Skip to main content

Phil Mickelson made some remarks today about his income taxes. He has a real problem, and he is complaining about it. But he should keep quiet. Lots of men suffered, sacrificed, and worked to build the PGA Tour which is the immediate basis of Mickelson's earnings. Pros of Mickelson's generation seem to take their ability to earn great sums of money as some sort of natural, God-given right. But it isn't. So without the hard work, the innovation, the sense of fairness and justice of Ben Hogan and others of his generation, Phil Mickelson would not be worried about his income taxes because he might not have any income.

I am old man. I am an avid golfer. I played my first round in 1946. My father, my brothers, and assorted uncles and cousins play golf. We grew up not far from where Ben Hogan was born, and my youngest brother became a friend of Hogan’s. Hogan took his first job as a professional just 30 miles west of my front door. We live and breathe golf, and we are steeped in the lore of Ben Hogan. In my garage I have one car, a riding mower, and barrels of golf clubs. I coached golf in high school for a while nearly fifty years ago. I play in tournaments of many types, and I can still make the young men cry on the course. And I love it. My handicap is less than 1, and I am not the best golfer in my family. I say all this because it was fun, but also to let you know that my family and I are knowledgeable about the game.

We love to watch Phil Mickelson. We love his willingness to take chances. We admire his skill with his wedges, especially around the greens. But Ben Hogan had such skills as well. At one time he played on Shell’s Wonderful of Golf in a match against Sam Snead. They both still had all their skills. At the end of the match Hogan had hit seventeen greens in regulation, the other he hit in one less than regulation. He played a perfect round and beat Snead. In the aftermath, Snead was interviewed by a Houston newspaper reporter. The reporter asked: “Does Mr. Hogan talk much during the round?” Snead replied: “Talk? He talks all the time. I couldn’t get him to shut up.” The reporter asked:  “What did he say?” Snead said: “He said the same thing every time. He said, ‘You’re away.’”

In 1949 Hogan was nearly killed in an automobile accident in far West Texas. In fact, the place was so remote that he nearly died before help could reach him. In 1950 he returned to the tour, but his legs were so damaged that he had to shorten his schedule because it was difficult for him to walk 18 holes in one day. In 1953 he was only able to play six tournaments and he won five. After winning the Masters and the U.S. Open (on the final day, he had to walk 36 holes), he entered the British Open. He had to qualify by walking 18 holes. Then in the tournament proper he had to walk 36 holes on the final day. He won by four shots and his score improved each round. He could not play in the fourth major, the PGA, because it overlapped with the British Open.

There are four “Hogan’s Alleys” in the world. One is at Carnoustie, the site of his British Open victory. It is located on the left side of one par five hole’s fairway, near an out of bounds fence. The landing area for his drives was very narrow, but he hit it all four rounds. No other player had the nerve to try it. That narrow, dangerous space became known as Hogan’s Alley. Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles is also known as Hogan’s Alley because of his wins there including one U.S. Open. Likewise with Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth where Hogan won several times. The fourth Hogan’s Alley is actually a street in the town of Dublin, Texas, where his family lived when he was born in nearby Stephenville.

Hogan was also the greatest student of the game that the game has ever known. His 1957 book about the fundamentals of golf was earthshaking (in the golfing world at least). Many great modern teachers use his insights as a basis for their systems. His book has been reprinted more than 60 times. Some of these teachers have even written books about his book. He understood the game better than anyone, then and now.

I got to watch Hogan play at the Colonial Invitational a few times and it was a beautiful thing to see. But the most uncanny thing was the sound that came when his club struck the ball. It was like no other strike. Since that time I have heard other observers, professionals, remark on this sound. He played a different game from everyone else, and if his legs had held up, his records might well have been untouchable.

What has this to do with Phil Mickelson? Plenty. Hogan’s record is rich with accomplishments at the highest levels, and he is one of only five golfers to win all four of the modern majors: the Masters, the U.S. Open, the British Open, and the PGA. The others are Gene Sarazen, Gary Player, Tiger Woods, and Jack Nicklaus—the best of the best. Hogan is also a member of golf’s great hall of fame, the four-time winners of the U.S. Open. The other three are Willie Anderson, Bobby Jones, and Jack Nicklaus. Hogan is, and will remain, in the top echelon of great golfers. Mickelson is somewhere in the middle of the second tier, and there he will remain.  Why is this the case? Mickelson is extremely talented, so what is different between the two men, Hogan and Mickelson? The difference is that Hogan was highly intelligent. He had brains. Mickelson? Not so much. He has squandered his chances to be a great golfer and instead became a great entertainer.

But there is even a stronger connection between Hogan and Mickelson and professional athletes of all kinds. In 1957 Hogan sued a publisher for unauthorized use of some photographs of his swing. He won, and that case became the basis for all professional athletes licensing of their name and image. So Mickelson’s 2012 income of $47.8 million includes $43 million from endorsements which he would not have received but for Hogan’s intelligent decision to bring suit. Many athletes owe Ben Hogan a debt.

So no one should give a second thought to Mickelson’s ideas about anything. He seems to be a really nice guy, but he is a dummy, and he knows it. That is part of his charm. Check the Internet. You can find the interview where he blew the U.S. Open Championship in a truly stupid way. In that interview he admits his stupidity. And it is not the only time he has done such a thing. We still love Mickelson, and we will always root for him. But we will never take financial advice from him.

Originally posted to hestal on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 12:33 PM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (160+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gerard w, absdoggy, cassandracarolina, Steven D, a2nite, MadRuth, kevinpdx, MKinTN, Phil S 33, mkor7, theKgirls, MI Sooner, hubcap, mnguitar, twigg, jacey, merrily1000, sayitaintso, ratador, kingneil, jw1, S F Hippie, JeffW, James Wells, erik in grayslake, peachcreek, Purple Priestess, TheDuckManCometh, Illinois IRV, Hey338Too, Buckeye54, chicagobleu, Mother Mags, Radical Faith, old wobbly, annrose, whenwego, jo fish, ybruti, eeff, shigeru, brook, oceanview, Wednesday Bizzare, Lorikeet, lineatus, skybluewater, Back In Blue, chantedor, pickandshovel, dewtx, Little, Cedwyn, fgentile, kerflooey, helpImdrowning, bumbi, Shahryar, Philpm, Laurence Lewis, Brooke In Seattle, WI Deadhead, mndan, rasbobbo, turdraker, Freakinout daily, Land of Enchantment, tofumagoo, Keith930, GeorgeXVIII, Julie Gulden, janmtairy, Tunk, rb608, arealniceguy, middleagedhousewife, psnyder, Oye Sancho, JoeEngineer, Trevin, wonmug, daveygodigaditch, Ckntfld, mskitty, Mimikatz, sfbob, JohnB47, MikeBoyScout, devtob, jabney, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, buckstop, begone, Texknight, Nebraskablue, NYmom, hooktool, Los Diablo, 6412093, SpecialKinFlag, llellet, kkjohnson, left my heart, Slaw, Nowhere Man, Byrnt, wader, newinfluence, jedennis, YellerDog, MA Liberal, VTCC73, nominalize, awesumtenor, leu2500, greengemini, camlbacker, cosette, Timothy L Smith, Clytemnestra, basquebob, chicagoblueohio, outragedinSF, Floande, Jeff Y, Dr Squid, eztempo, Russ Jarmusch, BocaBlue, Stein, wintergreen8694, Arizona Mike, SteveLCo, bontemps2012, jasan, citizen dan, AnnieR, Gary Norton, Molly Weasley, RUNDOWN, DRo, FG, TracieLynn, OleHippieChick, sc kitty, mcgee85, FoundingFatherDAR, martydd, flycaster, freeport beach PA, Egalitare, leeleedee, mmacdDE, PBen, klamothe, happymisanthropy, Shotput8, Wonton Tom, elginblt, Oh Mary Oh

    Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

    by hestal on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 12:33:57 PM PST

  •  Terrific diary, and great perspective (44+ / 0-)

    not only on golf, but on sports and life. Golf, like adversity, doesn't build character; it reveals character.

    Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

    by cassandracarolina on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 01:00:24 PM PST

  •  Wonderful history. Hogan was great. Phil will (33+ / 0-)

    never come close---in golf, or class!

    Sorry, but I will never root for Mickelson again---not with the attitude; "Me first"

  •  About that nice guy bit... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dewtx, bumbi

    Isn't Mickelson the one who made the racist comments the first time Tiger Woods won the Masters?

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 01:01:01 PM PST

  •  I sent my husband a text about (40+ / 0-)

    Phil's tax whine and surprisingly he "understands Phil's concerns." Bullshit. Phil's a pampered fool. He's a jackass for even considering uprooting his kids from their friends and schools and teams to save a few dollars on taxes. He has enough for several lifetimes...

    And even if Phil has a point (which I never conceded he did) he needs to just shut the fuck up! Retire if you want; move if you want. But shut up about the few more precious dollars you pay in tax that will fund schools and highways and medical care. People would be grateful to earn just the amount he wants to hold onto.

    Thank you for the history lesson -- I'm sending this to my husband. You made the point eloquently when I just got frustrated. I've been a fan of Hogan's since seeing the movie with Glenn Ford -- never followed golf, but he seemed like a truly exceptional and inspiring person.

    First the thing is impossible, then improbable, then unsatisfactorily achieved, then quietly improved, until one day it is actual and uncontroversial. ... It starts off impossible and it ends up done. - Adam Gopnik

    by theKgirls on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 01:18:54 PM PST

    •  theKgirls - you are right he should STFU (20+ / 0-)

      I think this is primarily a state tax issue. We recently raised the top rate in CA to 13/3%, tops in the US. If Phil moved to Florida he would have no state income tax. It's why so many professional athletes live in FL, no state income tax.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 01:23:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  theKgirls is also right about lifetimes of money: (8+ / 0-)

        WTF Phil?  I have never been a big fan of him, seems a little too eager to use that big smile and wife/kids.

        BUT, that is at least debatable.  What is not debatable is that making $47M in one year alone and then complaining about paying any measely portion of it in taxes is insulting to anyone who thinks.

        Not able to live the lifestyle you need Phil?  Need that extra money for something?  What would it be?  You are embarrasing yourself.  You are damn lucky to make a living doing what you love and absurdly lucky to be paid enough to support thousands of "regular people."

        You will never be able to spend that kind of money.  Your great grandkids will not have to work.  You are proving yourself to be a jackass, really - STFU Phil and go about leaning how a teacher/waiter/hotel employee lives.

        Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick. Message to Repug Fundies: "DO you really wonder "what would Jesus do?" I didn't think so.

        by 4CasandChlo on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 06:46:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Mickelson was raised in San Diego (15+ / 0-)

        and Arizona. He's not going to move to the humidity belt. If he didn't do it when the tax rate in CA was 10.3%, he's not going to do it now. I'm sure KPMG, who he shills for, can find him a nice tax shelter somewhere. Here's a guy who made $62 million last year, $53 million of which was free endorsement money from the likes of Exxon Mobil. Phil didn't have to do shit for most of his millions. He should be thankful for having made a massive fortune out of playing a game in which he doesn't even have to work up a sweat.

        I never liked you and I always will.

        by Ray Blake on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 07:22:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ray - well AZ is an option but also NV (0+ / 0-)

          The state income tax rates in Arizona are much lower than California and in nearby Nevada they are zero. Phils income is all earned income, little capital gains. The days of being able to shelter earned income ended with the Tax Reform Act of 1986. It probably costs Phil $3-5 million a year to live in California that he could save if he lived in a state with no income tax. It's not surprising that he is thinking about moving. My guess is that he tax advisers are giving him a big push.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 09:34:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The Nevada option has been open to him (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            elginblt

            forever. Why didn't he complain about the previous 10.3% rate and move before? That's three times the hit he'll take on the Prop. 30 bump. I'm guessing that living in Rancho Santa Fe appeals to him more than Vegas or Lake Tahoe, where the temperature differentials are severe. Mickelson is just whining. He's not going anywhere.

            I never liked you and I always will.

            by Ray Blake on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 12:30:58 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  But hey, state inc tax is deductible from Fed (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elginblt

        So it lowers his effective tax rate.  ;-)

        My Karma just ran over your Dogma

        by FoundingFatherDAR on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 11:13:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  FFDAR - I think the new tax law has a phase out (0+ / 0-)

          I haven't read it with care yet, but there may be phase out at high incomes so that state taxes aren't deductible. If that's true, and the state rate has moved to 13.3%, it could be costing Phil an extra $5-6 million to live in CA.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:03:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I think a lot of people find tax in excess of (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nextstep, bumbi

      50% to be unfair and, like the similar feeling re the estate tax, that feeling probably cuts across parties to some extent.

      •  And so few understand that it's not 50%. (7+ / 0-)

        They see a tax rate like that and think it's 50% of their entire income.  They should be asking for even higher tax brackets to be created.  It's absurd that once you cross even $500,000 that that's the highest rate you'll pay.   Of course, those higher rates need to be combined with incentives to invest that money back into business and other ways that put that money right back into the economy.   That's how it worked when we have 70%+ tax brackets.  No one ever paid anything remotely near those neighborhoods.  C-suite exec's did take all the money home either.

        The priest said, "Today's sermon is called 'Liars', but first I have a question. How many of you have read Chapter 66 in Matthew?" Nearly every hand went up. "You're just the group I need to speak to," the priest said. "There's no such chapter."

        by Back In Blue on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 06:03:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  with the top bracket hitting at (0+ / 0-)

          $450, it will be more than 50% on virtually all of his insanely high income.

          •  The top bracket is 39.6% (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            greengemini, elginblt

            And I'm sure he has plenty of financial opportunities, tax shelters, havens, trusts, etc. to secure quite a lot of that.

            But you said it best—his income is INSANE.  Even if it was 50% and no possible tax avoidance allowed, he's still making tens of millions of dollars.  No one is going to walk away from that unless they are an idiot.  But then again, he is an idiot. C'est la vie, Phil.

            The priest said, "Today's sermon is called 'Liars', but first I have a question. How many of you have read Chapter 66 in Matthew?" Nearly every hand went up. "You're just the group I need to speak to," the priest said. "There's no such chapter."

            by Back In Blue on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 09:32:01 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  BinB - for US taxpayers tax havens do nothing (0+ / 0-)

              For someone like Phil who makes his money primarily from endorsements it's all 1099 income. Post the Tax Reform Act of 1986 there is no way to shelter it. Even if his sponsors deposited the money in the Cayman Islands it doesn't help, the taxes owed are exactly the same. He can effectively use trusts to shield some of his assets for estate tax purposes, but Phil doesn't have large amounts of capital gains or other income taxed at low rates. He is paying full freight and that includes $3-5 million more for living in California rather than Florida or Nevada. Even when you have the kind of money that Phil has, that is an amount that will get your attention.

              "let's talk about that"

              by VClib on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 08:59:51 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Oh. You again. Interesting that you appear (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tobendaro, elginblt

        not to understand the concept of marginal rates, she said dryly.

      •  Yea, god, (12+ / 0-)

        having to help pay for the country that is so great you can play a game and make millions because the populace is educated enough, healthy enough, to make money to pay to see you.  Yea, gag me.  All the things that government does to make the country a success is definitely not worth investing in. Especially if you are a selfish asshole.  Then you should get to do what you want.  Because you're good at golf.

        Everyone! Arms akimbo!

        by tobendaro on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 07:33:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  thecKgirls (8+ / 0-)

      Taxes not only fund thebthings you mentioned, butvalsonthe roads that bring his adoringbfans to watch him choke. Sorry, play.
      And many golf courses are built with tax dollars.
      The big pro names like Nicholas and others, get subsidies  to build courses named after them.
      Jack made a huge stink about not getting funds.
      One would have to Google it to find the story.
      Not only that, Phil's f-ing rant about having to pay a bit more in taxes is more insulting when you think about how high ticket prices are to watch him pay.
      Even when he doesn't win, he still makes a lot of money.
      People who come to watch him and others play often save for months to buy the tickets.
      I was one of them a few times.
      He is disgustng to me for his rant.
      And his ad on his toxic Arthritis ad, with his smiling parents and kids brings in how much more money?  
      He disgusts me.

      America never needed so much in the last election and got so little.

      by snoopydawg on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 07:47:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I read a quote, I think by Hogan… (12+ / 0-)

    …he was preparing for a casual round and pulled a 6 (or 5 or 7, depending on my memory) out of his bag before leaving the clubhouse. An observer asked him why. His response, "there's not a 6 iron shot on this course" (or 5 or 7). The implication was that his game was so precise and so dependable that he wouldn't mishit a preceding shot which might make the missing club necessary.

    The reason for the quibble? It might have been Jones. It's a great story, regardless.

  •  Too bad Hogan couldn't use a golfcart... (7+ / 0-)

    due to his disability. Different time I guess.

    Casey Martin fixed that. Thanks for the diary.

  •  Thank you, Hestal. (7+ / 0-)

    That was beautifully written.

  •  Wow, one of the few diaries with brains! (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Back In Blue, hestal, bumbi, sfbob, DRo

    Should be published to a wider audience.

  •  Phil Is The Main Golfer My Husband Roots For (10+ / 0-)

    because he is a lefty like out youngest son, but no more.  Phil Mickelson is stupid and greedy and my husband and I could give a rats ass if he quits golf today or tomorrow.  

    "Don't Let Them Catch You With Your Eyes Closed"

    by rssrai on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 05:38:49 PM PST

  •  Thanks for this. Good diary and timely. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dewtx, hestal, brook, cassandracarolina

    For the life of me I can't figure out why these folks get so much money, more power to them. But they should have enough humility not to whine about things.

  •  Nice, Hestal. (14+ / 0-)

    I've written a lot about the history of golf, and love Hogan's story. ("Yeah, the more I practice the luckier I get." - That may have been stolen, but I still love it.)

    Mickelson - god almighty. That really made me angry. Mickelson is worth around $180 million. He owns a $60 million Gulfstream jet.

    Put his complaints about taxes against this:

    The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that more than 50 million Americans struggle against hunger. Of those, more than 17 million are children,” Aiken said.

    I normally don't do the angry violent thing - but Phil Mickelson can go fuck himself with a 9-iron.

  •  If Phil is dumb, I won't give him a pass, but (8+ / 0-)

    a D+ (instead of an F) for not being smart enough not to be ignorant and say ignorant things. Problem is, guys like him never see real life, suffering or poverty. The closest he probably came was when his wife had cancer - then the whole family got all this public attention and commiseration for it (because they're soooo important), and smothered in millions of pink ribbons and all. The other ignorant piece is being told and constantly fawned over on how wonderful and indispensable he is to the world and how much money he deserves for just smiling in front of camera, holding golf products. After 20 years or so guys like him actually start believing all that personality cult crap that they are truly remarkable characters. They're not - they just play golf well (or throw a fastball or...). I think Phil will get a bit of an education once he's savored all of the media feedback and discovered that Yes, we do begrudge you whining about a losing few sheckels while millions are in great pain just trying to feed their kids. If he wakes up and apologizes, I may move him up to a C.

  •  There's 1000 young golfers (18+ / 0-)

    looking to take your place on the PGA tour; there's 100 professional athletes vying for your endorsement dollars.

    No one cares if you play golf or not.

    I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

    by CFAmick on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 06:06:58 PM PST

  •  mickelson is a spoiled whiny asshole (9+ / 0-)

    he makes vastly more in one year than the vast majority of people make in their entire lives. for playing a game that most people (if they enjoy it) feel lucky to have the leisure time and money to be able to play. he should follow depardieu to russia.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 06:15:16 PM PST

  •  Yes, thank Hogan and the whole damn country. (10+ / 0-)

    Clowns like Mickelson (and every other asshole that thinks they did it all on their own) never seem to appreciate that without their fans, their public, the organizations, and the folks like Hogan who paved the way, tournament prizes and endorsement deals worth millions would not be possible. He'd never have the income or the lifestyle he has.  

    Only in the richest nations in the world can assholes like Mickelson even dream of making it as far as he has and never once does he consider giving anything back.

    I hope he quits.  He'll will be back before you know it.  

    The priest said, "Today's sermon is called 'Liars', but first I have a question. How many of you have read Chapter 66 in Matthew?" Nearly every hand went up. "You're just the group I need to speak to," the priest said. "There's no such chapter."

    by Back In Blue on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 06:17:30 PM PST

  •  you old golfers...! :-) (7+ / 0-)

    I enjoy playing with oldtimers. They can't hit it too far but boy, they sure can hit it straight. While others are wasting strokes, pitching out of the woods, the old guys are knocking it on to the green and taking care of business.

    •  Exactly right. I tried golf for an embarrassing (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hestal, brook, Shahryar, janmtairy, sfbob, devtob

      couple of years - oy. Best round ever I went by myself and this old-timer waiting for his tee-time suggested we played together. Dude was so smooth. Straight as a fucking ruler - and very little length - but a decent score. (Which he didn't keep anyway.) . Playing alongside him I played the calmest, straightest round of my life. And didn't want to kill things the whole time.

      I think my best hole ever was bogey. Sigh. (and this was on tiny par-3 courses. Double sigh.)

      Golfing claim to fame: The clubs we played with and left lying around the back yard in the rain and snow when I was a kid - my dad got him from his Army golfing buddy - Dow Finsterwald.

      Did I sigh yet? Or say "Oy"? For me and those clubs?

  •  Phil needs to go back in golf history (6+ / 0-)

    and see what it was like when a pro actually worked for their money.

    My mom's dad was one of the early Scots in American golf. He made a good living for the times - but there was a heck of a lot more to it than showing up at a tournament.

  •  Glad to hear from another golfer on dKos (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hestal, Little, brook, Julie Gulden, Utahrd, Slaw

    Great diary. You provide great perspective on this issue.

    Too often, golf gets beaten up on duos as an elitist game that ruins the environment. I also love golf, though hard to do when it is -10 degrees outside my window right now. Perhaps without these MN winters, I'd be a 1 handicap like you, not a middling 10.

    Perhaps if we could do a Networks Nation golf event, I'd attend.

  •  Sam Snead was great, as a golfer & storyteller. (7+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hestal, Little, brook, sfbob, devtob, snoopydawg, mmacdDE

    In the 60s, it seems to me, only the biggest tournaments had a total purse of a million bucks, now that is routine money for the winner alone. The pros of that era did seem to have a hell of a lot more fun than today's multi millionaire.

    Who cares what banks may fail in Yonkers. Long as you've got a kiss that conquers.

    by rasbobbo on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 06:25:22 PM PST

    •  Sam was loved by many golfers. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Little, brook, devtob, rasbobbo

      I was playing at a tournament in Hamilton, Texas many years ago. The course had sand greens. I went into the men's locker room and there on the wall was a framed sports page. The huge headline read: "Snead skies to 64!"

      The story was that Snead was playing in a PGA tournament and shot 62-64 in the first two rounds, hence the headline. I don't know who posted it. The pro said it was there when he came on board. No one knew anything about it other than it was real.

      A few years later the clubhouse burned and the newspaper clipping was lost. And after that, the club replaced the sand greens with grass. Time marches on...

      Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

      by hestal on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 06:32:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  For winning three majors in 1953, Hogan (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hestal, rasbobbo, mmacdDE

      took home $10,400 total (about $90,000 in 2012 dollars).

      And that's gross, before transportation, lodging, food, caddie's fee, etc.

      Most pros back then had to have something on the side -- Hogan wrote the book and started his own golf club company, for example.

      A public option for health insurance is a national priority.

      by devtob on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 08:33:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for this beautifully written piece (5+ / 0-)

    including a lovely and nostalgic look back on one of the greats of the game.  Very enjoyable.

    The Golfer's Prayer

    When facing outward on life's tee
    What ere may be my fate,
    Grant --- I pray --- this boom to me
    That I may drive them straight ...
    And if my best is not enough
    Then give me courage high,
    to go out there into the rough
    And play them as they lie ---
    And when on life's putting green
    Others make the cup,
    If I do not --- may I come clean
    And always be well up...
    So when my game of life is played
    And my clubs are laid aside,
    No matter what mistakes I've made
    May I have qualified.

    Anonymous

    "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy -7.8., -6.6

    by helpImdrowning on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 06:44:24 PM PST

  •  FIGJAM (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hestal, devtob, cosette, martydd

    I read once where Mickelson's nickname among fellow pros is FIGJAM - short for Fuck I'm Good Just Ask Me.

    Canada - where a pack of smokes is ten bucks and a heart transplant is free.

    by dpc on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 06:49:10 PM PST

    •  he's undeniably fun to watch (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hestal, devtob

      when he's good, he's amazingly good.  He takes some palm slapping risks.  But when he flames out, it's like watching a multi-car wreck...equally riveting in an unsettling sort of way.

      Woods is like a cyborg.  Mickelson is flesh and blood.  When he bleeds, he bleeds.

      If you google "worst golf meltdowns of all time", you will find links to at least a couple of Phil's most memorable crash and burns.  They are both hilarious and painfull to watch.  Even if you aren't a golf fan, it's worth checking out.

      I always liked him, I have to admit, because it's hard to be 2nd fiddle for so long in Tiger's shadow, and he did it with grit and class.  This story, however, has really soured me on him.

      I'm not a huge golf fan, so the personalities aren't that well known to me.  But today's athletes, across the board, are a long, long way from the sports stars we grew up admiring.

      Willie McCovey, the star 1st baseman for the SF Giants, pulled down 42 K in 1966.  Juan Marichal earned 70K, after holding out and "playing hardball" with the team's owner.

      As late as 1975, Cincinnati Reds' star Ken Griffey was only earning 16K per year.  Johnny Bench was pulling down 200K.  

      Oregon: Sure...it's cold. But it's a damp cold.

      by Keith930 on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 07:23:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I've heard that nickname applied (0+ / 0-)

      to several other high profile athletes, including Aaron Rogers.

  •  Bravo! What a superb diary (6+ / 0-)

    You can always tell when someone is writing from the heart about something they care about.

    Not only was this a joy to read, I learned a few things.  Thank you so very much.

    Oregon: Sure...it's cold. But it's a damp cold.

    by Keith930 on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 06:50:05 PM PST

  •  golf sticks (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hestal, tobendaro, devtob, cosette, mmacdDE

    I played golf at a club level. I took it up late in life.I am a woman about 5 feet tall. I could hit a ball alright but couldn't get out of C grade.
    I did something, you never mentioned here. Spent a lot of money, bought myself the latest, greatest clubs.
    I got out of C grade but I would never have done it, if I had to play with the sort of clubs available when Ben Hogan played.
    The modern day golfer like Mickleson and the rest of the pros
    Couldn't hold a torch to these oldies if they had to use the same sort clubs and ball they did back then.

  •  I learned more about golf in 3 minutes (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hestal, sfbob, devtob

    of reading your diary than in I have in my whole life. I grew up in Chandler Arizona and we had a classy resort that was built around a golf course. The San Marcos Hotel and we used to go there in awe. We would snag balls from an off property area and sell them. While my dad had a very steady hand and was a great sign painter.( He could do Gold Leaf lettering by hand better than stick on printed lettering, I have hands that seem to vibrate so being a golfer was not an option for me.)

    I like to watch golf but as you point out the current generation stands on the shoulders of Ben Hogan and the other greats of the last century who made the game what it is today.

     In many ways it is as hard on a body as football Did you ever get conked on the head with a golf ball? Man it HURTS and thinking back I bet as many people have received head injuries golf as many other sports. Google it and you will see where people have been killed by golf balls and even golf clubs. I know the toll it takes on joints too.  It seems like when ever a great golfer retires it is because of joint issues.

    Thanks again for the great history lesson.

    Our money system is not what we have been led to believe. The creation of money has been "privatized," or taken over by private money lenders. Thomas Jefferson called them “bold and bankrupt adventurers just pretending to have money.” webofdebt

    by arealniceguy on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 07:23:56 PM PST

  •  I must admit as a non golfer (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hestal, cosette

    my first thought was one of George Carlin's routines on golf that I listened to last night. In jest I thought I might mention it here but then I thought you might not see the humor in it. Wow, by the end of reading your diary I was in stitches with your funny yet classy takedown of Phil, funny and sharp as a knife and yet not mean. That's when I thought you probably could handle Carlin's bit about making golf courses into public housing.

    Enjoyed reading!

    music- the universal language

    by daveygodigaditch on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 07:25:49 PM PST

  •  Once, late at night (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    devtob

    I saw a program on public broadcasting that was film of either Hogan or Jones giving golf lessons.  I was never able to find those films again.  It was fascinating.

    Everyone! Arms akimbo!

    by tobendaro on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 07:47:20 PM PST

    •  Public Broadcasting shows the Jones (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      devtob, tobendaro, mmacdDE

      films from time to time. Hogan was filmed a few times, but he did not make a series of video lessons as some others have done.

      In fact, near the end of his career he was on the practice tee at the Masters. A fan asked Hogan if he could film him while he hit his shots. Hogan told him to go ahead as long as he promised to send him a copy. That film can be purchased on the Internet. I have a copy here. It is not very long, but it is very interesting.

      So, Hogan never really studied himself on film. All of his understanding of the game came from his ability to stand outside of himself and watch himself as he hit the ball. In his great book on fundamentals there are hand-drawn illustrations. Hogan worked with the artist to make sure that the depictions were accurate. Some still photos were made at the time and they are interesting as well.

      Hogan discovered, among other things, the plane of the golf swing and how it shifts during the swing. He had to visualize the whole thing because he had little chance to study films of himself.

      Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

      by hestal on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 07:54:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  A Book Recommendation ... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tobendaro, hestal

        One of the best books about the game & golf history in US is by Mark Frost called "The Match" .  

        It is a true story set in 1956 when a couple of amateurs named Ken Venturi & Harvie Ward played against Ben Hogan & Byron Nelson at Cypress Point.

      •  My sense is that it was Jones. (0+ / 0-)

        but I am mixing them up in my mind because we have the Hogan book too.  My kids golfed from the time they were 6 and my Ben studied and honored Hogan's book like the Bible.

        Everyone! Arms akimbo!

        by tobendaro on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 03:17:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Nice piece, hestal, thanks... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hestal, devtob, martydd

    Lefty would do well to ponder the fact that for many years professional athletes were working stiffs, not the highly paid and pampered idols of today, and to remember the many heroic men and women who, by their perseverance, integrity and irrepressible sense of fairness made the high earnings and endorsement income of today possible.

    Liberal = We're all in this together
    Conservative = Every man for himself
    Who you gonna call?

  •  I am a degenerate golfer for 50 years now, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    devtob, unfangus

    and currently work part time at a golf course raking bunkers.  I really admired folks like Hogan (and Snead and Nelson and others) who worked their up from caddying (I caddied too) and teetered on the thin edge of broke for years before winning decent money.

    If only I hadn't read the book about Hogan that proudly discussed how tough he was to break the union among the workers at his club manufacturing business in Texas.

    He may have been a great golfer, but he was flawed and human, and I'll have to choose my heros from other professions.

    Orly, it isn't evidence just because you downloaded it from the internet.

    by 6412093 on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 08:24:23 PM PST

  •  Great diary Hestal. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    devtob

    I started caddying in the western suburbs of Chicago when I was 10 and continued on into my 20s. I could come home to visit and spend a weekend or two at the club and make enough to pay for my trip. I caddied at the Western Open several times when they used to use local caddies too.

    I was lucky enough to meet some pro golfers over the years. I was friends with an assistant pro who was a tight friend of a pro in the 70s who was well-known for his love of the woman and free liquor on the tour. He would regularly be in the top 5 on day 1 and gradually fall down the leader board each day. He didn't give a shit. He loved the life of a pro and had the looks and a good enough game to make some decent money. He was there for the life - not the game. I have to tell you, that life was good back then. I imagine it's even better now.

  •  I only sort of follow golf and I always kind (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    devtob, hestal, Buckeye54

    of liked Phil, he seemed like a good enough guy.  He seemed at least like he could laugh at his own faults.  I'm never pleased when celebrities shill for pharmaceuticals; I was especially not pleased when Phil started shilling for Enbrel.  

    I have extremely severe psoriasis and moderate psoriatic arthritis, at one point my body was about 85% covered with psoriasis, I don't think I could adequately describe the discomfort, embarrassment or pain I went through every day.  Enbrel is very expensive and it's not something you can afford without insurance and let me tell you, you're not gonna get the job when your interviewer doesn't want to shake your hands because your covered in skin lesions.  

    So Phil wants to move because he has to pay a higher tax rate?  I'm just having trouble digging up sympathy.  Sometimes you just have to know when to keep your troubles to yourself.

  •  Phil Mickelson is a spoiled child. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hestal, happymisanthropy, wishingwell

    He should try golfing the East Africa circuit if he doesn't like taxes. I hear the Somali National is a killer..

    Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

    by OregonOak on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 08:42:33 PM PST

  •  Taxes helped Phil in many ways (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hestal, Buckeye54, Ref, unfangus, martydd

    1. He played cheap (compared to private clubs) rounds at tax payer funded public courses. He wouldn't be the golfer he is today without those experiences. One of the courses he grew up on was Torrey Pines in San Diego run by the city and Park District.
    2. He attended a public college (ASU) on scholarship thanks to taxpayer dollars.
    3. His wife received excellent medical care and was able to recover from cancer thanks to doctors trained at taxpayer funded institutions and using research and techniques developed on many of our dimes.
    4. Companies that sponsor multi-million dollar purse tournaments write off that expense (thanks taxpayers).

    There used to be a social contract between the wealthy and everyone else. They would continue to get rich and keep their mouths shut if we promised to not come after them with pitchforks. Build some museums, educate the unwashed masses, develop parks, foster growth in music and arts, etc. Somewhere they decided to tear up the contract.

    •  Amen To That (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hestal, unfangus

      ChasMac.  While I've played golf and enjoy watching it on occasion, I can't abide the political maunderings of its practitioners. They live in a society so blessed that men and women can make themselves hugely wealthy by playing a game as inherently silly as golf, and they complain about being asked to give a little more back.  It's disgraceful and disrespectful to all the souls who made this country what it is.

      Eat, drink, and be fat and drunk.

      by Ref on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 06:35:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  My name is Chas and I'm a golfer... (0+ / 0-)

        Yes, golf is full of privileged white males who for the most part are very conservative. I have trouble with some of the comments I hear. I fight back when it makes sense. Hell, I even convinced a lifelong Republican to vote for Obama!

        The pros are even more conservative than the average hack. Face it, golf is expensive and to get to the pro level takes tons of money (equipment, greens fees, lessons, tournament and travel costs). So, you're going to find few players that weren't brought up by fairly well-to-do parents. Me and 7 siblings were raised by a single mom so I have a very different perspective.

        Interesting that Phil backtracked on his comments today (after his PR team hit him upside the head). Sorry Mr. Moneybags, the damage is already done.

  •  So many of today's athletes don't have a clue (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Buckeye54, leu2500, wishingwell

    that the riches they earn (whether in contracts or endorsements) comes from the sacrifices of those who went before them. professional athletes of the last 20-30 years are some of the most entitled, spoiled, selfish and cheap human beings you can find. So many of them have been coddled from the time someone noticed they had talent - no classes for them, no hard work, etc. No, it's not true for all of them, so don't go there.
    But when an athlete who makes millions per year whines that they aren't getting their due, well, spare me.
    Mickelson? He can go pound sand...literally AND figuratively.

    Isn’t it ironic to think that man might determine his own future by something so seemingly trivial as the choice of an insect spray. ~ Rachel Carson, Silent Spring ~

    by MA Liberal on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 09:26:29 PM PST

  •  I was wondering why that was there (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leu2500
    The fourth Hogan’s Alley is actually a street in the town of Dublin, Texas..
    DR PEPPER!!!!!!!!

    I'm sorry, you were saying...?

    Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

    by nominalize on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 09:28:06 PM PST

    •  ...it was an "alley" Hogan walked down through (0+ / 0-)

      on his way get a free Dr. Pepper and see his father as Chester Hogan was employed at the "plant-feed store"
      ...the citizens of Dublin made it a Street and put huge metal entrances over it calling it Hogan's Alley painted in Green. That "alley-street" is about 120 feet from the Ben Hogan Museum which is officially recoginized by the Ben Hogan Foundation which his niece so graciously let be established in her uncles honor.

      Go here!

        http://www.benhoganmuseum.org/

  •  Great diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    6412093

    What I don't understand is why people are so worked up over what a golfer says.  Jesus, aren't there other issues and people who deserve your disdain besides Phil?

    It staggers me how small minded most of this is.  Figjam?  Really?  I guess too much good inauguration news is too much to bear and there has to be some safety valve for your vitriol.  

    Misplaced, childish, and unbecoming of the site.

    Finding Fred A Memoir of Discovery @ smashwords.com/iTunes

    by Timothy L Smith on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 10:33:57 PM PST

    •  He's a multi millionaire (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ref, MaikeH, martydd

      who benefited from public services his whole life.  But he whines now because he'll have to pay more to support this great country that enabled him to become wealthy beyond dreams.

      He personifies an important issue--how will we share the burdens of citizenship, and that does get folks worked up.

      Orly, it isn't evidence just because you downloaded it from the internet.

      by 6412093 on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 11:47:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  So are a ton of other people (0+ / 0-)

        yet no one is climbing all over them for their beliefs.  If you want to go after an asshole golfer, go after the guy who wouldn't shake Obama's hand, that has some merit.  Paul Azinger.

        What kind of a surprise or issue is it that rich people want to hang on to their money?  This whole issue doesn't seem to be about what a difference Phil could make, or has made with his money, but rather how unhappy everyone is that he is rich from playing a game.  Don't doubt for a minute that most athletes do whatever they can to shelter their dough, hell most of you do too, I'd bet.

        Could he do more, yes.  Should he pay more, yes.  Was it wise to whine, no.  Thats the story, the rest is childish whinging on the part of people here, especially in the face of so many other, important issues that need attention.

        Finding Fred A Memoir of Discovery @ smashwords.com/iTunes

        by Timothy L Smith on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 07:46:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am not a child. I am old enough (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wishingwell

          to be your father's father.

          And some rich people do give back to society. Some don't. But Phil's bitching reveals an ugly part of his character. To say that he has to change his life and the lives of his family in drastic ways is the sign of a weak, selfish, little man.

          So for you to say that everybody else is doing it is does not in any way mitigate Mickelson's obvious selfishness.

          We all need to remember that we came from somewhere else to this place, and that people came before us and they built a world for us. It is obvious and corny, but you seem to have forgotten it, and Mickelson clearly has.

          And, you idiot, I did not "go after" Mickelson. He came after me and the people who came before me. I helped build this world that Mickelson enjoys, and I paid lots of taxes. In fact, I paid the maximum for my income bracket. I always used the simple form and took the standard deductions. I have paid enough in taxes so that anything I or my extended family ever takes from our government is paid for. I have paid my way and the way of others. And my family would have done the same for me, I just happened to be lucky.

          Mickelson needs to remember that. He has been lucky and he should in some way be grateful. He needs to show some honest gratitude.

          Think how different the reaction would have been if Mickelson had said, "My taxes have gone up, and I hear lots of rich people bitching about it. But I don't mind paying and they shouldn't mind it either. We rich people have been very lucky and we need to pass on that opportunity to be lucky to others. Paying taxes is one way to do that."

          So, Timmy, stick it where the sun don't shine.

          Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

          by hestal on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 08:09:29 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Unless you're about 120 (0+ / 0-)

            you're overestimating yourself.   I'm 65, have been around the bend as you have, and obviously have a different view.

            In fact, I thought your diary was a good piece of history, and not particularly focused on PM's foibles, but rather on how others have behaved, specifically Hogan.  You should really go back and re-read (maybe your old eyes deceived you) since I was remarking on comments and not your diary.

            Age has its limits, and one of them should be to take more time reading before condescending, calling people idiots, or telling them to stick it.  If you can still manage it, go fuck yourself.

            Finding Fred A Memoir of Discovery @ smashwords.com/iTunes

            by Timothy L Smith on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 08:24:54 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I am old enough to know smoke when I (0+ / 0-)

              see it. Your indignation was unwarranted no matter who you aimed it at. I read every word of every comment on this diary and I read yours several times. Each reading confirmed that you are a kindred spirit with Mickelson. You shoot from the lip and say things that you shouldn't. This time you got caught, in public, in writing.

              So you are an idiot and you have proved it once more.

              Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

              by hestal on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 08:31:17 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  ...when and if Mickelson moves I hope he (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          hestal

          moves where the U.S. Miltary doesn't have to protect his "never volunteered to serve his country" ass...why do you think...Mr. Hogan paid his taxes without complaint and one of the greatest feelings he ever received was seeing the pay-roll from his factory provide livings for the families of the employees.

          Mr.Hogan knew that the wqreckage of WWII was lying in Europe and that there was suffering others endured which he appreciated as sacrifice for his abilty to be what he could become so therefore Mr. Hogan paid what his share was determined to be no questions asked.

          I feel assured if you go to Shady Oaks Country Club and discuss this with members whom sat at his table where his chair is still reserved they will inform you of the same. Ask Dee Kelley the Ft. Worth attorney and a confidant of Mr. Hogan as to his everlasting character.

        •  Oh and as for you! You sound like a (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          hestal

          boisterous John "Ice-chest full of beer" Daly kid.

  •  My dad's a big Hogan fan (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hestal, bontemps2012

    And made sure that all of us boys had a copy of Ben Hogan's Power Golf.

    The old LATimes columnist Jim Murray was quite the Hogan fan. He was following Arnold Palmer's group one day at Rancho Park in LA...

    On one hole, he hit the ball dead left, into a buried lie underneath beer cans, pine cones, fallen branches, even squirrels. Arnold spotted me, hitched up his pants and growled, "OK, wise guy, what would your idol Hogan do here?" I smiled. "Hogan wouldn't be here," I told him.
    •  I Did Read (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hestal, Dr Squid

      Hogan's book, and it was good, but nothing compares to Harvey Penick's "Little Red Book" for wisdom.  Hogan generously shared what had made him great, but Penick gives every golfer, regardless of strength or build, insight into his/her own game.  Not a knock on Hogan at all.

      Eat, drink, and be fat and drunk.

      by Ref on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 06:38:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great article. I will never root for Phil again (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell

    since he has now shown his real self. He is a selfish, uncaring, elitist who pretense at charity and good works is nothing but a cover for his true self.

    He is a person who earns more than 99.9% of the people in this country, whose relative wealth is beyond imagining for the middle class, and who is given all this wealth for hitting a ball-for being an entertainer. For him to complain about taxes, especially when the wealthy are under taxed by historical standards, is despicable. He deserves no cheers or accolades, but only contempt.

    Further, affiant sayeth not.

    by Gary Norton on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 07:35:35 AM PST

  •  Big money sports entertainment is for the birds (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rustypatina, happymisanthropy

    Hogan was a tough old Texan and one helluva golfer but what he helped create that benefits coddled "superstars" like Mickelson doesn't warm my heart in the least. At the end of the day Hogan and Mickelson hit a ball with a stick better than just about anyone else in the world.  But so what? Who cares what these guys think about taxes, unions, or anything else for that matter?

    PGA, NFL, NBA, NCAA, ESPN you name it.  An overemphasis on sports entertainment represents a lot of what wrong with our culture.  

    Take a step back one Sunday or Saturday afternoon and take note of what's being created to satisfy our collective demand (and it IS what we want or it wouldn't be produced)...phony tales of "heroism" and revolting self-promotional flagwaving, special interest sob stories (Te'o-ing anybody?), a subculture of jacked up freaks performing record breaking stunts to go ever higher ever faster.  All as a platform to sell us a lifestyle that encourages us to consume more and more and more (fill in product here).  

    I like sports a ton, including golf (was single digit handicap and a former caddy once upon a time and know the game and rules well).  But the business of sport has made watching the tournament, match, game...whatever go  from barely tolerable to just plain awful over the last 10 or so years.  It's hard for me to get past the multimillion dollar contracts and endorsement deals doled out to (generally ignorant) children who are then expected to be "role models", the billionaire crybaby business owners always looking to plant a snout in the public tough for a tax break/stadium, and the unquestioning knuckleheaded tribal members rooting for the uniform ("We" did great this week - ugh!) to enjoy the athletes doing what they do best...on the field of play.

    Hopefully the pendulum swings back a bit and the business gets toned down but I'm not counting on it. In the meantime there's always the option of getting some exercise by participating in a sport, going for a long walk, or even reading a book!

    "Those dunes are to the Midwest what the Grand Canyon is to Arizona and the Yosemite is to California." - Carl Sandburg

    by Critical Dune on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 08:08:36 AM PST

    •  What Hogan and others of his generation (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ChasMac77

      did was pursue a way to make a living. It is hard for us today to imagine what times were like then. Life was very hard, and people looked for some way to scratch out a living. Golf did not promise riches, but Hogan thought he could make it provide enough money so that he and his wife could keep body and soul together. He never made much money on the tour, but he built a name that enabled him to create a successful club manufacturing company, and his book was an unexpected success.

      So he made something out of nothing but an idea. And he did it with an incredible amount of hard work. He probably worked harder than any golfer in history.

      And don't knock those people who thrill us, who make us sing in our hearts, and who inspire us to do the best that we can do. Those people add much to life. And they should be paid for it. If they thrill millions, what is wrong with them getting a dollar or two from the people who enjoyed those thrills?

      I would gladly pay to see someone like Hogan compete.

      As my father often said, "Man cannot live by bread alone, he must have peanut butter."
       

      Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

      by hestal on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 08:22:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think you misinterpret my comment (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hestal

        I'm not knocking Hogan as a golfer, his character, or as a businessperson for that matter.  Though I'm guessing his political views and mine would be probably differ a bit.  I know his history, and the history of golf (including the early PGA) well...pioneers like Hagen, Sarazen, etc (I too am old). But what the multibillion dollar business of golf and other sport, where athletes are now "brands" (including Hogan, now owned by the fashion house Perry Ellis, I think), has become today bears little resemblance to  what hardscrabble athletes like Hogan and others built (to create a profession that could actually support a full time career).  

        Because of revolutionary changes in equipment, rules, training, science, and most important the economics and business of entertainment, most sports today, with the exception of actual play on the baseball diamond, only just "resembles" what the sport used to be.  It is all different now and not for the better in my view, especially the business/entertainment aspects.

        Too much emphasis on $port versus education and meaningful contributions to a better world.  

        "Those dunes are to the Midwest what the Grand Canyon is to Arizona and the Yosemite is to California." - Carl Sandburg

        by Critical Dune on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:07:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Lefty need to shut up (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ChasMac77

    Your rich, shut up and pay taxes, if you don't like paying taxes, quit playing a game that made you rich.  He was my favorite golfer, but it appears that he is a Republican, so more reason to make him my ex favorite player.  He should have an extra tax placed on his earnings for being a cry baby in my 45 years of life and 30 years of work, I haven't made a million dollars yet, as most of the folks who cheer for him, get a grip, you don't hear Tiger Woods crying and he earns more.

  •  You forgot one thing: in 1953 . . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hestal

    the top marginal tax rate was 92% on income over $300,000 . . . and I don't recall Hogan whining about that . . . but then again he didn't whine about walking 36 holes on broken legs either . . .

    I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever. ~Thomas Jefferson

    by bobdevo on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 12:46:03 PM PST

  •  I noticed in all the news articles about Phil (0+ / 0-)

    and his comments; the teabaggers have another new hero. They are praising him and feeling sorry for Phil and the rich.  They worry about the rich being taken advantage of, wish to protect the rich, but they hate the poor and want the poor to disappear.

    Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

    by wishingwell on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 02:45:51 PM PST

  •  thanks for writing, hestal! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hestal

    "For the world is in a bad state, but everything will become still worse unless each of us does his best." V. Frankl

    by Wonton Tom on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 02:55:01 PM PST

  •  Anyone that can make a lot of money (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hestal

    Playing a sport should be thankful they get to do that instead of the backbreaking labor so many do for a pittance.

    In fact, all those wealthy people who are complaining should just quit whining because they sound like babies.

    None of them work like minimum wage workers do, with creepy managers lording it over them and taking advantage of them, especially when it comes to minimum wage working women, who really get the worst of it.

    Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

    by splashy on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 09:51:36 PM PST

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site