Why Is Everyone Trying To Turn Mediate Into This Unbelievable Underdog?

Monday, June 16, 2008

I know the thought process is to try and paint Rocco Mediate as an everyman during coverage, but for some reason people are trying to paint him as a ridiculous underdog. Sure he's not favored (+275, just a bit under 3 to 1), but he's no slouch either. He has been ranked in the Top 20 before and now has four Top 10 finishes in Majors. It's to the point that it's coming across as insulting if you ask me.

The biggest culprit of this has to be Johnny Miller, who's not exactly known for being sheltered when commenting on Golf. Multiple times yesterday the NBC analyst virtually insulted Miller with comments he made in regards to his averageness. He said that, "Guys with a name 'Rocco' don't get on that trophy", at one point and then later even likened Mediate to Tiger's "pool boy"....

Miller isn't alone though. I don't know if this is the angle that ESPN has decided to play, but all morning long they've said that Mediate is an improbable foe for Tiger today and that he doesn't have a shot. Mike Greenberg and Trey Wingo even compared the matchup to Buster Douglas vs. Mike Tyson. That's just a bit over-the-top.

I understand that average Sports fans haven't heard of the guy but give him some credit. I wouldn't be surprised if he ran away with it today, Tiger's knee an issue or not.

Update: You can now add First Take with their "Chaminade-UVA" comparison and Rick Reilly's "June Bug vs. Hurricane" to the mix...

Johnny Miller Thinks Rocco 'Looks More Like the Guy Who Cleans Tiger's Swimming Pool' (Fanhouse)
Comparing Rocco Mediate vs. Tiger Woods to Buster Douglas vs. Mike Tyson Is Ridiculous (Fanhouse)

Posted by Awful Announcing- at 9:19 AM


Thank goodness for Miller's sake that Rocco is a Caucasian after the "pool boy" comment.

Unknown said...
Jun 16, 2008, 10:27:00 AM  

Good point, swany, had Rocco been Mexican, that would have been a big issue.

Johnny is good though, he pulls no punches.

GMoney said...
Jun 16, 2008, 10:35:00 AM  

I agree about Miller. Not afraid to ruffle feathers, but doesn't go overboard.

I actually had to look him up to see if he actually was Caucasian...or at least born in the US. For the longest time I though he was European.

Unknown said...
Jun 16, 2008, 10:38:00 AM  

Hyperbole creates drama! I hate how ESPN and every other sports broadcast has to blow up every story.

Patrick said...
Jun 16, 2008, 10:59:00 AM  

Of course Mediate is a huge underdog. I mean he’s a low rent golf pro from a small town in Texas, who runs a driving range and lives in an RV. He’s only here to impress his therapist. I just hope he doesn’t develop a nasty hook and the yips in warm ups.

Oh wait, that’s Roy McAvoy from Tin Cup.

Mediate on the other hand is a solid, long time pro who has won over $13 million on tour and just had a top 10 finish at The Memorial.

Seriously, listening to these guys you’d think he’d never been in a major before. Though in fairness, he seems like a relaxed guy who is having the time of his life, so I think his personality and demeanor (not an uptight guy who acts like playing golf is life and death) adds to the whole ridiculously underdog thing.

Anonymous said...
Jun 16, 2008, 11:08:00 AM  

Completely agree that this has blown up beyond comprehension.

However, 13 majors > 4 top ten finishes in majors.

That might prove that Rocco is a bigger underdog than we might care to believe.

Also, RE: that Rocco has been in the top 20 before.

Well, for a brief moment, Tiger was #2 when Vijay took over. That doesn;t mean he isn;t as good as he truly is now. And Rocco is something absurd like 158 now. Just because he's had moderate success in the past, it doesn;t mean he's a top 20 player now. He's still going up against Tiger, and anyone going up against Tiger is a massive underdog.

And this is coming from a guy who grew up just outside Greensburg, PA, and who is a huuuuge Rocco fan.

tecmo said...
Jun 16, 2008, 11:34:00 AM  

Reilly just said that a Rocco win would be as big of an upset as "Douglas over Tyson, Titanic over iceberg

pretty sure that second one didn't turn out the way you remember, Rick

Sam said...
Jun 16, 2008, 11:43:00 AM  

I'll take people making Mediate a huge underdog over people acting like Tiger Woods is storming the beaches of Normandy because his knee is a bit sore any day of the week.

Seriously, Johnny Miller said what Woods is doing is more impressive than Willis Reed and Kirk Gibson. That's terrible, especially considering Stuart Appleby had pretty much the same surgery at the same time as Tiger.


Doug the Punter said...
Jun 16, 2008, 11:46:00 AM  

Doug - http://psamp.blogspot.com/2008/06/lets-get-some-perspective-on-this.html

Anonymous said...
Jun 16, 2008, 11:52:00 AM  

got that from one of the commenter's sites. pretty much says the same thing

Anonymous said...
Jun 16, 2008, 11:54:00 AM  

Miller is a joke. Calling Rocco "lucky" yesterday was the clincher. God knows Tiger is a great player but the NBC circle jerk for him yesterday was pretty ridiculous.

Maybe an unbiased broadcaster would have noted that Tiger's knee didn't seem to be bothering him when he was strutting around the 18th green Sunday

Anonymous said...
Jun 16, 2008, 12:02:00 PM  

So why is whitebread Miller allowed to get away with a slam against Italians? Oh, that's what that was alright.

That guy is an insufferable prick. F him.

Anonymous said...
Jun 16, 2008, 12:26:00 PM  

I know this comment comes after the Open concluded, but I felt this way before the playoff began. All the media's stretching of the truth is fine by me in this instance. Golf is usually boring to watch on TV, so when network gets a dandy on its hands, the storylines should get pumped up a little bit to bring in the non-golf crowd. Tiger needs no pumping up, but Rocco had such unbelievable fan support that the networks had to do something to capitalize on his popularity. Thus came the underdog status, however false it actually was.

But let's think outside the box here: Do we always have to surround ourselves in fact? If it's something spectacular, can't we just turn off reality and put ourselves in the moment? Whenever a moment in sports is surreal like this one, I think it is fine to throw the facts out the window and just focus on the power of raw human emotion. I don't think anything in life is more exciting than experiencing in real life what exists only in the imagination.

Anonymous said...
Jun 16, 2008, 6:17:00 PM  

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