Obscure Masters winner Keiser “sleeper” to replace Woods in EA/Tour deal
by Al Pastor
Sure, we’d hoped the campaign would be recognized but, honestly, I’m the last person to think that a homespun take-it-to-the-people power petition drive would have this kind of impact.
To review, Sports Business Journal recently announced that EA Sports had dropped Eldrick “Tiger” Woods from their PGA Tour game series. It was a brief note. Maybe you missed it.
“EA Sports is parting ways with Tiger Woods for its golf video game, ending one of the gaming industry’s most prominent athlete endorsements after more than 15 years. The company is already developing a golf game for the forthcoming Xbox One and PlayStation 4 without Woods.”
Fans of the “Missouri Mortician,” Herman Keiser, the legendary 1946 Masters champion seized the moment. A grass-roots petition drive sprung up trumpeting (politely) that Herman would make an appropriate standard bearer for the premier electronic golf game. It seemed like a long shot, I’ll admit. And I was on the fence too, for a time. But great news! He’s in the running for serious contention. Climbing up the leader board, you might say, in that sneaky Keiser way.
Not that others aren’t equally deserving. Rory Sabbatini, the frequently camo-clad South African who likes to mix things up is certainly high on anyone’s list. Especially with the Ben Crane option.
But, seriously, what clinched it for me was Red Smith’s sizzling description of Herman Keiser in action. Smith described him as “…the walkingest and waitingist and studyingist guy that ever won a championship” (April 7, 1946).
He hits a shot and then ambles down and stares with distaste at his lie and then he walks over some near-by hill and stands gazing unhappily at the flag. Then he comes back, glares at the ball again, lifts a club from his bag and takes a few practice swings. At last he stands over the ball and shifts his feet and waggles his hips and brandishes his club threateningly, and at long length he hits his shot.
Talk about growing the game.
I know. I hear you. You’re saying that’s fine, as far as it goes, but what about someone current, like: D.A. Points, Glen Day or Rod Pampling? I won’t argue the point. Maybe we should just let the TOUR decide. Put it to this and every year’s leading money himself, the commish. Don’t forget the winner of this year’s Chase for the Check. (Who was that again?) So many great stories, it’s hard to keep them all straight.
But don’t try to persuade me. You can vote for your own man. I’m sticking with Herman. You should, too. How about Herman? Hey, EA, the person has spoken.