Trial Balloon

Trial Balloon: August 17, 2009 Archive

It's the Clothes!

Posted at 5:00 AM on August 17, 2009 by Dale Connelly (17 Comments)

Radio Heartland has tickets to an Americana Songwriter's Showcase at the Rochester Civic Theater on Wednesday, August 19th. The evening features Chris Knight of Nashville, Brandon Sampson and Dezi Wallace of the band Six Mile Grove, and The Porchlights (Martin Devaney and Jake Hyer).
Use the online form to enter your name in the drawing, and as always, obey the rules. Good luck.

Tiger Woods lost the PGA championship in the last round. Shocking, I know. But the thing that surprised me most in the coverage at Hazeltine was the news that Tiger picks out his tournament-day clothes one year in advance.

For the rest of us, including those who sort through a pile of clothes strewn across the floor each day to choose the best smelling ensemble, this is a startling thing to consider. One year. How can I know what I'm going to want to wear one year from now? It's like hitting a 3 iron out of a sand trap towards a green that's 200 yards away and is hidden by trees. You swing hard and hope for the best. Sometimes it works out, which has to mean that sometimes it doesn't. Imagine.

When it's time to go to the golf course on tournament day, Tiger is presented with his choice from 12 months before, and he has to put it on. There's simply no choice, even if he looks at the shirt and says to himself, "What Was I Thinking?" It doesn't matter, because the marketing operation that serves him has already placed the day's clothes in stores, and people who would like to be Tiger but can only get as close as owning the same shirt have already forked over their cash and are expecting to see their hero in the appropriate garb that day.

Sure, he's getting rich. But Tiger is also in sartorial prison, a captive of his own merchandising empire. Look at how much the man has accomplished. All those victories. He has an admirable work ethic, an impressive ability to focus, unparalleled talent and supreme intelligence. But he's not allowed to change his mind about wearing that shirt. In at least this one regard, you and I have more freedom than the world's most fabulous golfer.

And maybe if he'd had the option to wear whatever shirt struck his fancy yesterday morning, like that spiffy little number Y.E. Yang wore with the red rooster on the shoulder, Tiger would have been able to sink a putt.

How did you choose your outfit today?

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