Monday, July 13, 2009

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

Yes, I just compared ex-LPGA Commissioner Carolyn Bivens to the dolphins in the 4th novel of Douglas Adams's classic Hitchhiker's Guide trilogy.

And yes, the analogy doesn't precisely hold, for as the 2nd-most-intelligent species on Earth, the dolphins in Adams's novel saved the planet after it had been unexpectedly demolished to make way for a new hyperspace bypass, or rather saved the 3rd-most intelligent species (us) by pulling a parallel Earth to replace the demolished one (it's all there in Chapter 32), so if you take the Earth as a metaphor for the LPGA, this seems to me to better fit the new-Commissioner-to-be-named-later than Bivens herself, whose grasp of English and social interactions was never quite as Vogon-reciting-poetry-bad as critics like Geoff Shackelford made out but who really did take a huge gamble with the tour's future and has paid the price for it, although her consolation prize--a buyout of the remaining years on her contract--will pay for a lot of fish, so maybe the metaphor does work, after all. Speaking of fish, Adams has lots of passages that can help a blog named Mostly Harmless commemorate the end of the Bivens era.

Take last year's language controversy. All the LPGA needs is the Babel fish, right? Hmmm...what does the Hitchhiker's Guide say to that?

the poor Babel fish, by effectively removing all barriers to communication between different races and cultures, has caused more and bloodier wars than anything else in the history of creation.

Of course that one's from page 42 of The More Than Complete Hitchhiker's Guide. Here's one for the golfy media, courtesy of Wonko the Sane:

I'm not trying to prove anything, by the way. I'm a scientist and I know what constitutes proof. But the reason I call myself by my childhood name is to remind myself that a scientist must also be absolutely like a child. If he sees a thing, he must say that he sees it, whether it was what he thought he was going to see or not. See first, think later, then test. Otherwise you will only see what you were expecting.

Anyway, to return to my nautical theme, Marsha Evans, a retired Rear Admiral in the U.S. Navy and former President/CEO of the American Red Cross, will be the tour's interim commissioner, and Annika Sorenstam will be helping the Board of Directors find its bearings and chart a new course. Apparently the idea was that having been ousted in a ARC board mutiny back in 2005 and participating in the LPGA Board's own in 2009, Evans will have learned from her own and her predecessor's mistakes. In which case, let's hope she wasn't in charge of the announcement process.

Sometimes life imitates Adams. And sometimes bloggers do, too.

[Update 1 (4:11 pm): Here's Ryan Ballengee with the news and background on Evans, Stephanie Wei on Bivens's legacy and Sorenstam's role, Jay Busbee on what next, and The Golf Chick with some answers.]

[Update 2 (4:14 pm): And here's Brent Kelley's thoughtful analysis.]

[Update 3 (4:21 pm): And here are the LPGA's press releases announcing Bivens's replacement with Evans and explaining Sorenstam's role.]

[Update 4 (11:11 pm): Bill Jempty, one of Bivens's longest-standing and harshest critics in blogaramaville, weighs in with his thoughts on Bivens's ouster and replacement.]

[Update 5 (11:18 pm): Here's Randall Mell.]

[Update 6 (11:24 pm): Here's the Golf Channel video of the announcement.]

[Update 7 (11:49 pm): Here's Hound Dog's reaction to the news and the press conference.]

[Update 8 (7/14/09, 9:54 am): Here's Daniel Wexler's reaction and Stephanie Wei's overview at the Huffington Post.]

[Update 9 (10:00 am): Geoff Shackelford links to and comments on various journalists' reactions.]

[Update 10 (10:09 am): Here's Dave Seanor's reaction.]

[Update 11 (11:18 am): Here's Christina Kim on why she's optimistic about the LPGA's future.]

[Update 12 (11:33 am): Here's Gene Yasuda's piece for Golfweek.]

[Update 13 (11:44 am): And here's one of the guys from Nice Ballz.]

[Update 14 (4:21 pm): William Rhoden of the NYT got Bivens to talk in a phone interview, so his piece is definitely worth reading.]

[Update 15 (7/15/09, 10:54 pm): John Strege shares the views of a former tournament organizer of Bivens's 1st ex-tournament, the Shoprite.]

[Update 16 (7/16/09, 12:37 am): Brent Kelley has done some reading--and linking--of his own.]


The Florida Masochist said...

I piped in on today's news also. Anchors Aweigh....

The Constructivist said...

Thanks, Bill!

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