Reading “Between the Lines.”


You can learn a lot by reading, particularly when you read between the lines.  The USGA will rule today on a proposed ban against anchored putters.  If you read between the lines of another story you get the idea the ban is as good as in the rule book.  At a press conference yesterday Tiger Woods was asked his opinion of anchored putters.  “I  hope they go with the ban”, he said, “Anchoring should not be part of the game.”  Going back between the lines, in highlighting the details of the press conference this morning, USA Today detailed some of Tiger’s indiscretions this season, including three “drop” controversies and an incorrect scorecard at the Masters that might have cost lesser golfers a disqualification, an indication of his “favored golfer” status with all governing bodies.  Read between the lines and say, “Bye, bye belly putter.”  In the same interview Tiger dropped an interesting line about not having played Merion, outside Philly, the site of this year’s U.S. Open.  “I will play it before tournament week”, he said, “That’s when I do all of my scouting of the greens so I have very little (charting) to do during tournament week.”  Tiger, you see, walked onto the Tour with more than a hundred million dollars in endorsement money already in the bank.  He didn’t have to earn prize money every week to survive and, able to pick and choose, he never plays the week before majors, he scouts the major courses and plays under that course’s conditions while the Tour regulars are playing Tour events.  Read between the lines and you see the advantage Tiger has over the majority of the field when a major tees off.  With the power to make the move unilaterally NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will announce the league’s annual draft will move from April to May beginning next year.  The NFL has become the overwhelming sport of choice in the U.S. and once again it is demonstrating it’s hold on the American sports audience.  You don’t have to look closely between the lines of this story to understand that, by moving the draft out of the month in which the scouting combines are held the NFL will now have a year round supply of headlines, now claiming the back pages for a week in May, which heretofore had been a void month for the league.  The American Athletic Conference, the new home for three former all sports Big East members, Cincinnati, South Florida and UCONN, held it’s first annual meeting (why do I feel funny saying that?) yesterday in Ponte Vedra, Florida.  The three schools could have found a worse landing spot, but when you read between the lines of the new league’s lineup, you see they could have also done much better.  The three will be joined by Temple, Central Florida, Houston, SMU, Tulane, East Carolina and Tulsa, with Rutgers and Louisville lame duck members on their way to the Big Ten and ACC, respectively, after next season.  Between those lines you see a major void.  The three former Big Easters have relinquished a major spotlight they enjoyed for years.  No more will they enjoy the brilliant neon of the major east coast markets, with New York belonging to St. John’s, in the new Big East basketball league, and Rutgers, while Villanova, in the Big East, swipes up any part of the Philly market Temple may have hoped for and, with Georgetown, the Big East also owns Washington, D.C., while Boston and Miami now belong to the ACC.  For at least three AAC schools it will be almost like playing in virtual anonymity.  There’s a lot going on there, between the lines.  With a comment from the sports world, I’m Scott Gray.



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