As Texas native Patrick Reed fought to hold on to win the Masters Sunday, something strange was building up online. A groundswell of support for Patrick Reed was forming – support for him to lose.
I have nothing against appreciating the Sunday charges of Rickie Fowler (-5) and Jordan Spieth (-8) to get them in the mix for title contention, but the rooting against Reed, who entered Sunday -14 and on top the leaderboard was rather strange.
At this point is when the dirtiness started coming out. Media was going to leak all of Reed’s dirty laundry on the day of his greatest career achievement.
With his win at the Masters, many members of the media could not allow the man known as Captain America for his incredible record in international play enjoy his day. They could not sit by and idly watch as CBS’ broadcast team heaped praise upon the 27 year old Spring. There had to be mud throwing.
As a media member, I am certainly not above throwing mud. I just try to throw mud only when it’s deserved.
Some media members decided to go all in on their disdain of Reed, a guy who has been voted among the least liked golfers but for reasons that are quite puzzling, because it seems he would have a lot in common with many well liked golfers.
Reed is confident, maybe arrogant. He believes he’s one of the best golfers in the world. Apparently this rubs some the wrong way. I don’t see how a professional athlete cannot think this way. Thinking you’re inferior to your competitors just gets you beat before you even start.
That wasn’t enough though. The digging up of the rift between him and his family is downright intrusive. Reed and his wife are estranged from Reed’s parents and siblings. Many chastised CBS for not bringing this up during the broadcast. Why should they?
The bottom line is no one in the media knows all the facts here. Actually they hardly know any. Reed and his wife keep their private family matters to themselves. Reed’s mother believes that telling Patrick he was too young to marry his wife is the cause of the rift. Her statement about that is the only info anyone has, hardly enough information to be broadcasting about, and what does any of it have to do with his play on the golf course?
Demanding that the broadcast team air his family’s dirty laundry, especially with virtually no information, on the day he wins the Masters is just pure douchery on the part of the media. It’s exactly why so many fans don’t like the media. It reeks of trying to be a muck stirrer for no other reason than that muck sells.
Should we hold everyone else to that same standard? If we asked the golf broadcast team to air Tiger Woods’ dirty laundry on every broadcast, they would never have time to talk about anything else all day.
I know I don’t want to hear about the Aaron Rodgers family dispute every time the Packers play. That isn’t why we watch sports.
Many fans think the media goes out of their way to be negative to anyone who isn’t considered a “chosen one.” The way so many treated Patrick Reed from Sunday to Wednesday underscores this sentiment.
Golf fans and media are funny like that. They don’t like Patrick Reed because he’s brash, he drops f bombs, he’s estranged from his parents, yet they love Tiger Woods, who’s brash, drops f bombs, and destroyed his family. Tiger even takes it a few steps further with his prescription drug abuse, being notoriously cheap (Tiger doesn’t tip) and being the sports world’s most famous serial cheater (although Cavs center Tristan Thompson apparently wants to make a run at this).
So Reed is hated yet Tiger is loved for having similar traits? Except that Reed isn’t cheating on his wife or abusing drugs?
Reed may not be a perfect guy, but that is one of the things that I like about him. He isn’t fake. He is just who he is. If sometimes he’s a jerk, well sometimes I’m a jerk, so I’m good with that. He drops some f bombs, so do I, so do you. So what? I like that he’s a real guy, and I root for him because of that.
Yes, I’m a member of the media calling out my own. Not every story in sports has to attack someone.
Go wear that green jacket all over town, Mr. Reed. Enjoy your victory.
Patrick Creighton is the host of “Straight Heat” heard Monday-Friday 9p-12a CT on SB Nation Radio & SportsMap 94.1 FM Houston. He also hosts “Nate & Creight” Sundays 12-5p CT on SB Nation Radio & SportsMap 94.1 FM. Follow him on Twitter: @pcreighton1