immediately after the British Open, a discussion started on
rec.sport.golf about the people who shout "You da man!" whenever
anybody in general -- or John Daly in particular -- tees off. Here was
my contribution to the discussion...
ALISTAIR HUDSON HUDSONA - WEBS wrote:
>... I tend to think sometimes
that we play the last civilized
>sport in the world, and it
saddens me to see cretins on TV like the one at
>St Andrews shouting "You Da
Man" every time Daly touched the ball. Prime
>candidate for deportation
there, I felt. Hundreds of years of history, an edge
>of the seat final round with
all the competitors battling the course rather
>than murdering it as in so
many tour events, and what's the best this retard
>can manage? "You Da Man".
Daly could have done golf a favour by wrapping his
>Invex round this cretin's
head. It saddens me that this twat has no doubt
>already bought his Ryder Cup
No no no! You got it all wrong.
You missed the point altogether.
In all likelihood, the "cretin"
was not British nor American nor a cretin,
but a knowledgeable continental
European golf fan. Actually...
For centuries, the Dutch had
fumed that the Scots and then the English
had "stolen" the game they
invented, "kolven", and claimed it as their
own. The only place in Europe
where top-notch golf was played was the
British Isles. Then in the 1920s,
an amazing Dutch golfer appeared on
the scene, Ulrich DeMaan
(affectionately known as "U" to his countrymen).
A prodigious ball striker, his
driving average exceeded 255 yards every
year during his professional
career -- by far the longest in the game
at the time. The continental
Europeans in general, and the Dutch in
particular, hoped that he would
bring some respect to European golf.
Alas, his short game was as bad
as his ball-striking was excellent; as
a result he never won a
professional tournament outside the continent.
Indeed, he died at the tender age
of 36, of a stroke suffered when his
putt lipped out -- a putt that,
had it fallen, would have given him
his first victory in Scotland.
And it wasn't until decades later that
the European Tour and the
expansion of the Ryder Cup broke Britain's
stranglehold on the game.
To this day, knowledgable (and
especially European) golf fans show
their appreciation for
outstanding ball-striking by invoking the memory
of their historic hero with a
rousing "U DeMaan".