So let her play

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 23, 2003

I won’t mention her name, and it isn’t important, but she is one of the best of the women golfers in the world and insists she be allowed to take part in PGA all-male tournaments.

And why not, she has certain male attributes that make her almost as strong as John Daly but not quite as attractive. I don’t know yet if she wants the benefit of ladies’ tees or will swat with the boys off the longer ones. I suppose I could find out if I were a sports nut but, again, it is not important. I say let her play, there’s bigger paydays in the male game.

So I called Tiger to get his slant and his answer was a complete surprise.

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Tiger hates to let a day go by without a practice round or two but prefers to have at least a little competition even when practicing. So he is filing a suit to be allowed to play in the women’s LPGA tournaments when they are on different weekends. He insists that if women can use the men’s tees in men’s tournaments, he can use the ladies’ tees in theirs. He said he’d make a few concessions: he’ll play a ruptured ball, never clean it, use a putter out of traps, a nine iron off the tee, and make his second shot blindfolded. A certain left-handed male PGA professional might beat him were Tiger so handicapped.

It won’t be long before females will insist on playing in college or professional football games and I’ve seen some with enough bulk to be as unmovable as sumo wrestlers when in the position of offensive linewomen. Ladies have found their way into basketball, tennis, billiards, and scores of other formerly men’s territories. Hockey and football are next and there is no doubt that bodily contact will come under scrutiny. There will be little worry about kissing, which would be nearly impossible with all players wearing helmets with facemasks. It’s the &uot;holding&uot; penalty decision that will drive referees nuts. I don’t even like to think about some long tall gal becoming a quarterback – they’ll have to eliminate the blitz and all other forms of pass rushing. It’s not that anything unseemly would happen in front of 90,000 screaming fans but it’s the perception that counts. That calls for separate locker rooms but not necessarily at halftime, coaches will have to clean up their halftime discourse and there will be no more patting on the fanny.

I will admit to a certain pleasure when watching tall women go up after a volleyball but I never comment on it if my wife is also watching. She beats me to it every time. It is impossible for me to believe female wrestlers are females; it’s easier to think they are excellent in drag. For certain, &uot;lady&uot; wrestlers are not at all concerned about perception. I’m told, so help me I would never watch a match, that sex therapists study their moves hoping they will find material for a new chapter in their book.

Swimming, diving, gymnastics, and figure skating in recent years has provided all of mankind with the revealing truth that women can be beautiful. I go back to when the clothing they wore when participating in those events was nearly as thrilling as reading about Portugal’s farm products in an encyclopedia. The only way you could be sure you were looking at a woman was to observe that what legs you could see were shaved, and the hairdo was finger waved. The only clue to how a female was supposed to be shaped was the corset section of Sears catalog and your mom better not catch you looking at it.

If you were, like me, born in the ’20s, you have lived through many kinds of transitions. Horses worked back then. Automobile engines were cranked to start. Farms were smaller and farmers worked harder and with hand tools. When the tractor and manure spreader were invented all the changes accelerated. I remember my mother’s bathing suit and in my mind I compare it to the front cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. Mom would have looked great in a swimsuit like that, but burned as a witch. Now I wonder what a boy born today will be thinking about female 78 years from now. I mean, what’s left to reveal? I think it’s all down hill from here.

Robert Pocklington is a resident of Suffolk and a regular columnist for the News-Herald.