< link rel="DCTERMS.isreplacedby" href="http://jayflemma.travelgolf.com" >

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Geoff Shackelford and E.M. Smith of SI on Michelle Wie and her caddy

Geoff Shackelford has an excellent short piece and link to E.M. Smith's S.I. article on Michelle Wie and the unceremonious way in which her caddy was fired.

I'll just say this. All people face difficult situations and duties in their lives. It is how they handle themselves in those situations by which they are judged.

If Michelle had grace and character, she would have taken this opportunity to have a heart to heart chat with her caddy. Someday, BJ and her mom are not going to be there. Here was a chance to show the world some true mettle - maturity beyond her years - something we see in her talent, but not often in her.

But when you are "only 16," have a publicity army calling the shots for you and get whatever you want, responsibility frequently gets postponed.

As a lawyer who represents talent - some under the age of 18 - I have seen too many examples of overly protective parents ruining their children's career in so many different ways. Usually the problem is they try to live vicariously through the child, but overprotectiveness is a close second.

Also one of the biggest problems that our country needs to solve is how to move away from this culture we've enabled which stresses avoiding personal responsibility and enables "victims." Floyd Landis comes to mind immediately.

As another example, some of the professional entertainers I represent have the mettle to handle tough issues head on in a businesslike, if misguided way. But this is always preferable to "Well I hire, but someone else fires."

For once, at SOME press conference, I would like to hear Michelle say "I made a mistake" or "I played poorly" or "I should have done that differently." But I see so litle of the real Michelle. Instead I hear the voice of the handlers and it sounds like alot of nonesense, doubletalk and evasion.

Maybe the wrong person got fired this week.

You know...the PGA Tour is not going anywhere...and there is always Q school too.

I wonder effect what this rather unseemly event will have on her free passes to tournaments? I guess much depends on her performance in the Evian European Masters and the 84 Lumber Classic.

Michelle could have so many more fans. All she would have to do is be herself, be a little more realistic and candid. Instead a sixteen-soon-to-be-17-year-old finds herself a polarizing figure in the center of a firestorm.

Is it really fair to a 16 y/o to place them in such a crucible? Think back to when you were 16. I wasn't irresponsible, but I sure was a teenager. Yes, we have to be sensitive to that, but it is not unfair to expect Michelle, who wants to shoulder history, to also elevate her personal dignity and social conduct too. Something has to give here, because right now I see the pressure mounting. God forbid she becomes burned out like Jennifer Capriati. Michelle's a young woman at an important crossroads here. The lesson she learns now about character and responsibility will affect her for years to come - and DEFINITELY will affect her career in the immediate future. Yes, lots of people have alot of money riding on her, but are they thinking long term?

That's another problem our society has been sweeping too much under the rug lately.


Post a Comment

<< Home