[hushed whisper:] The following is a reader editorial and does not necessarily represent the editorial opinion of Off Tackle Empire, SBNation, Vox Media, or anyone else you plan on suing over having your feelings hurt by the fact that someone goes not like The Masters. --Mgmt [/]
On November 12, 2020, you, Erik Van Rooyen, will become, by my quite possibly inaccurate count, only the 4th Gopher ever and the 1st since Tom Lehman to play in the Masters ("a tradition unlike any other," Jim Nantz whispers, while presumably smothering himself in pimento cheese sandwiches and feldspar stolen out of a bunker).
I'm here to politely ask you, as a presumably good and reasonable person, to ruin one of their cosseted clubhouse powder rooms.
Why? Cause they deserve it. They deserve it so much. They deserve it precisely because they don't think they deserve it. Erik Van Rooyen, you will never read this, but, please, on behalf of regular people everywhere, do this.
Augusta National is a terrible place with terrible traditions.
Would I give two fingers of my left hand for a 10AM tee time in March? Absolutely, but that's not the point.
Look with even vague interest at the history of the National (as its members apparently call it because they do own the nation) and you will find a litany of horrific offenses. This isn't surprising for a southern country club, cause the very term "southern country club" implies the horrific racism, sexism, elitism, and (to a Minnesotan) southern-ism that define nearly 100 years of the worst of American society. CBS and Augusta National are here to present these issues as in the past and triumphs of the club's progression. We now let women join! Reward us. Here, let us hold a women's am. The pros? No, that's not really the culture of the place. Maybe in another three decades. Our marketing teams tell us we need to, begrudgingly, acknowledge our decades of systemic racism: fund a d2 golf program (Seth Curry alone made a bigger commitment) and give Lee Elder an honorary tee shot. Do we acknowledge why he's hitting it in the first place? Hell no. Everything's perfect here.
There's always the same plan:
- Refuse to do X
- Defend ourselves as a closely held, private club (despite the fact that we're literally involved with administering the game and our members include some of the most prominent figures in public life)
- Wait 4 years
- Do what society told us to do 30 years ago
- Expect to get showered in plaudits by America's top talking heads
- Receive those plaudits. It's like Saudi Arabia but whiter, so we're more forgiving. We're familiar with this brand of ###holery.
I don't mean to imply that Augusta is unique in this issue. Shoal Creek, host of the PGA in 84' and 90', nearly imploded because its very old, very white, very racist owner told a reporter that they were very tolerant: they let in Jews and really everyone else but "blacks." The current! Governor of South Carolina was a member at an all-white club up till 2017. He actually refused to leave when pressed on it as Lt. Gov. Under the brighter spotlight of his election to Gov., the club finally added a black member. That a man can hold high office and feel comfortable being a member of such a club in the first place is, in and of itself, an indictment of current American culture.
Likewise, Augusta National is still that same club. To be a member at Augusta is to feel comfortable in a culture designed to exclude, be it people of color, women or, something much more acceptable by today's standards, the poor/middle class. That's wrong on its own merits, but these are also the people that hold one of the biggest keys to one of the world's most popular sports. You don't get to be a partner on the Official World Golf Rankings, act as key advisors to both the USGA and R&A, and pretend that you're just 300 dudes in Georgia. Or, rather, you shouldn't be able to. With great power comes great responsibility.
These are the big reasons why you, Erik Van Rooyen, should take a dump in one of their PRISTINE, lily-white urinals. However, there are also the small ones. CBS comes along every year to announce to us frozen Minnesotans that SPRING IS HERE. ENJOY IT. LISTEN TO THIS FAKE BIRDSONG CAUSE WE KILLED ALL THE ACTUAL BIRDS CAUSE THEY POOP TOO MUCH. The water is dyed, the grass is painted, Gary McCord got kicked out for the absolute gall of being interesting. Never call me a patron. The insistent terminology drawn up in Augusta's clubrooms and foisted on the world is so Disney World fake that it should be punishable by flogging. Half of America laps it up with spatula, and I'm gonna vomit. The only genuine thing here is the anguish. Thank you, Greg Norman and Jordan Spieth. Another day in this Potemkin village run by the worst Stepford Wives on 2 continents, and I may actually vomit rainbows.
Look EVR (can I call you, EVR?), I don't know you, your politics, your sense of decorum (though I do love the polos), or the lengths you're willing to go to sabotage your career.
That being said, I totally think you should.
They may not even know it's you. You might feel bad cause it's not a member but some poor underpaid shmuck that'll have to clean it up, and that's totally fair. But, please, think of the scandal. Think of their indignity. In
20 50 100 years, they will still be wetting their pants about it, knickers thoroughly twisted. The University of Minnesota has a proud history and culture, which I beg you carry on. As a society, we're far from perfect (lookin' at you MPD), but you can do so much for the greater cause of humanity by taking up the proud Minnesotan tradition of sticking it to the South. Every year, on July 4, [The Daily Gopher, where this was originally posted as a Fanpost] honors the 1st Minnesota's stand at Gettysburg. We still have the flag. This time, I'm begging you to take the fight to their own backyard (or restroom). It's what they deserve.
With regards and a Ski-U-Mah,
Some Random Guy on the Internet