Blog Entry

Pavin military issue takes wing at Ryder

Posted on: September 29, 2010 12:28 pm
Edited on: September 29, 2010 12:38 pm

NEWPORT, Wales – This could get uncomfortable, if not ugly.

At an event in which there has been far too much political posturing and nationalism over the years, portions of the U.K. media corps ran happily Wednesday with a story angle gleaned from U.S. Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin’s press briefing, when he noted that he had invited a decorated military fighter pilot to speak to his team.

Major Dan Rooney, a PGA of America member and a fighter pilot who has completed multiple tours of duty in Iraq, flew with his wife into London commercially on Monday and said had been asked to speak to the team about what it means to be an American. Spotted at the baggage carousel at Heathrow, Rooney said he hadn’t figured out what he was going to say.

“I am still working on that,” he said.

It eventually became the fodder for an otherwise slow news day.

The fact that the tabloids had no real specifics on the substance of Rooney’s address on Tuesday night didn’t stop them from quickly painting Pavin as some sort of war-monger. Pavin and several players were peppered with questions, including one about the appropriateness of using military metaphors at sports events.

Within two hours, unflattering stories were being posted (
about Pavin and his decision to invite Rooney to the Ryder proceedings. Rooney, who has a longtime association with the PGA, played college golf against Tiger Woods and is the founder of national programs called Patriot Golf Day and the Folds of Honor Foundation, which raise college funds for the kids of soldiers killed in action.

Once Pavin noted that he had invited a military man into the equation, it didn’t take long before he was asked about any symbolic ties to the so-called War on the Shore at Kiawah Island in 1991, when the U.S. team wore camouflage hats at the Ryder Cup in tribute to those fighting in the first Iraq war. The competition that year probably represented the low point of Ryder hostilities.

"I think the military awareness in the United States is probably at an all-time high," the captain said. "And I think people, certainly in the States, and over here, appreciate the military and what they do for our freedoms.

“That's what it was about at Kiawah, it was about supporting the troops in Desert Storm. Not only the U.S. troops but the troops from Great Britain and around the world. What the military does is amazing. To put your life on the line for what you believe, and for the freedoms of other people, is the ultimate sacrifice. It's very worthwhile to recognize that."

Apparently, that opinion is not universally held, even in a region that was bailed out by U.S. efforts in World War II.

Said Pavin of Rooney's address: "It wasn't so much a motivational speech, per se, but maybe a little more awareness of what's happening around the world and how, in a military sense, team unity and accountability to each other is very important. It was very quiet when he was talking. Everybody was pretty riveted."

In other words, Rooney certainly wasn't talking about storming the Welsh seashore and kicking European butt.

Though he had nothing to do with putting Rooney before the team, Phil Mickelson was asked about the content of the speech and shed little light, other than to explain that the audience was completely silent as Rooney spoke.

“I'd rather not discuss what was said, but I will say that it was like the quietest that I had ever seen an audience,” Mickelson said. “It was fascinating.”

Mickelson was bluntly asked by a British reporter why Americans seem to have "a fondness for associating sport with war."

"I haven't noticed that to be the case, but I do feel proud to be part of a country that cares about the civil rights of people all throughout the world and not just in our own country," Mickelson said.

Bubba Watson, whose father is a Vietnam veteran, was the one U.S. team member who offered some insight into the address.

"We all want to win, but at the same time, we are representing our country," Watson said. "We are representing golf, all of golf, both teams are representing golf and trying to get young people into this game...
"He just talked about the Stars and Stripes and what a big honor it is to put that on, and how we should be thankful for what we do. But all of us were emotional for what he does that lets us play golf and play in the Ryder Cup."

Whatever some might think, Watson was obviously affected by what he heard.

“My dad was a military man, he was in Vietnam,” Watson said. “[Rooney] gave us a special present last night. It meant a lot. My dad is dying of cancer, the doctor says three months to live. I'm playing this for him and representing the United States, and I am never going to be in the military, unless they ask for our help.

“So more than likely, I am never going to be in the military. So this is the chance to be like my dad.”

According to a source, Rooney gave each U.S. player a bombers flight jacket -- not grenades or other live ammo.

When stuff like this gets blown out of proportion, it's pretty clear to see how the Ryder has occasionally become a jingoistic affair.

Category: Golf

Since: Oct 7, 2011
Posted on: October 19, 2011 5:13 am

Pavin military issue takes wing at Ryder

I regularly head on your weblog and retrieve nearly anything you submit most suitable right here but I underneath no situations commented but straight away when I noticed this post, I could not protect against myself from commenting most suitable right here. Terrific report mate!

Since: Dec 11, 2006
Posted on: October 1, 2010 9:43 am

Pavin military issue takes wing at Ryder

Sports and politics .....and nationalism have been inextricably tiedat the belt in the USA for eons.
That is not a story. Unfortunately, the predeliction of some people, usually the people who have NOT fought, to make a big deal outof patriotic efforts eventually brings down the concept ofpride in ones country by going over the top in extolling the virtuesof same.
My Dad, a WWII Vet, taught me a long time ago that (extreme) patriotism is the hallmark of a scoundrel.
The problem isn't patriotism per se, but, rather whenthe John Wayne's of the world who NEVER use the issueas a bully pulpit to espouse all kind of BS.
And then these people go and try to tell us what patriotism is all about.
As with most things in life, it depends on point of view.
Whether we believe: We should not use somethingthat has enormous controversy all over the world (warfare) to argue forsporting victories when the military is so associated with much of whathas gone bad in the world.
The military is a part of the greatness of the nation, and should beused as a metaphor for the sporting victories we too seek.
The opinions shall always be divided.
That, and not patriotism per se, is what makes America great.
To be allowed to have an opinion and not necessarily give a shitwhat others as American as apple pie.
It would help if the opinion is informed. But in a free countrythat is not a pre requisite.

Since: Sep 4, 2006
Posted on: September 30, 2010 9:52 pm

Pavin military issue takes wing at Ryder

For starters, neilp, the word is heroes, not heros.  Secondly, not all soldiers are heroes, my father a military man would be the first to admit it.  You can't blindly annoint an entire profession as heroes.  Are some soldiers heroic, hell yes.  But some soldiers type reports all day long and sit in air conditioned offices too.  Sorry, but that's not my definition of a hero.  Finally this is a non-story, who reallly cares who Corey Pavin brings over to provide a pep talk for his Ryder Cup team, it's a golf competition for cripes sake.  P.S. if you see someone you thin kis a hero, tell them so, you might make their day, be they soldier or civilian.  

Since: Dec 3, 2007
Posted on: September 30, 2010 9:05 pm

Pavin military issue takes wing at Ryder

OMG. Why does it matter who spoke to the US team??
Because the person is involved in the military this is bad?

I wouldn't give a shit if the queen came down and spoke to European team.
Or the head person of their military. Why would it matter to anyone who speaks to the team?

We gonna arm Phil and Dustin with a couple of grenades or something?

I think the US team will have plenty of firepower on the tee anywway. Just hoping we hit fairways.

Since: Jul 24, 2008
Posted on: September 30, 2010 11:02 am

Pavin military issue takes wing at Ryder

The media makes being proud of your country to be a bad thing. I think Mickelson said it best that he is honored to represent a country that looks out for everyone not just it's own. As a firefighter who worked down at ground zero and to have a brother who has served his country for over twenty years in the military, I challenge anyone to find a better place in the world to be from. We have our political differences but we always come together when it counts. Golf is great game, one of honor and integrity, to question why a fighter pilot who puts his life on the line so everyone can enjoy freedoms, gave a motivational talk is just dumb. I am sure some of the older europeans thank their lucky stars that Americans were there to fight in WW II! Totally ludicrous, this makes me even prouder to be from the greatest country in the world, the USA.

Since: Jan 12, 2007
Posted on: September 30, 2010 10:15 am

Pavin military issue takes wing at Ryder

You cannot judge a whole country by the actions of few.  Steve Elling is yet again showing his total lack of understanding of the whole situation. Ask any fair minded person from Britain what he/she thinks of the British press and you will get an unequivical answer, they are disgusting sewer rats!

In my country is it typical to build our OWN sports stars up prior to knocking them down, there are numerous examples of this over the years. We basically have a two tier newspaper sytem, the tabloids which are on a par over here with the National Enquirer and the more serious papers that primarily interested in world events and the financial world.

Corey Pavin is doing what he feels he needs to do as a captian to give his team an edge, I highly doubt anyone in the European team cares about this issue. He has not slandered the Europeans he is just doing what he has to do. Is what Elling is doing in this post any different from what SOME of the press in England are doing?  I don't think so.

Greg you make comments about all soldiers being heros, and I agree with you but Greg there were more heros in the second world war that were other than Americans you know.  Funny how much you get upset about what the press have to say then you yourself spurt even worse hatred, Pot let me introduce Kettle.

The Ryder Cup is a great event and the sportsmanship of the game has to a very large extent always been present, long may it be so. There is nothing wrong with passionately supporting your side whoever you follow but respect the game and the individuals involved. This event is a wonderful one it always brings out the passion and tension like no other event and if everyone keeps their head and admires rather than disparages, then Golf, as it should be, will be the winner

Since: Jan 27, 2010
Posted on: September 30, 2010 9:41 am

Pavin military issue takes wing at Ryder

British media is, always has been and probably always will be pathetic ...

Since: Jul 17, 2007
Posted on: September 30, 2010 8:56 am

Pavin military issue takes wing at Ryder

Shame on the short memoried writers at the Tabloids - America and its veterans have GIVEN us all the FREEDOM to what we desire...EVEN WRITE MORONIC ARTICLES like they have about The USA and our Captain.


Since: Jul 25, 2010
Posted on: September 29, 2010 2:24 pm

Pavin military issue takes wing at Ryder

The one thing that you could USUALLY count on in sports is a lack of political involvement.

Now all of a sudden the damn Ryder Cup has more politics in it than the Olympics.

A sad day indeed.

Since: Dec 4, 2006
Posted on: September 29, 2010 1:52 pm

Pavin military issue takes wing at Ryder

Ahhh, yes, leave it to the those uppity Brits to take something so out of context and put their spin on it...I thought Cory did a great thing, asking this hero (and yes, all in the military are heros in my book) to speak to the's about honor, loyalty, pride, and sacrifice...whether it's fighting for your country or playing for your country.  Something akin to war??  Please, England, get over mentioned in the article, USA bailed yer arses out in WWII...sure, it was to protect the entire world from Hitler, but it was on your soil that we fought for your freedom as well as ours...and this is the kind of crap you want to write about??  How wonderful a USA victory will be on their turf...although I'm sure the british media will come up with a million excuses as to why they lost...go cry in yer pints of ale, you slovenly jerks!

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