First off, let me start by saying congratulations on a fantastic 2013 PGA Tour season. Five wins including the Players Championship and two World Golf Championships is one heck of a season. Yes, you may have missed out on adding a major which I am sure was a little disappointing, but you put yourself in position. That means a win at a major is certainly on the horizon.
I know that the season ended on a bit of sour note with that blowhard Brandel Chamblee essentially calling you a cheater for a few rules issues. His article was terrible, and didn’t make much sense. He compares your season to himself cheating on a test. His teacher caught him and gave him a F. The only way that analogy makes any sense is if you had won a tournament because of these rules issues. Yes, you won the Players, but not because of any drop. At the other places you didn’t win anyway, so I am having trouble making the connection. Suffice to say, the article was bad.
You may wonder why I am writing you. I am writing to ask that you not push Golf Channel to fire Brandel Chamblee. Yes, Brandel made a mistake. One could argue a pretty big one. He did however apologize. I know you may not like how the apology came out, but we should not judge how a person apologizes because we cannot know what is in their heart. I think without question Brandel knows he screwed up, and he apologized. Everyone messes up now and then, and everyone needs some forgiveness from time to time. I think you can understand this.
The real reason I am asking you to forgive and forget may be a bit selfish on my side. I think that Brandel is good for Golf Channel and good for golf. Yes, at times he is tough on you. He can be controversial and even make the occasional stupid comment on air. In my opinion, to be on the cutting edge is important for us folks who watch Golf Channel regularly. Consider Brandel’s wing man Frank Nobilo. I think Frank is great, knowledgeable, concise, and insightful. Just about everything you want in a talking head. His missing ingredient? He is what my father would call “milk toast.” Almost too friendly and not controversial enough to make the telecast interesting. Often when Kelly Tilghman asks for predictions, he hems and haws and only when forced relents and shares an answer. He rarely if ever criticizes anybody. Brandel is willing to take chances and be wrong. As golf fans we like this.
You may or may not agree with me that you have enough power to fire someone like Brandel. That you are only making a “recommendation” but I think that underestimates your place in the game. You are the king of golf right now without a real equal. There is no balance of power, you hold all the cards. Golf Channel doesn’t necessarily need you to do interviews, because to be frank you never give a decent one anyway, but it cannot afford to be in a fight with you. Only we golf fans will suffer if there is a long drawn out fight between you and Golf Channel. Both Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer have a great relationship with Golf Channel and it is very good for golf and for them. You need to consider when you are past your prime how golf will remember you, Golf Channel will have a hand in how you are perceived in the future.
So I am begging you to forgive Brandel. Come out publicly and say you accept his apology and have decided it best to move on from the situation. You clearly have done no wrong in this situation and it is Brandel who will need to rebuild his image from the comments. Everyone who follows golf knows you are not a cheater when it comes to golf and astute golf fans such as me know that you know the rules of golf quite well. These were blips on an otherwise complete clear golf rules resume, so Brandel is the one who will need to rebuild his reputation with us.
In considering this, I also think that forgiving Brandel may make his comments about you friendlier. He will know that you saw what he said and you were the bigger man. He will likely take it easier on you in the future and not keep saying that you should have never left Butch Harmon. On side topic he is wrong about this, but that is for we golf viewers to decide after watching him give his opinion.
Thanks for reading and good luck in 2014.
Photo credits: © Michael Madrid.