The Girlyfication of The LPGA

January17/ 2000

… Nothing dies harder than old stereotypes in sports so the following comments will only dent many viewpoints, but SSays readers deserve to be on the cutting edge. … The LPGA is no longer “dykes in spikes” or even androgenous feminists with lob wedges and attitudes.  Swagger explains why. ….. oh, and BobLee and the Editor of The N&O get into a quite nasty name calling slugfest. … (how is that for a teaser lead-in?)

BobLee has been involved with the LPGA through four commissioners and a dozen years.  I’ve known most of the “big names” over the past dozen years and, at one point, even knew who “roomed with” who on the road.  “Roomed with” … how is that for delicate terminology?

The transformation of the LPGA reflects the transformation of the Feminist movement in our society.  The hardcore feminists failed to de-sexify America and, especially, sports.  Not to say that certain reasonable aspects of “the movement” did not take root and improve society.

Title IX was necessary to get the attention of the “good old boy” network.  Yes, it has been abused and misapplied but that can be said for most every piece of legislation ever enacted.  We like to use sledge hammers when a tack hammer will do.

I don’t know who came up with the term “dykes in spikes” to describe the assumption that most/some/all the LPGAers were Lesbians.  It was a lyrical phrase and certainly had some element of truth.  The LPGA was a fringe sport trying to “demand” acceptance to a largely disinterested sporting public.   Many men admit to a fantasy of watching two women “do it” … the “it” is NOT “playing golf”.  …. (Whoa, tag that line for the archives!)

The LPGA is over 50 years old, going back to Patty Berg, Mickey Wright, Kathy Whitworth, Carol Mann, Betsy Rawls, et al … I met Kathy on several occasions … very nice lady … reminded me very much of Kay Yow … also a very nice lady.

   Nancy Lopez … without a doubt … the nicest, most gracious professional athlete I have ever known.  Rank her with Arnold Palmer and Stan Musial in the Fine Human Being category.  Nancy is an even more impressive wife (Ray Knight) and mother than she was as a Hall of Fame golfer.

Betsy King, Beth Daniel, Pat Bradley, Pattie Sheehan, Rosie Jones and their era of the late 80s – early 90s were fine golfers but, given other choices, not too many people cared.  What galleries there were resembled Lilith Fair and were as sparse as crowds at a youth soccer game at an orphanage.  The one player who did attract attention was (Taa Daa!) Jan Stephenson who was “THE sexy female athlete” of the 80s.

The rest of the androgenous players whined and bitched about lack of coverage, Jan did a provocative calendar, gave titillating interviews, and signed lucrative endorsement deals.  The femi-nazis were furious … their blueprint for being “taken seriously” involved not smiling and not shaving their armpits.  America yawned, and applauded the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders.

Crones with ruddy complexions, bad haircuts and no ankles roared and ranted but all the queen’s horses and all the queen’s men could not interest American sports fans in watching sourpusses with no make-up hit 220 yard drives.

Lets jump ahead to the LPGA of the past 3-4 years and today.  Rampant in-your-face feminism has gone the way of corfam shoes and leisure suits.  As a buddy of mine likes to say … “Feminism was created to give unattractive women access to the mainstream”.   

There IS a reason that Jennifer Aniston rather than Laura Davies is on the cover of 90% of the newsstand mags each month.  Yes, Laura hits 300 yard drives but so what … she looks like Chris Farley in a culotte.

With the mercy death of rampant feminism in the late 90s, the marketeers at the LPGA had a brainstorm.  Maybe “pretty girls playing golf” might work.  Duh!

A memo went out …

(1) shave your legs and (2) don’t wear khaki

   “Pretty girls digging ditches” would work … or “pretty girls serving burgers and hot wings”.  “Pretty girls” doing ANYTHING is marketable so long as “being pretty” is appreciated as contributing significantly to their popularity.  I dare the ACLU to try and make “pretty” unconstitutional.

To be fair … Natalie Gulbis (heir apparent to Jan Stephenson and actually a Jan look-a-like) and the ever-growing contingent of “pretty girls playing golf” in today’s LPGA owe a debt of gratitude to the raging crones who pioneered Title IX and helped them get college scholarships and develop their golf games in junior programs.  Natalie is very sharp … she has gained maturity to match her sex appeal and will be very successful over the next 10 years.

The old guard of resentful, frowning women with no make-up and chips on their shoulders has been replaced by an ever-growing number of “pretty girls” with excellent golf games, engaging personalities, wearing figure flattering outfits and who can look in a mirror without shattering it.

In the “old days” the only people wearing ear rings at a LPGA event were the gay guys hanging out with the Lesbos in the gallery.  Now, androgeny is dead and “attractive accessorizing” is thriving.

Annika and Karrie Webb are the only slight throwbacks to the androgenous 80s and even Annika wears bright colors and makes the most of her physical appearance.  Karrie is smart and savy but looks like Dow Finsterwald.

“The Asian Issue” … OK, lets talk about that for all you xenophobes.  30% of any LPGA field is now Asian … with three names one of which is either Young, Lee, or Kim or all three.   Yes, “they all look alike” to us.  If you haven’t gotten over Pearl Harbour or The Chosan Reservoir you might resent their participation. Deal with it.

What you might not realize is that Asians on tour quickly become fluent in English (pay attention Hispanics), have excellent golf skills, and realize that they must work harder to be recognized by America’s golfing public.  Most of them are products of NCAA college golf programs.

LPGA rookie Ai Miyazato is a pure delight.  No bigger than a minute but cute as a button and hits the ball a ton with a smile that could melt cold steel.

My personal faves in the LPGA are Christina Kim (THE best ProAm partner in all of professional golf!) … Stephanie Loudon … Kris Tschetter … Nancy Scranton … Jill McGill … Leslie Spalding … and Ai Miyazato.  Paula Creamer is “girl next door” pretty but weak in the personality department.  Morgan Pressel is attractively aggressive.

What about Michelle Wie?  Michelle Wie transcends golf (mens or womens).  She is simply an awesome anomaly.  If her name was Yo Han Soen and she was 5’6” she would be a 16 y/o whozit.  She is 16 … she is 6’ with Stacey Kiebler legs … already has one-word name fame “Michelle” and she is soooo incredibly glamorously attractive that men hate themselves for their lustful pedophilic thoughts when seeing her in person.  You can’t help yourself.  At this year’s Kraft Dinah Shore, USA Today actually ran this “up-skirt” shot of Michelle swinging … trust me, there are no “up skirt” shots of Pat Bradley in existence … or Laura Davies (brrrrrr!).

Check out an LPGA event in your area.  “Pretty girls playing golf” is as pleasant as it sounds.


 BobLee and N&O Exec in Nasty Namecalling Shootout …

    The ongoing peeling of the sordid onion known as The Derm Mess reached a new level of incivility on Friday when yours truly “got into it” with Melanie Sill, Executive Editor/ Senior VP of The News & Observer. 

A little background … Melanie and I have had an ongoing dialogue for several years regarding the N&O’s treatment of certain issues and the N&O’s “reputation” in its circulation market.  More often than not I commended her on the coverages and how difficult it is to please even a majority of readers on any issue.  She even commended Kid on her choice of Mizzou’s J-school.

It is also worth mentioning that I count N&O columnists Ruth Sheehan, Dan Gearino and Rick Martinez as personal friends.  Ruth and I have probably cancelled out each other’s votes for the past 20 years but “politics” doesn’t have to determine every friendship (does it?).  Dennis Rogers and Caulton Tudor have even glanced at a SSays column on occasion.

So anyhoo … Friday AM I dropped Melanie an e-note wondering if she had assigned anyone to follow up on Rev JJ’s offer to pay Ho #1’s tuition at NCCU so “the honor student …” wouldn’t have to turn “4 tricks in 36 hours” each weekend for Bunny Hole Entertainment.  Since the N&O gave Jesse public credit for his generous offer it only seemed right to report whether his check had arrived and cleared the bank … right?  I thought it a reasonable question … WELL!

Five e-mail exchanges in a 20-minute period and cyberspace was an insult-soaked battlefield of name calling nastiness.  Melanie called me “People like you …”.  I countered with you self-righteous hypocrite.  Then the Federal Internet Commission unplugged both our keyboards.

    The motto at The N&O is: 

We NEVER make a mistake 

(and when we do we damn sure will NEVER admit it)  

   In the words of Ho #2 (Kim the Embezzling Obscene Gesturer)

“What a crock!”

   Former N&O owner/publisher Frank Daniels Jr said it “best” when confronted with the N&O’s erroneous reporting in the Jimmy V controversy.   “If we ever admitted our mistakes it would effect our credibility …”.  That ranks right down there with SEC football fans who say “it’s only cheating if you get caught”.

The N&O was understandably gleeful when the Derm Mess first broke.  Whoopee … a juicy “Rich White Elitists Abuse Poor Little Black Girl” story.  They were already counting the Press Association awards they could rack up with their whizbang reporting.  Alas, it all peaked for Melanie and her minions when they announced the real estate appraisal of the home of one of the accused players.  Rich folks = Bad … Poor little “honor student, navy veteran and single mother of two” = Good!

It was The N&O that did the “glamour shots” story on Ho #1 in late April placing her on a pedestal of pious purity that Mother Teresa would envy.

The N&O is terminally conceited and permanently drunk on its own wine, but they ain’t stoopid.  The floodgates of facts have opened.  The modicum of credibility the N&O had hoped to assign to Ho #1, Ho #2 and The Idiot Nifong got flushed down the toilet lickety split. The Idiot Nifong has become a national joke. Greta Von Sustern has labeled him “an insane nut”.  Ergo Melanie and her fellow “objective journalists” at the N&O are now back pedaling faster than an NFL cornerback trying to cover Torrey Holt on a post pattern.

If credibility was measured in pennies, The News & Observer could not buy a gumball.  Makes you wonder how much of the Jim Black scandal is “the truth versus the N&O’s concocted version of truth”.

When this gawdawful mess is finally over, the N&O hopes we will all forget how they so enthusiastically led the lynch mob back in April.   Only Idiot Nifong has more invested in convicting the Duke Laxers, regardless of the facts, than does Melanie Sill’s newspaper…… But “people like me” don’t forget … and neither will a lot of other folks.

To paraphrase an old line … “Never piss off someone who buys ink by the barrel OR someone who has his own very popular website.”

Melanie never did answer my question about Jesse’s offer 

… inquiring minds still want to know!


 Swagger’s Stumper

 Who was the LPGA’s “blond bombshell” 

BEFORE Jan Stephenson.  

Hint, like Anna K, she never won and 

was criticized for not “saving the LPGA”


    Holly Golightly ate her “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, of course!  Lots of correct answers which we suspect were aided by reader wives. 

    Our favorite all-time N&O statement came from Op/Ed Editor Stephen Ford when queried by a civic club audience member a few years ago … “How do you explain the N&O’s 100% endorsement of Democratic candidates over the past 25+ years?” … quote Mr. Ford – “I wasn’t aware that was the case. That is quite a coincidence.” …  You really have to admire such insulting “cheekiness”.

    BLS’ line about “Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi leading the US delegation to Zarqawi’s funeral” got national play … if you consider 20,000,000 people as “national”.

    Kid’s big Graduation Party is set for Sunday at 3:30.  If the weather gods know what’s good for them they will provide blue skies and 75 degrees … or Mizzus Swagger will be kicking weather god butt BIG TIME!  … gotta confess, tough ol’ BobLee got a tad weepy as Kid walked in to Pomp & Circumstance on Saturday … a full report upcoming.  

 Want to e-mail BobLee?

 [email protected]

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