cup since Earth’s continents were all hanging out together in the days of Pangea. But this year feels different. As a stars and stripes, red-blooded American I am sick of seeing the European’s chemistry and winning ways. Thankfully, something feels different this year. No one is giving the boys in red, white, and blue a shot, and I think that’s exactly where they want to be. Don’t get me wrong, this European team is a powerhouse, but the American’s aren’t so bad themselves and have a lot of young talent up front. A lot of folks may make the argument that the young players are inexperienced and will thusly crack under pressure, however, after seeing veteran Phil Mickelson stink it up year in and year out in the Ryder Cup I think we will benefit from some young-blood.
Speaking of good ol’ Phil, I recently read a conversation that he had regarding the Ryder Cup, and it seems that Mr. Mickelson is just as sick of getting his ass kicked as I am watching it happen. Phil was quoted as saying that he has been studying the European’s winning ways and believes that he has their winning formula worked out. Being a Mickelson hater, I say that if this is true then he should shut his big mouth up and keep things like that out of the media. However, Philip is also an American, so in times like these I am sort of forced to root for the guy. When asked further about what he meant, Phil went on to say that he sees the team chemistry and leadership playing large factors towards the European’s success. But he was timid with his projections saying that people shouldn’t expect that his plan to work immediately and was incredibly vague with the details of his”plan.” Now, it would be incredibly easy for me to tear him apart here, but like I said before, Phil is an American so I will back him up in this situation.
All of this reminds me of a similar setup 36 years ago in sports. The year was 1980 and it was the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, NY. The Soviet Union boasted the greatest hockey team in the world, and at the height of the Cold War, competitions like these were incredibly important in the battle for an emotional advantage in case real war broke out.
It was one crazy college hockey coach hired by the U.S Olympic staff to take a bunch of college hockey players and mold them into a team that could beat the Soviets. Herb Brooks studied the Soviet’s winning ways and emulated his Olympic team after the Russians. Herb whipped his boys into shape and really focused on team chemistry and endurance so that they wouldn’t be tired at the end of a hockey game. The strategy of emulating the Russians paid off and it won Herb and the U.S hockey team Olympic Gold. It was accurately dubbed “The 1980 Miracle On Ice.”
My favorite thing to do in all of sports is to root for the underdog. Freud would probably tell me that I’m just projecting my ego onto the world, but who cares about that psychoanalytic mumbo jumbo, underdogs are always fun to root for. And that’s what I’m doing this year. To quote Herb’s famous speech in the movie “Miracle” with Kurt Russell, “This is our time, their time is over. I’m sick and tired of hearing about what a great team the Europeans have. Screw em!”
You heard it here first folks, the Americans win in a thriller that will come down to some of the final matches on Sunday. Look for Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth to play clutch roles for the Americans down the stretch.