Monday, July 17, 2006

Wie, Gulbis are even-keeled superstars

People look at a sailboat and say "the sail is making the boat go forward". Most are unaware that it's what we don't see (the keel underneath the boat) that is actually causing the drag required to make the boat go forward.

Such is the case of Natalie Gulbis and Michelle Wie.

Both took punches in the solar-plexis this week as Wie succumed to bugs, heat-exhaustion, and critical remarks by Jason Gore, in missing this weeks cut in the PGA John Deere Classic. Gulbis, who hasn't won in her 5 years on tour, narrowly missed victory, losing in a playoff at the LPGA Jamie Farr Classic.

Main stream media (MSM) is already sharpening their skeweres to denounce these superstars by claiming Wie should give up her making a men's cut fantasy, while those focusing on Gulbis are declaring her the next Kournikova.

Like people watching a sailboat....we will believe what we see.
However, if we go beneath the surface, there is a whole 'nother story we're missing.

In the case of Wie, her stated goal from day one was to make the cut in a sanctioned PGA event. This passion to reach her goal is not going to disappear until she does it. Bugs, heat, and Gore are perfect metaphors for this kids' unique ability to have an unwavering focus on her intended goal. Do you know that if Wie were solely in it for the money, she could happily dedicate her time to the LPGA and make a healthy living (before this week's LPGA event...she would have been higher than Gulbis on the money list!).
What we forget is she's running full throttle. She has logged more miles than Air Force One, kept a training regimen that would make an Ironman weep, she's keeping her demanding sponsors happy, all this and her number one disappointment this week? " I hope I didn't upset my fans.".
Meanwhile Jason Gore's disappointment: "she's sitting on her's unprofessional.".
Hey Jason, make more than 50% of your cuts this year and we'll be more sympathetic to your cry.
Folks, she's got a goal, she has the game to reach her goal....MSM (and the folks that buy into it) can get bent.

Gulbis is moving in the same direction, only tacking differently. Now a career LPGA top 10 finisher in her short five years on tour, she is unquestioningly the most popular player on the LPGA circuit. Thanks to an incredible marketing team, she makes more money doing appearances that she does on tour. Her number one goal? To win an LPGA tournament.
This goal too is unwavering. She didn't re-tool her swing with Butch Harmon because it'll help how she looks in a swimsuit, no, she's doing it because she wants to win. Like Wie, she has the game, and it will happen.
Both of these superstars are well within their limits of reaching their stated goals.

In a society that's driven by a prove-it now mentality, we are focused on immediate results. This results in a media backlash when the results don't happen. So goes the MSM, so goes public opinion. It wasn't too long ago when the media was all over Mickelson and labeled him the best player never to win a major. Mickelson has since gone on to prove the MSM and those followers wrong, effectively telling them "get bent".

So why does this critical-doubting happen over-and-over again? For the MSM, it's sells. But why does Joe Public buy into it?

Because they refuse to look underneath the sailboat.

Thanks for reading. Keep it in the short-grass,


No comments: