See those tees? They’re called Cavi-Tees. And if I’m the marketing guy for whoever is producing or selling those things, I’m on the phone with Rory McIlroy’s agent immediately. This whole wisdom tooth thing sounds just so silly that the best thing Rory could do right now is make fun of it himself. I mean, come on. A tooth? That’s your excuse for playing poorly then quitting? And of all sports…playing GOLF poorly? Wow…it’s no wonder people say golfers are not athletes.
Speaking from experience, this is not something that just starts hurting all of a sudden. Trust me…I had five wisdom teeth removed. I know it sounds strange, unbelieveable even. I thought I was some kind of freak, but my dentist told me he sees it about 10-12 times per year, so it’s not all that uncommon I guess. But despite having them all removed, I worked up until the day before I had them taken out and missed only one day of work afterward…doctors orders, but I didn’t feel it was necessary. Even further, I just watched my brother-in-law go through the same thing. He was in pain but continued to work his physically strenuous job, even delaying his surgery a week at one point because work was just too busy. But Rory can’t swing a golf club?
It was in 1979 when Jack Youngblood of the Los Angeles Rams famously played two playoff games and the Super Bowl on a broken fibula. And if he hadn’t set the ultimate tough guy bar high enough, he even played the meaningless Pro Bowl a week after! A broken leg! And he was playing football! But a wisdom tooth for a golfer?
To a lesser extent, it was 1985 when NFL Hall-of-Famer Ronnie Lott had his left pinky finger crushed between an opposing players helmet and his own chest pads during a game. Another player described it as his finger having “exploded.” I read one article which stated he actually had to pick up a piece of his finger off the field. He went to the sideline, had it taped up and returned to the game. Then, in the off-season, rather than have surgery that would cause him to miss the start of the the next season, he elected to have part of the finger amputated instead!
My point here? Get the tooth removed! It took about an hour from start to finish for me to have five of them removed! How long could it take? If that tooth doesn’t get removed this week, or at least by his next tournament, then I’m calling bullcrap on the whole issue.
People who are not golf fans (or are just casual fans), are looking at this story and laughing. They’re looking at a sport like football and seeing how players play through pain in a sport that is much more physically demanding than golf. There are players who are out there every week with a strained this or a pulled that. A twisted something or a sprained other thing. But a golfer’s tooth hurts and he has to leave early.
I understand that there is some pain involved with a wisdom tooth. But no matter what way you look at it, the whole story just makes golfers look like a bunch of pansies. Non-golf fans don’t take into account that there is a level of concentration required in order to successfully play golf, and a level of pain negatively affects that concentration. But you know what? They don’t care either because that’s true in every sport…not just golf, as so many would have you believe.
What I’m saying is, this whole tooth thing had better be true and it had better be a significant amount of pain. If not, and if it comes across like just the poor excuse that it looks like now, then it’s not going to do any favors for the “golfers aren’t athletes” crowd.
Swing ’til you’re happy!