Its Fourth of July weekend and we as Americans have so much to be thankful for in this great country of ours. Despite our struggles and our differences, we still have our freedom and a way of life that is the envy of the rest of the world. I for one firmly believe in the concept of American exceptionalism.
But just because we are exceptional as a country, does that mean all of our sports have to be exceptional as well?
Two weeks ago the media was gushing over Rory McIlroy’s performance at the US Open. The so-called “experts” were heaping praise on McIlroy while simultaneously lamenting the demise of American golf. “Where is the next great American golfer?” they wondered. “Is America losing ground to the rest of the world?” was a question of much debate among golf writers and analysts. Of course those conversations led to “is there an American kid out there who’s going to take over for Tiger?”It was one big pity party. It couldn’t possibly be that the rest of the world is catching up, could it? No, no something must be wrong with golf in this country.
If you’ve watched any tennis at Wimbledon over the last couple weeks, the conversation has been exactly the same. Hosts, reporters, and commentators all emphasizing the downfall of American tennis and wondering if it will ever get back to the level it once was when names like McEnroe, Connors, Evert, Sampras, Agassi, and Williams carried the dialogue.
I’m as patriotic as the next guy, but this doesn’t bother me at all.