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Leveling the Playing Field

by Charles Rempel

June 4, 2001

This past Tuesday, the Supreme Court handed down a ruling in the Casey Martin case. In their 7-2 decision, the Court ruled that Martin, a professional golfer suffering from a degenerative medical condition that limits his ability to walk for long periods of time, is allowed under the American Disabilities Act to use a golf cart against the rules of the Professional Golf Association.

Once this decision was rendered, the PGA, along with many of the golfers, began complaining that this would ruin golf. Their reasoning is that if Martin gets to ride in a cart while everyone else has to walk, he would not be as tired and thus have a competitive advantage.

I think the golfers are a little crazy to argue this point. First, if his advantage is the cart, then every other pro golfer's advantage would be... oh, I don't know... maybe not having a degenerative illness! Second, does a walk around the golf course make them so tired they miss their shots at the end? Maybe they shouldn't eat doughnuts and smoke between each hole? I mean, it's not like they have to carry their own clubs or anything like that. Third, and probably most important, why don't the other golfers just ride in carts, too? It's not like golf carts destroy the fabric of the sport, and it's not like the fans get pumped seeing a lard-ass like Craig Stadler walk a mile or two. Just give everyone a cart, and the PGA can sigh and be relieved that they've successfully leveled the playing field and no one has a competitive advantage (except of course Tiger Woods, because everyone else is scared of him).

I think other sports should consider taking away competitive advantages as well, in order to level the playing field for all competitors. Here's some suggestions:

Basketball-- In order to take the height advantage away from some players, every player can wear lifts or other prosthetic devices to become 7'4" tall. All players that are taller than 7'4" are encouraged but not required to slouch.

Baseball-- So that some of the less-talented hitters will not feel sad, all batters are allowed to go first base automatically.

Football-- Whether the team win or loses, every coach gets doused with Gatorade.

Jai Alai-- Since no one really knows what the heck is going on in this game, no changes are made.

Hockey-- To allow all players to move at the same speed, everyone is given the same make and model of snowmobile.

Horse Racing-- All horses will run with only three legs.


© copyright 2001 The Van Gogh-Goghs