Annika Sorenstam and Pamela Creamer are among the three or four finest women's golfers in the world, a truth lost on most folks since they rarely pay attention to anything that doesn't have Michelle Wie's name attached to it.
Thus, when opportunities like Thursday's come along, you'd like to see the antagonists do more than just argue.
What you'd like to see is some good natured hand-throwing.
And no, this isn't one of those puerile "Yeah, let's see a catfight" arguments. We're talking about two grown adults (gender irrelevant) balling up their fists, or grabbing the trusty 2-wood, and going deep. No snotty "If she says it didn't, it didn't" lies or lingering snottiness. A full-bore fistfight, either there on the spot or in the clubhouse afterward.
Creamer vs. Sorenstam. Youth vs. experience. "Move over because I'm coming for you" vs. "You and what caddies?" Are you kidding? It would have been perfect.
What is more, given the resurgence of the Terrell Owens story, it would have been good for the nation.
You know the deal, right? Sorenstam and Creamer are playing the 18th at the LPGA-ADT tournament when Sorenstam hits a ball that requires a drop, either from the hazard into which it disappeared, or from the tee. Creamer thinks the flight of the ball determined it should be the tee, Sorenstam says no, officials are brought in, the argument lasts so long that darkness sets in, Sorenstam wins the argument, and Creamer wants to lay her out with her wedge.
Instead, they hold terse press conferences explaining their positions, and then leave in separate directions to spend the night cursing each other from the sanctity of their own rooms.
Fun? Sure. Golfers are often criticized for being robotic clones of one another, and here we have two of the best in the game almost ready to drop down.
But they get no points for resolution because neither one has to go to the emergency room for an outpatient iron-ectomy. Very poor follow-through.
They should have just clocked each other right then and there, and for one excellent reason.
First, though, two non-reasons. Much as we'd like to figure out some tortured way to contrast the male and female conflict-resolution strategies, that would be stupid, and inaccurate, and it would get in the way of the larger truth.
Second, it wouldn't be good for the LPGA, because getting noticed isn't the same as winning fans, and the long-term strategy to improve the LPGA's profile is still stacking up great golfers and having them do great things -- although one or two really good punchouts a year would break up the monotony, if that helps you get through the day.
But the most important reason why Sorenstam and Creamer should have gone at it is this:
It would have spared the United States of America another round of T.O.-Mania.
The recalcitrant wide receiver with the cloth-eared agent went for his arbitration hearing Friday to get himself reinstated by the Philadelphia Eagles amid reports that some of the Eagles want him back. Thus, this social disease of a story is back front and center even though we expressly heard the nation tell everyone involved last week, "Shut your brainless yaps already."
Thus, the only way to beat back the rising tide of Owens Redux was something more spectacular, something amazing, something we haven't seen before. And since Pete Carroll isn't going to set himself on fire to show his love for USC, we need someone good at improvisation.
And Creamer-v.-Sorenstam, 12 rounds for the bantamweight championship of the Trump International Golf Course, would have been ideal. Hell, there hasn't been a good PGA fight in decades, and as far as we know, there has never been a good LPGA fight, let alone one between top-of-the-food-chainers.
We're not advocating violence for its own sake, for that would be wrong. We are, however, advocating spectacle for its own sake, because we as a nation can no longer endure the Owens story in its many revolting permutations. We need something else, and this could have been it.
One punch or 30, quickly broken up or a Marx Brothers stateroom scene in which elderly marshals are hurled into the lake every 15 seconds, we'd have taken nearly anything. In a nation seemingly numbed by the repeated stupidities of the famous, this would have been something different –- a one-off to get Owens, and especially the noted reptilian invertebrate Drew Rosenhaus, out of our heads.
Unfortunately, cooler heads prevailed, and Owens was the lead story again.
Oh, I suppose there's something to be said for dignity in conflict resolution, and it's certainly possible that Creamer and Sorenstam later got together, mended fences over a delicious nutritious beaker of Tractor Shed Red, and are now famous friends.
But as Eric Idle once repeatedly shrieked in a Monty Python episode, "Where's the fun in that?"
Especially when we know the hideous alternative, currently playing on perpetual tape loop in our defenseless heads?