Tunney side of sports – Emotions in sports

A re you crying? Are you crying? There’s no crying in baseball!” shouts Manager Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks) to player Evelyn Gardner in the movie “A League Of Their Own.”

OK, manager Dugan, but there can be crying in sports as evidenced by Bubba Watson’s outpouring of emotions after he won the Masters last week

Watson (born Gerry but nicknamed Bubba in honor of Baltimore Colts defensive end Bubba Smith) hit an awesome shot from 164 yards, from the deepest rough to land within 10 feet of the pin on the 10th green, the second playoff hole.

Competing with co-leader Louis Oosthuizen, he then two-putted to win. The overflow of emotion from Watson is easily understandable. He had lost his father to throat cancer 18 months earlier. And just two weeks before the tournament he and his wife Angie had adopted their first child, Caleb.

Following his emotional outburst, Watson — avoiding the customary handshake — proceeded to hug everyone allowed on that 10th green, starting with his mom, Molly.

Bubba loves golf and plays it professionally just for just that reason — fun. Sure, he plays to win, but treats his competition as fellow competitors, not enemies.

Follow that scene with the one of Spaniard Sergio Garcia walking off the 18th green with Rory McIlroy, an Irishman, arms around each other.

Garcia ended up at 286, eight strokes behind Watson, and McIlroy, an early favorite to win, at 293.

Were Garcia and McIlroy disappointed in their Masters performance? Of course, but they were able to keep their competitiveness in perspective.

Watson’s celebration continued with a 400-mile drive from Augusta that night to be with his wife and baby. He got three hours sleep, and arose early Monday morning to feed Caleb.

Counter the above with profanity, throwing or kicking one’s golf club and you can see/feel/ visualize how golf, or for that matter, any game needs to be played.

It hurts to lose. It hurts not to perform up to your expectations. However, Watson typifies that golf is just a four-letter word: game.

It needs to be kept in that context. But, crying — well, crying is OK.

Will you keep your game or anything else you do in perspective of life’s real goal?

To contact Jim go to www.jimtunney.com or email him at jim@jimtunney.com.


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