It’s one thing to wish everyone “Happy Holidays”. I’ve been doing that since long before it was the politically correct thing to do. Way back when, I used Happy Holidays to signify that Christmas and New Year’s were approaching. Today, of course, it’s used in order to not offend someone with what I’ve dubbed “the new c-word” – Christmas.
If I had the time and Photoshop, I’d have added another red circle with line through it over the one shown above, rendering the message a double-negative, or, “no no Christmas”.
Christmas parties have been replaced by Holiday parties – heck, not even only at the office these days, but even individuals have begun labeling them Holiday parties – as did one of the Disney channel celebrities as she referenced her own Holiday party.
We’ve even seen Christmas trees replaced with “Holiday Trees” in some places of business. Yikes.
But here’s the topper: now we have “Winter Parties” – for example, at my kids’ school. Winter parties? We’re celebrating simply the 3-month season of Winter?
That reminds me, too, of the premise that a significant portion of the “Holiday” songs played this time of year have nothing to do with Christmas. Sleigh Ride, Let It Snow and It’s Cold Outside are the three that spring to mind (pun intended). These are all simply songs about the Winter season – they should just as fittingly be played in February and early March as in December, because they have absolutely nothing to do with Christmas. And no, I’m not trying to suggest that it’s only a true Christmas song if it pertains to the birth of Christ. I’m offering that it is only a Christmas song if it references anything to do with Christmas, even the secular version – i.e., Santa, Rudolph, deck the halls, etc. They, too, are mere celebrations of Winter.
On the movie front, there’s one particular movie that seems to be associated with Christmas, played on TMC at that time of year. It’s Meet Me In St. Louis starring Judy Garland, and it takes us through an entire year of the family portrayed, but it culminates with Garland singing, “Have Yourself A Merry Christmas” – hence, it’s considered a Christmas movie. I’ve even been on the fence about whether It’s A Wonderful Life should be viewed as a Christmas movie, but that one is more centered around Christmas than St. Louis – especially with the signature “Angel gets his wings” moment.
Anyway, “Winter party” is ludicrous. Don’t forget – why not remind you at this point – that we’re not far off from the lesser-known “War on Easter”. It’s coming. That features “Spring celebrations” at public schools, including the formulation of “Spring Baskets” (filled with “Spring Eggs” – or maybe Spring Rolls would be more fitting) – in lieu of Easter Baskets. Because you also can’t use the e-word, evidently.
So have a Merry Christmas, AND a Wonderful Winterful Winter; Super-Duper Spring will be here soon, and Sizzling Summer too! Hope you had a nice Fall… in our country’s culture, that is.
Though it’s been out for five Christmases, it only struck me this year when I watched the Miser Brothers Christmas Special that the old guys were still contributing to the cause.
When I saw the opening credits and Mickey Rooney’s name popped up as Santa Claus – fully 34 years after he originally played the role in The Year Without A Santa Claus, featuring the Miser Brothers – I thought, “Mickey Rooney? What is he, a hundred years old???”
Turns out at the time he was only 88 – born in 1920.
Several days later, I rediscovered the fact that Rooney more recently had a cameo in The Muppet Movie. Still going!
But just as noteworthy was that the original Heat Miser, George S. Irving, was also back at age 86 – and sounded exactly the same as he did when he first crooned the Heat Miser theme back in 1974. Amazing! (Dick Shawn, who played the original Snow Miser, had passed in 1987.)
That prompted me into a stream-of-consciousness episode where I also thought about Ed Asner in Disney’s Up – of course I remember thinking he looked old back in the 60s when he played Lou Grant, so how old must he have been in 2009 when Up was made?
The answer: he was 80; and so was costar Christopher Plummer, just a couple months Asner’s junior.
Not to be outdone, sticking with the animation theme, and in this case, Christmas as well – don’t overlook Jonathan Winters ‘ narration of Steve Odekirk’s hopefully-soon-to-be-a-cult-classic-like-Polar-Express called, Santa vs. the Snowman.
Ah, but checking IMDB.com, the Winters citation is a bit misleading. I had thought the movie was brand new when I first saw it at an IMAX theater in 2008, I think. Winters, born in 1925, would’ve been 83 at that point. However, the film was apparently made way back in 1997 – it must’ve been popularized at IMAX theaters; the 3D version was released in 2002. So that means Winters, who passed away in 2013, was actually only 72 when the film was made.
Final note: during ABC Family’s 25 days of Christmas programming, I caught some of Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July. This one looked and sounded as if it were made right on the heels of the first two Rudolph offerings in mid-60s. Alas, it was made in 1979. It, too, featured most of the same voices from the early Rankin Bass gems, including Red Buttons, who was Father Time in the all-over-the-map, Rudolph-jumps-the-shark Rudolph’s Shiny New Year. Rooney was also Santa Claus in this one. Frank Gorshin was not Rudolph – again, I consulted IMDB.com. He did play a different role in Rudolph’s Shiny New Year (1976); I guess he didn’t have one of those Yeardley Smith kids voices as an adult, so Billie Mae Richards took over the Rudolph role in both Shiny New Year and Christmas in July - and sounded just like Gorshin’s 1964 Rudolph. The legendary Paul Frees also returned, as did Shelly Winters and Jules Vernon as Frosty.
Of course, when I think of 1979, I think of how the old-timers were showing up regularly on The Love Boat and various game shows. Good times.
So here’s to the old guys for continuing to entertain us, especially during the Christmas season. I’d say you were gone but not forgotten, but most of you aren’t even gone.
IS THERE ANYONE OUT THERE WHO KNOWS WHAT CHRISTMAS IS ALL ABOUT???”
So the geniuses at ABC decided that during its broadcast of A Charlie Brown Christmas was an ideal time to show its “Anything can happen when Miley Cyrus appears” promo for its Rockin’ New Year’s Eve special. Just in case you kids hadn’t seen what happened to Hannah Montana.
Is there even a modicum of decency and/or common sense left in the world?
We’ve covered the “anything can happen” phenomenon a couple times already. ABC and other network could’ve chosen to shun Cyrus for her inappropriate escapades, but instead they choose to pimp and exploit her, promising us that if we tune in, she won’t disappoint; she’ll do something “edgy” and “controversial”.
It’s the same reason CNN keeps bringing back Kathy Griffin to cohost their New Year’s Eve show. “You won’t believe what Kathy Griffin did!”
It’s a sham; a fraud.
Meanwhile, the must-always-be-promoting mentality also played in to ABC’s decision. I mean, here we are, watching a Christmas special – so we therefore MUST be reminded that New Year’s Eve programming is right around the corner, no matter how inappropriate the promo might be for the folks watching the Christmas special.
Nothing to see here. Par for the course.
And God commanded Moses:
When Television is invented and expanded so that one company owns multiple networks, all programming must serve cross-promotional purposes, no matter how ridiculous the cross-promotional premise.
That’s what it seems like, anyway.
I’ve long commented on NBC’s “incestuous” family of networks and their rule of thumb which is to cross-promote – i.e., promoting programming on one network via the programming of a sister network. Nobody does it better – I should say, worse – than NBC.
So when you see Golf Channel’s latest installment of “reality” show The Big Break - featuring NFL players, you must understand that they aren’t simply presenting the football scene because we’re smack in the middle of football season. No, it’s more devious and concentrated than that. They are doing it because it’s football season… on NBC!
And that’s why the latest episode – again, I don’t watch any of this Big Break nonsense; I only see the advertisements during real golf coverage – features “surprise guest” Rodney Harrison. Did you know he’s part of the NBC pregame/postgame studio team for Sunday Night Football?
Yep, there’s always a cross-promotional angle. Can’t have an episode without it. Just ask Bravo’s Top Chef, which features guest judges like NBC’s Jimmy Fallon and Universal Pictures’ Charlize Theron – oh, and like all things NBC, plenty of Olympic forced premises.
For good measure, there’s also the usual forced drama seen on all reality shows actuated on Big Break. See, we’re supposed to think that other NFL competitors on the program don’t like Rodney Harrison, such as ex-Raider Tim Brown, whose one or two scuffles with Harrison from their NFL player days is showcased on the promo. Yep, that’s going to make the fake competition that much more intense!
I don’t even know what big break for which the NFL players are competing; the original premise of the show was that an exemption on a golf tour was awarded to the winner – a premise with which I always had significant problems. Presumably, this installment is for charity – at least I hope the NFL players are teaming up with real competitors and influencing their chances of winning.
Whatever the case, I can’t wait to miss it – or I should say, I don’t want to NB-See any of it! Even the promo leaves me feeling, well I started with an Old Testament reference, I’ll finish with one; ceremonially unclean.
Your show is The Walking Dead; it’s a big hit. Is there any reason you need to come up with new terminology and extra trickery to try to attract your audience?
The promos for this weekend’s episode introduced a new term – at least new to me – by labeling it the “Midseason Finale”.
I didn’t know I’d been watching a Midseason.
That’s like calling the first half of a basketball game the “Midseason Finale”.
Evidently, there’s some kind of a break between this episode and the next one, but still. Come on! “Midseason Finale” sounds kind of desperate for such a popular show. Hope it’ll be a Midseason night’s dream for all of us. The use of such dumbed-down marketing speak kind of brings mild discomfort to my midseason’s midsection.
Since we also enjoy abbreviations, let’s refer to the Midseason Finale of The Good Wife as simply, “The Midwife”. What’s not to like? How about we call the battle between Rick’s clan and the Governor’s guild as “The Battle for Midseason Earth.”
The possibilities are endless; meaning they never end, unlike midseason finales.
I’m looking forward to the Season Finale, which I think I’ll also dub the “Offseason Premiere” – and while I’m at it; let’s call next season’s premiere the “Offseason Finale”.
Nice to see that Fox, like NBC, took advantage of its Thanksgiving programming to promote all things Fox.
It’s the NFL postgame show following the Packers-Lions game. So why not do an entire segment with the NFL postgame crew about UFC fighting? Sure, it’s football-related, right?
You could’ve given us insights on the game just played and upcoming games this weekend, but save room to hijack the program to promote something else. And for that I give thanks on this Thanksgiving day. Thanks… for NOTHING!
I’ll open with this thesis: Fantasy Football is an exercise in stupidity.
I hadn’t played Fantasy Football in over 10 years, since back when Tom Brady first filled in for Drew Bledsoe and I picked him up. In the few years I dabbled in Fantasy Football, after much success playing Fantasy Baseball, I was never successful. I’m the guy who had the number 1 pick in the draft the year after Barry Sanders’ huge season – and guess what? The Lions switched their style from run-and-shoot to a pro style set with a fullback! So Sanders was due for an even bigger year!
And it didn’t happen. He had a subpar season, in fact. Emmitt Smith tour it up that year, however. Didn’t pick him.
Also during that stretch, I once lost a game by a single point, partly because my kicker, Martin Grammatica, left the game when injured himself while celebrating after a play. The Bucs, a Super Bowl caliber team back then, proceeded to go for two-point conversions the rest of the game, in which they were blowing out their opponent. That was pre Directv NFL Ticket, so I didn’t know why the live Gamecast was telling me they were going for two when they were up by over 30 points. Yeesh.
There was another week when I went in on it with a friend, and we decided to start Doug Flutie in Week 1, playing for San Diego in Dallas, over Trent Green, making his Kansas City debut at home against the Giants. Then I heard it was raining in Dallas. I figured Flutie and the Chargers wouldn’t be passing much, so at about 9:50, I called the league commissioner (back then you had to call someone to make a roster change; there were no Internet Fantasy sites/apps like today) to swap out Flutie and swap in Green. I didn’t even have time to consult with partner; I needed to make the call before 10 AM.
You can imagine the rest: Flutie went on to have a huge game; Green was God awful. My friend called me that evening and said, “Hey, Flutie did great; I’m glad we started him.”
“Um, I’ve got some bad news for you….”
That’s how it’s always been for me with Fantasy Football. As a Raiders fan, I could no longer enjoy Raiders games because I may have had a player on their team or the opponent. It literally changes how you root for the game. Your players come first; that’s really YOUR team. That’s the team you handpicked and you want your decisions validated.
Flash forward to 2013. I had no intention of doing Fantasy Football, but about three hours before my office’s draft, I was told a spot had opened up. Even then, I hesitated. Since I’d been only a Raiders fan the last decade, I followed no other games. I didn’t follow the offseason player movement – e.g., I didn’t even know Tony Gonzalez had unretired. I didn’t know Steven Jackson went to Atlanta. I didn’t watch any preseason games other than those of the Raiders.
But I said, “What the heck; it’s only $20. I’m in.”
I was amazed by the technological advances; the Yahoo draft site was very slick . If I couldn’t figure out who to pick when my one minute was up, Yahoo would auto pick for me. That actually happened once; but I was so mad about it that I dropped the guy they picked for me immediately following the draft; I didn’t even know how to set my roster, so I ended up with a dreaded EMPTY spot in my starting lineup in Week 1. Great start!
On Thursday night, Week 1, I had Denver kicker Matt Prater. He proceeded to kick 7 extra points with no field goals. That’s how prolific the Broncos’ offense was. It struck me not only that I somehow missed out on drafting any Bronco players other than their kicker – e.g., I took Drew Brees when I could’ve had Manning – but also I remember saying to myself, “I don’t think Prater is going to kick a field goal all year.”
Then came Week 6. My team had started 0-3 but bounced back with a couple wins in Weeks 4 and 5. I try to gather as much information as possible so I can make the most educated decisions on whom to start. This was the week I discovered the Fantasy pregame shows on Sunday morning. I had Carolina’s defense starting against Minnesota in Minnesota. The experts told me this would be a high-scoring game. They pointed to the Detroit-Cleveland game as a game which would be low-scoring, and advised to pick up either team’s defense. So I listened; Cleveland was at home. I dropped Carolina and picked up Cleveland.
The result: Cleveland got 2 points; Carolina 11. A 9-point swing against me.
You guessed it. By Monday Night I learned that my team had lost by 8.74 points. You can’t make that up. It’s destiny!
Then there’s an entire litany of “guys I dropped who went on to have huge seasons”. Number one with a bullet on that list is Knowshon Moreno. I dropped him after the “rock-paper-scissors” episode versus Oakland. It didn’t appear as though there’d be any clear number one running back in Denver, and their passing game was so prolific it didn’t seem to matter. Moreno went on to be gigantic. The list also includes Fred Jackson, Riley Cooper (picked him up and dropped him before ever playing a game) and most recently, Phillip Rivers and Danny Woodhead – who were nice waiver pickups in the first place.
Finally, with that build up, fast forward to today. I had put myself in the torturous position of having so many Wide Receivers, and none of them particularly elite (because of not having time to study the point system and understand you need to draft receivers early). So each week from Week 12 forward would be an exercise in futility in determining which three receivers to start. So, coming off a strong comeback week from injury, I stuck with Nate Burleson. I looked like a genius for picking him up and starting him the week before, just as I’d done with the Giants’ Andre Brown.
Alas, here’s the problem. We don’t know the game plan. We have other intelligence like recent past performance, the matchup and the weather. But what neither we nor any of the Fantasy experts posses is the coach’s game plan.
Hence, I had no way of knowing that Burleson, coming off a 6 catch, 77-yard week with a touchdown, was simply not a part of this week’s game plan. Nor did I know that kick returner Jeremy Ross was a part of the plan. So last week, for example, it was Burleson who ran a reverse play. This week, they had Ross do that.
But then, I pumped my fist as I thought I saw Burleson make the same slot TD catch he’d made the week before against Tampa. Then I saw the number on the slot receiver’s back and it was Ross, number 12, not Burleson, number 13.
What the…? I mean, why Ross? Burleson could’ve run the same route and made the same catch. You know how I know? Because he did it last week!
But that’s the bait and switch of Fantasy Football. You’ve been suckered; you’ve been had. The roped you in with Burleson last week and switched it to Ross this week. (On the bright side, at least I started Burleson last week when he got his 13.7 Standard, non-PPR points.)
It’s just like a couple weeks ago when Andre Brown ran it from about the 4-yard line to just short of the goal line, and then the Giants brought in Brandon Jacobs to score the TD on the subsequent play.
FANTASY BAIT AND SWITCH, personified!
See, because the Giants coaches don’t care who scores the touchdown; neither do the Giants fans. The only people who care are the foolish and helpless Fantasy Football participants.
That’s when I did what I so often do, which is turn the game off because it is no longer watchable. I’ve actually had some luck with that stratagem in recent weeks. I turned off the Dallas-New Orleans game when my receiver, Terrance Williams, caught a TD and salvaged what had been a dreadful, zero catch game. Last week, I could no longer watch the Green Bay-Minnesota game because Jarret Boykin was putting up a donut for 3 quarters. He went on to catch 5 balls for 60 yards and a touchdown in the 4th quarter and overtime.
No such luck today as I write this. I stopped watching late in the 2nd quarter; since then I see Detroit has scored two more touchdowns after the thought-it-was-Burleson-but-it-was-Ross TD. Bush got one, Johnson the other.
Burleson, well into the third quarter, still has a donut.
Oh, and did I mention that if I lose this week, I’m eliminated from the playoffs? But you probably knew that already.
That’s fantasy football. We don’t have the intelligence – i.e., we don’t have the coach’s game plan week in and week out. Hence, you can’t win.
Note: I realize that some people do win in Fantasy Football, so I will rephrase that to, “I can’t win.”
Fantasy Football, for me, actually succeeds to do only one thing: to HATE FOOTBALL. Because the only reason I now watch is to see my players – and when you’re seeing your guy on the field and the quarterback has not once even looked in his direction on a single play, the game becomes unwatchable.
To think, for the last 10 years I could simply relax and watch a football game unfold, not caring whether this guy or that guy gets the ball. It’s too unpredictable. Life is unpredictable enough; I see no reason to wager on things equally unpredictable: like Bobby Ross scoring on the same play on which Nate Burleson scored the week before.
So count me out; I’d rather enjoy football and enjoy my life. The only winning move is not to play.
Oh, now that I’m done writing this… Burleson: still no points! DESTINY! Oh, and the best part is yet to come, because you know one of my guys I chose not to start is going to BLOW UP with a huge game this weekend. And, the difference in points will likely be within the margin by which I lose this week and am eliminated from contention.
The worst is yet to come!
UPDATE: It’s almost-official. Burleson will be shutout. For good measure, they brought him in and put him in the slot on a goal-line play, to tease me one last time, before handing off to Joique Bell for the score. With a 23-point 4th quarter lead, they have no reason to throw another pass. It’s over.
But I’m glad this happened. It validates my decision to never play Fantasy Football again. I’ve never felt more scorned in my life than I feel today, on Thanksgiving 2013, by the Detroit Lions’ game plan.
SECOND UPDATE: Allow myself to correct myself. The Lions, up 23 points and running the ball effectively, did find the need to throw one more pass – and it was a touchdown pass, to Kevin Ogletree. He bobbled it, didn’t get two feet down, but they ruled it a catch anyway. So 40 points for the Lions and Nate Burleson did not touch the football a single time. Wow. Is there anything else that can be said to convince you that Fantasy Football is stupid?
I mean, I actually got to needle my co-worker last week because Burleson, just back from his pizza car accident injury, actually out-pointed the great Calvin Johnson. What a shrewd move I made!
And then there was this week.
It’s like a scene in a movie, where they provide the backstory on how the person turned evil. Like in Toy Story 3:
“Something changed in Lotso that day.”
That day was today. The date there was no Nate.
FINAL UPDATE: Now, the one thing I was looking forward to all second half was the Yahoo postgame notes on Burleson. So here’s how that went. Note that they too mentioned the game plan on not having knowledge of it. Told ya!
Nate Burleson was held without a catch in Detroit’s Week 13 win over the Packers, drawing only one target.
Advice: One week after playing 72-of-80 snaps and drawing 10 targets, Burleson was an afterthought in the game plan, taking a backseat to Kris Durham and Jeremy Ross. It was likely by design after Burleson had such a heavy workload in his Week 12 return, but the Lions made no mention of a possible snap count during the week. It’s unclear how many snaps Burleson played. Burleson’s WR3 status is obviously a little murky going forward, but he has an excellent Week 14 matchup in an Eagles’ pass defense that’s struggled in the middle of the field. Burleson’s status will be updated before next week’s game.
In other words: THIS IS WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER PARTAKE OF FANTASY FOOTBALL!!!
Hindsight is 20/20, and the Yahoo Fantasy experts seem to feel as duped as I do. However, they did hit on something about which I’m kicking myself, which is that, following a long layoff, Burleson got a heavy workload last Sunday which was followed by a short week, so they probably figured they should lighten his load three days after his return. I did not factor that in, but I can’t feel too badly because neither did the experts.
But it’s a simple approach really, no game plan = insufficient knowledge. Hence, it’s a game you shouldn’t play unless you enjoy feeling burned in this manner.
Same thing every year; no reason to think this year would be different.
I don’t watch much of the Macy’s parade. My kids do get excited about it – you know, because of the parade floats – but they very quickly lose interest, as should everyone, once they realize they don’t show the dang parade!
Instead, it is a parade of NBC promos – in case you don’t get enough of them during commercials and during coverage of fake news stories on your local and national newscasts.
I like to take a quick snapshot; the first 10 minutes, before I tune out. Now, when they showed the list of people who would be featured, I took note that there was a mix of people from other networks. There was a Disney character mentioned, for example (those will be much more prevalent during ABC’s coverage of the Rose Parade on New Year’s Day; ABC is owned by Disney, of course).
But it didn’t take long at all – the very first segment, instead of watching parade floats, was us watching Al Roker interview Hines Ward of NBC’s Sunday Night Football studio team, to talk about tonight’s Steelers-Ravens game on NBC. Thanks! My kids were delighted at that segment. We could’ve been watching THE PARADE, but we’re watching Al and Hines plug something that’s 8-plus hours away.
Then one Broadway number, then a commercial. Second segment: more NB-Seeing to do. There’s Al Roker to interview the star of NBC’s Chicago Fire. A lengthy and forced segment having nothing to do whatsoever with the parade. A conversation that had absolutely no business being a part of the parade coverage, live onsite at the parade (you can barely see the parade proceeding behind them) – except to be completely shameless, totally unabashed about your desire to promote all things NBC.
A bit later, there was Carrie Underwood on the NBC set. Why? Well, because she stars in a remake of The Sound of Music - coming up on NBC. This is NOT what the parade is supposed to be about. It’s supposed to be about the actual parade taking place.
And so, as occurs each year, by the second segment of the three-hour coverage; I’d had enough. Got my fill of NBC plugs long before getting my fill of Thanksgiving cuisine. Thanks, again, NBC!
The audacity of these people, to smile confidently and look at us through the camera lens while perpetrating fraud upon us. No qualms or reservations whatsoever. It’s like these days when you get the TV contract to cover this type of event, the automatic reaction is to exploit it to promote your network. It didn’t used to be this way. I doesn’t have to be that way now.
This is a charade, not a parade. You’ve been had, America. Suckers!
Admittedly, most American sports fans think football first on Thanksgiving. I’m not most people so I think about golf.
For most people, golf is an afterthought in November; but for me it’s my favorite golf month of the year. It’s the Australian tour season, featuring three big events; and this year it was actually four because the World Cup was also played at Royal Melbourne, a week after the Australian Masters was played there.
This week it’s the Australian Open, which has quite the illustrious history. Just look at the list of past champions. You know it’s a tournament with a rich tradition when years of it were cancelled for both World Wars 1 and 2.
Gary Player won it 7 times; Jack Nicklaus 6, Greg Norman 5. Sarazen, Palmer and Watson also won it. Australian Peter Thompson, who won the British Open 5 times, also won the Australian Open 3 times. American Bill Rogers, mostly forgotten, doubled up in 1981 by winning both the British and Australian Open. The greats of the game played there; I’ve heard there was a time it was considered golf’s 5th major.
There’s really nothing like prime time golf on Thanksgiving night. The Australian tour provides quite the setting, with strange bird calls you don’t hear anywhere else, with great Australian commentators and past champions Wayne Grady and Ian Baker-Finch. Oh, and remember it’s already tomorrow in Australia, so the coverage is Wednesday night through Saturday night, not Thursday through Sunday. Adam Scott, who opened with a 62 in the first round, is in the coverage window tonight.
Even before they added a primetime NFL game on Thanksgiving night, Golf Channel was showing the Australian Open live in primetime. The one I’ll never forget was 1997, when Greg Norman put on a clinic in round 1, just as he did the year before at Augusta, going on to finish tragically, after making a clutch 20-foot putt to get into a playoff with Lee Westwood; he missed a 3-foot putt to lose in the playoff and miss his chance at his sixth Australian Open. I don’t think he won another tournament anywhere after that, though he threatened at the ’99 Masters before losing to Jose Maria Olazabal, then again at the 2008 British Open, at age 53, before fading on Sunday and finishing third.
Also this weekend, in the early morning, is the Alfred Dunhill Championship over on the South African swing of the European Tour. The South African swing is also unique like the Australian tour, because of the wildlife that surrounds the course. The Crocodile River is just outside Leopard Creek Country Club at Kruger Park, with crocs, obviously, and other wildlife like elephants and spoonbills. Great stuff.
Marquee names play both tours. All the great Australian players – Adam Scott, Jason Day, Geoff Ogilvy among them – are joined by Rory McIroy, Kevin Streelmen and many others. 2011 Masters Champ Charl Schwartzel headlines the Dunhill field in South Africa.
Great stuff; don’t overlook it. If you’re not into the Steelers or Ravens, check out the Australian Open. If you’re not getting up early for Black Friday, you might set the alarm clock for South African golf. Have a Green Friday instead!