Huddle Up with Gus
Huddle Up with Gus

Episode 166 · 3 months ago

Bob Harig-Tiger &Phil

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Gus interviews Bob Harig about his journey as a golf reporter and writer. Bob takes us through the journey of the PGA tour through the eyes of a journalist. His years of experience leads to close relationships with Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. His new Book Tiger and Phil, Golfs Most Fascinating Rivalry dives deep into their freindship and rivalries on and off the field.

Welcome to what Shirley will be a doozy of a matchup. Brian here. Sports Fans, whether your game is on the Gridiron, at the diamond or on the links, we can only say get up off your seats and get ready for some real action. Welcome to this week's huddle up with Gus. Fifteen year NFL quarterback Gus Frerotte. Passion for sports has taken him on the field and behind the benches. Playing for seven NFL franchises, with on tds under his belt, Gus knows who the players are and how the Games are won. If not every day you get to hang out with an NFL quarterback up old Kay sports fans, from the decked out and plush sixteen thirty one digital studios, it's kickoff time, so snap your Chin straps on and get ready to huddle up with us. Everyone. Welcome to another episode of Huddle up with Gus. I'm your host, fifteen year NFL quarterback Gus Frerotte, and I want to welcome you to huddle up with gusts today. You can check us out at our website, huddle up with GUS DOT COM, or wherever you listen to your favorite podcast. Enjoy our shows and today's guest. Uh, he's a writer, a senior writer with S I and has been on ESPN, worked down at the Tampa Bay Times. Uh, and he's written a new book called Tiger and Phil Golf's most fascinating rivalry, which your publisher sent me. Unless I don't think that came from anything. It came from your publisher. But joining me today is Bob Harig. Bob, ho are you doing? I'm doing well, Gus, thanks for having me now. Great, thanks for being here. You know, we always started to show in the same way. We want to ask you know, what was your first moment of growing up where you fell in love with sports? Wow, that's a great question. Uh, you know my grandfather. I grew up in the Chicago area. My grandfather huge cubs fan, die hard cubs fan, and there was a lot were dying with the cubs and there was excelling with the clubs and also Black Hawks, and so he kind of got me into it and, Um, you know, that was like we sometimes, you know, back in the day the Games, especially hockey games, they weren't always televised at home. You listen to him on the radio and we would do that together. That was a lot of fun and that's sort of how I got indoctorated and to the point where, you know, you kind of just Um uh a little bit more than casual viewing. You know, you started to know who the players were. You know, you started talking batting averages or, in hockey, great goalies. And I sort of morphed into golf when I got a little bit older because I started caddying at a local country club and that was my exposure to golf, and so then I kind of got into that too, and I started playing and they let caddies play at the club and and uh, and then, so then that just that was just always there. It just, you know, from the earliest time I can remember, you know, I was kind of a sports fan, of sports he you know, we're gonna follow it and I didn't know in which way I would take it, but I certainly knew I would always be an interest, an interested observer. Yeah, you know, we've had so many people on the show that from from writers to two baseball people. There's a gentleman here in Pittsburgh. His name is Larry Richard. He does you know Katie K here in Pittsburgh and you know, and I asked him, I remember talking about whiffleball, right, because we all played whiffleball growing up. I mean there was something and you could do anywhere you wanted. And he's, you know, and he's like an announcer at the steeler games and pit games and and I remember talking to like what you said hit homes, because he said, you know, I just love sports and he got into it because when guys would come up to bat, he would say their name like an announcer would, right, like somebody would at the old stadium here in Pittsburgh. And Uh, you know, for you, was that similar like when you talk about sports back in the day and then you get into writing? Was it just all those kind of memories and your favorite thing to do was read and right, or how did how did that happen?...

Yeah, exactly. I think it was just sort of a gradual thing. I mean I I I became somebody who really wanted to check out the sports section of the newspaper. So I grew up with the Chicago Tribune, which was, you know, a great, great place to to read, and there was a favorite writer of my named Bob Verdie who when I got into the business and told him that. You know, it was sort of you know, it was it was good news, bad news. It's like wow, this is really neat to meet somebody that I really admired. And then but he's like, you know, you're making me seem old kid. You know, one of those one of those things, you know. But I mean that was just sort of like, you know, like like you get to know the sports stars. You also, in my realm I got to you know, I knew who the writers were. You know, I like that guy or I didn't like that guy. Knew what team he covered, what beat he had, and so that kind of took me all the way through high school and actually into college when, you know, when I got into college, I felt pretty certain this is what I wanted to do and I steered myself in that direction. I knew it to Indie in it right, I did. Yeah, what was so did you go right into their kind of, you know, media writing program or did you just write for the school paper? What was your first like real sports project that you did in college? Yeah, it was both. I mean that was a place where they allowed you to take journalism classes as a freshman some some schools don't they make you wait until your junior year and by then you might not like it or you might want to be going in another direction. I I kind of got thrown in, but I I probably within the first week I was there, I walked into the I walked into school newspaper office and said, can I do anything, you know, and and and sure enough they put me to work. And and and I remember covering men's cross country in Indiana. Now you wouldn't think that's any big deal, right, but I mean to me it was everything, you know, like I was gonna like find every little fun story. And if I looked back, I'm sure they're horrible, but that's that's the way you you know. That's the way you do it, you know. And eventually ended up covering basketball. Um, you know, I was there when Bob Knight was there. That was an unbelievable thrown into the fire situation to be trying to cover him, and especially at that age and you're not sure of yourself and he's an intimidating figure. But obviously there's tons of interest. Um, and at that time the school paper was the morning paper and the Bloomington paper was the afternoon paper. I don't really see that anymore. And and so we kind of felt like we had a little advantage. You know, we can get stuff out there before them. So it's just a great experience. You know, you learned how to be competitive in the business. You learned how to write on deadline. Obviously dealing with big with big personalities. Um, you know, you've got to get used to that. So night. You know it's funny about that is, in the time period I was there, he would have nothing to do with the school newspaper, even though, you know, whatever happened had nothing to do with me and I colleagues. You know what happened before and so like. If you try to ask him a question afterward, sometimes he would be very dismissive, sometimes he would just ignore you. It was Um, that was that was tough. You know, that was tough. You know you're trying to do a a job and you don't even get the head coach to help you out at all. Somebody who really he probably could have molded you know, because you don't know any better. He could have taught you things and said Hey, this is what we're trying to do, and giving you his side. But he just he was a tough character, that's for sure. Yeah, we know he was tough. But did he let his players and other coaches talk to you or everything off? No, no, the players were available. Um, uh and uh you know. So thank you, thankfully for that. He was not that strict. You know, you could go in the locker room after Games and get players and obviously assistant coaches at times. You can set up Um, but and you know, as Tom More on, I I you know he I think he mellowed him out a little bit. He was a little bit more receptive to the...

...to the school, to the school paper. Um, you know, and UH. But still, I thought it was a great experience anyway, because I I learned, you know, I'm gonna learn how to do this without him and UH. And so that was that was a good practice. Yeah, if you can do without them, then that person you can do it with, it's gonna be even even better, right. Yeah, yeah, that's pretty amazing. So you remember who the quarterback was that I you when you were there? Um, you know who one of them was? Cam Cameron. Oh, yeah, that was my first quarterback coach at Washington. Yeah, Um, Sam White was the coach. I'm dating myself now big time. But Sam Whites was the head coach for one year and that was the year I covered the football team. And then, uh, then, you know, he left for the Bengals, which obviously in my world, became a big deal. You know, you have, you have to follow a coach leaving them hiring a new one. They brought in a guy named Bill Mallory who was very successful there for Indiana. Actually they went to several bowl games and they were they were very, very competitive, unlike most of their history. Yeah, right. So, so cam always told me what a great college qb he was. So can you fill me in a little bit about cam? Well, listen, under those circumstances he was pretty good. And he played basketball too, you know. Um, you don't see that as much anymore. Not Not that easy to do. He played for night wow. So Um, but you know, I always kind of followed him after that. You know, he had that really short stint in the NFL. That was unfortunate as a head coach, but he you know, and he was. He ended up being the head coach at Iu for a while. Uh and Um, and they had some really good offenses at that time, I recall, which was always the thing. They never could quite be physical enough to be competitive. It wasn't that Antoine Randall with him. That's right. Absolutely. He had some big plays in college. I remember that. Yeah, Cam, you know, from coming from college being my we were in the pros. We were that was both of our first years right in the pros. Was In ninety four. He came, I want to say he came from Michigan and uh, and then, uh, you know, obviously I came from some small school out in the Midwest and uh, you know, we had just a great relationship and we've kind of stayed in touch ever since. You never forget your first coach. Um. So for you, when you turn professional, right you leave college, what was your first job? I Um, I actually had a post graduate internship in Cincinnati for six months, um, and that was terrific at the time. I would have loved to have stayed there, you know, but it was only it was only a short term and then I ended up, Um, you know, I ended up moving to Florida because the St Peter it was then called the St Petersburg Times, now the Tampa Bay Times. They have very close relationships. Still do with the Indiana journalism school like it was. They recruited there fairly well. There was a lot of ties and so, you know, I knew people, I knew some people I knew. I had some people I gone to school with. Um, I. Um, I went and interviewed. I moved to Florida thinking I'd be down here for a year or two and never left. I've changed jobs, but I've never left Florida. So, Um, it's a hard place to leave, especially if you like to play golf. So, especially when you grew up in Chicago, it's a big difference. That's right, no doubt. No doubt the Sun compared to snow, wind and rain. Let's see which one of my picking. Um, I'm in Pittsburgh. So it's not much different here, you know. But uh, so, when you go and you talk about all these ties you have, you know, football is not much different, especially when you're getting recruited. Like people ask how did you get from Pittsburgh and Tulsa and I'm like, well, we had a coach from Pittsburgh who recruited our area and all Pennsylvania. So there's those ties that we all use in our jobs as we go and I'm sure there's other jobs that you've...

...had since that. You've known people to get you there and you know in sports. So a lot of times we'll say it's who you know, not what you know. I would say a lot of what's happened and most of our careers there's some good fortune along the way, you know. And I happen to make the move to ESPN DOT com right around the time where they were starting to grow ESPN DOT com in terms of having more writers. Um, they had never had a full time golf writer before I was hired and it's just, you know, I had done some things for them, I knew some people there and you know, it just all kind of came together one day, you know, and and I happened. You know, it didn't hurt being around at the time when when tiger was really, you know, obviously an important figure in golf and there was going to be a lot of look, I still think he is, frankly, um, but but I think there was going to be a lot of attention paid to him, a lot written about him. Um, you know, I got there in time for, Um, a couple of his majors, you know, including the one at Tory Pines. You know, the playoff win over rock o media eight Um and and then you know then, when it all went south, that there was a ton of attention paid to him for for for everything since, really, every time he's come back, every time he's played, you know, the even last month at the open. You know, I was remarking to a colleague of my it's incredible how we analyze now. We analyze every step he takes, we analyze every shot he takes, every holy plays every round, you know, and nobody gets the attention like that. I don't really like him. Yeah, I mean, I mean you grew up in an Arrow with Jordan's right, like. That's the same kind of thing, right, you know when Jordan came back, uh, playing for the whip. Now we're back, all right. Sorry, no, no, no, that's probably my Wifi. But uh, you know, everything was analyzed about Jordan's right. It didn't matter what he did. Um, you know, from to about the same thing with tiger right. Everybody wants a piece of him. So when you first what was you do you remember your first interview, like where your one on one with tiger and were you nervous or was he pretty laid back. Yeah, you know, one on ones were hard to come by. Um, I think the first time I ever interviewed him one on one was basically inside the ropes during a pro am around the probably the two thousand and seven time frame. And, you know, he knew who I was, recognized me when I started working for ESPN. He would see my name, and so I felt a little bit more comfortable with the idea of just going up to him, and I think he appreciated that, you know, because that was a time when I wasn't really gonna be wasting his time. He was out there anyway. He's playing in a pro am, he's got to be there. There's gonna be some time between shots. It's not serious. And those were the best interactions because, you know, he came to trust me. Um, he could tell me things, we could have a conversation. You knew I wouldn't write it. He we sort of had an understanding. I would always ask him, Hey, I'd like to ask you for something, something, for something I want to use, you know, and so then he would sort of turn on, you know, he would turn on the mechanisms that would make sure that he was you know, he knew he was going to be quoted, you know, Um, and so that's that's sort of how that relationship grew and it's uh, you know, even even now it's harder. I don't see him as much, he's not out there as much, but you know, we had a nice exchange at the open last month and Um, you know, we chatted just briefly about some things that didn't have anything to do with what I was writing. And Uh, you know, he's he's always been pretty good in that regard. Yes, so now you switch over to the other guy that your book is about, and and Phil. And what was that an interaction like for you, Phil? I came to get to know Phil later, I mean I think partly because, Um, tiger, you know, lived in Florida and and in my early days I covered more golf...

...locally than I did nationally. So I didn't know Phil as well. That that took a little bit more time. But yet phil was easier, you know, he's just he just wasn't as private and protective as tiger, and so and I and I also got to know his caddy, bones Jim, Jim McKay, and that helped. And so, Um, you know, I I developed. I thought it's just as good a relationship with Phil as I had with tiger. I mean I I could get him here and there. Things. Things have gotten a lot more complicated now with what's going on in the golf world today, but you know, Phil did. I did get phil the first time he talked earlier this year, after the whole thing with live and before he plays the first event. It was with me. I got him on the phone before we were both headed to London for that first live event. So, you know, I took that as a nice compliment that he that he was willing to talk to me first. Um, and we've had, you know, we had many conversations over the years. Sometimes he didn't like stuff I did or wrote, you know, but he was always you know, these guys who are in the media a lot, I think they get it and I think they realize that we make bogeys also and doubles and triples. You know, we make mistakes. It's a fast paced world and sometimes, Um, you know it nothing was meant by it, but you just you sort of have to need to face it and try to move on from it. That was my favorite thing, you know, when somebody would write something that wasn't true or accurate, I would go up to him and say, you know, that wasn't right what you wrote. And Oh, you know, they like get a Chicak look on their face and I'm like, you know, you can make mistakes too, just like I can throw an interception right. Well, you know, the big thing too, is I always felt like if you wrote something negative, it's important to face the guy soon after. You know, there was an old baseball writer's motto that you know, if the columnists, you know, ripped the ripped the guy, you better show up at batting practice the next day and let yourself be seen so he can have a go at you if if wanted. And you know, it wasn't so much like that with me and with tiger, myself and Phil. Yeah, I had a bull of you know, uncomfortable moments and I remember doing a big ten year thing on you know, Tiger scandal, Uh and, and you know it wasn't going to be pleasant. It was like a sort of a series by series by series account of what occurred and Um, you know. So the next time I saw him at Tory Pines, you know, I just went up to him and I said look, you know, I'm sure that that didn't go over very well, but I wanted to give you a chance to let me have it if you want to, you know, and he just sort of laughed it off, you know, he said, look, you know, we were sort of expecting things like that. You know, we get it. You know, that's not the worst we've ever seen. You know, and he he was, he was good. He he helped, he helped us both move on from it, you know, and I think that's probably a good attitude to have. Well, when you're both like tiger and Phil. I'm not comparing myself to these guys in any shape or form, but I did have something kind of like embarrassing happened in my career, you know, or a head, but a wall, and it's it's something you have to deal with and some people can tell it in a way that's very it's okay, you know, and you understand it, and some people tell it in a way that's very mean and you know and you always want to talk to him like why would you write that? You know, and and you've got to have that opportunity because I think it goes back to everything we've talked about on the show is that you don't want to burn any bridges because you never know who you're gonna meet. You never know where that guy is going to be in the future and if you burn that bridge, you're never he'll never talk to you again. Yeah, I mean you don't like you might, they might not like what you're right and they might be angry or upset or think you got it completely wrong. But if if you're out front and acknowledge that they have a point or that, hey, maybe I got that wrong or I see where you're coming from. You know, it's just about respect. You might not have liked what I wrote, that you're gonna maybe respect me and understand me better and know that you know most of the time I'm probably gonna I'm gonna do it the fair way. I'M gonna I'm trying my best...

...to be professional. Uh, you know, the time you're not gonna have a problem with it, but when you do have a problem with it, you should know that I'm going to stand up and take it and and and and not get defensive or or not be upset that you're mad um. Otherwise you're gonna have a hard time to having a relationship with people that you need, I mean as a quarterback. You know, the writers are gonna need to talk to the quarterback. You know, that's just that's just how it works. I mean, let's be honest, you're going to the you're going to the quarterback after every game and you know, if you can't show yourself when you criticize them, then that's not gonna help. Yeah, what do you think? Like? I always thought like, Um, you know, after game. Obviously I've been in tons of media situations, Um, over a long period of time, but I always thought like after a game or after a controversial moment or things you want to talk I always thought like if, if a reporter would just open it up in a certain way, like hey, this is gonna be a really hard question, but I gotta ask, you know, and stead of just blurting the question out and then like it hits you like a you know, like a tennis rack, it would hit you right in the face, or you can kind of smooth the landing a little bit and and open it up. How do you feel about like is that approach you take? Sometimes, absolutely, I mean and some, some people, by the letter of the law, would say you shouldn't do that, but I don't like the whole Gotcha thing, you know, Um, and especially when you're in a situation where where you're more private. Um, I think it does us some good to say hey, look, you know, I've got something that's that's sensitive or or this is controversial. It helps them brace for it, you know. And I I actually, I actually did that with Tiger at the PGA this year at Southern Hills in Tulsa, by the way, and and and it was the first time we've seen him since the masters and a bunch of US got out there to talk to him on the Sunday before he was playing a practice round and it was mostly about Um, uh, you know, his own health and how he's feeling and you know what's he's been doing and that sort of thing. And then, you know, as it seemed like we were going to end with that, I said, Hey, I've got I need to ask you something that's that's a little dicey and I just wanted you to know that it's common. And he's like, okay, and and and he also now he knows it's common. And I had a question for him about Phil. At the time, Phil was not playing. He had you know, he wasn't gonna play the P G A and and I and I said what do you make of the whole situation? And he said I would prefer to wait till Tuesday to answer that in the in the press conference. I hope you guys understand it. And one of the other guys joke. Will we just tell us now? And we won't. We won't say anything, you know, just to sort of break the ice, and tiger laughed and everything. But you know, I think he appreciated that. You know, I think he appreciated the fact that I was trying to soften the blow a little bit. Um It wasn't gonna be an easy question. Necessarily he decided to wait to answer it, which is fine, but then he also knew when it was coming a day or two later, and you know, I think he thought out his response. Now, is it right to have him think out his response? No, maybe some people think you should have just blurted it out. Well, if I blurted it out I'm probably still gonna get the same answer and he might not. He might not take too kindly to it. So I think there's certainly points in time when it makes sense to to sort of soften the blow a little bit. Yeah, you know, Um, I think, yeah, maybe we want to do think things out sometimes, but most guys that are very in tune to the media, that have to do it all the time, they're they're usually not going to get caught in something like that. You know what I mean? A rookie who doesn't know, like you know, I can think back to the many times I learned how to deal with the media and when you get caught in those moments, you know, and you say something, then you're getting called in the head coach's office and and they turn into a learning moment right for you, because when you become on those when you get on that stage in the beginning, it's a lot different than like when you've been on it for you know what I mean. So I'm sure. I'm sure that, uh, you know, it...

...seems like in the PGA right now there's a lot of young guys coming out that are playing very well, and so when you talk to them, do you kind of like you know, just like you said, there could be a learning moment when you were with a coach Knight. Do you feel like some of the media should do that more with young guys or just try to catch them, like you said. Yeah, no, I think you have to. You have to get them to understand that you're not the bad guy, you know, and that you're just trying to have a conversation, especially if it's just golf related, you know, about their game, about their upbringing. You want them to feel comfortable around you. Um, and if it's just sort of, you know, direct Um questions that don't have a lot of emotion or feeling, that that maybe they're not gonna warm up to you at all. Obviously there's gonna be an age difference with some of these young guys, really young guys. You know, they're dealing with somebody WHO's not part of their peer group, who's older. Um, you know, they don't know what I'm about. They don't know who you are, I mean, unless unless they've read it us. We've met each other before, and that's the thing is, you know, you you identify yourself. You're hoping that maybe they'll go check out what you wrote so they that they understand that you're trying to be fair, you know. And Yeah, I think that's always the better approach. Yeah, maybe you guys should be like instead of saying Hey, I'm Bob Harig, writer for sports illustrated, to be like Hey, I'm Bob Harig, I have four thousand followers on Tiktok. Exactly. Yeah, I think that the social media aspect of this is is uh, is probably something they're going to relate to a heck of a lot more. Yeah, well, I mean it's it's just what it is. You know, I watched my sons and my daughter go through social media like it's nothing, and my wife and I are pulling out like old dictionaries and trying to figure out how to do things. And she, my wife, did a post when we ride in the car and it took her thirty minutes because she wanted to make it right, and I'm like kids don't do that, honey, they just put it up, you know, it just it just goes up. It's crazy. Um, so now you know you written this book. When did you first start imagining that this book would come to fruition? Was it like just recently, or was it like way back when you kind of started having a relationship with both tiger and Phil actually, it never really occurred to me until after Tiger won the masters in two thousand and nineteen. I I sort of thought there's a book there with Tiger and then I got to think in well, you know who's been kind of his biggest adversary over the years and who who has warmed to him more? Tiger and Phil at that point it's sort of cooled. Their relationship had sort of gotten better and you know, well, they're both sort of at the end here. They've been rivals, even if the record doesn't necessarily suggest it, and I get to that a lot in the book. I talked about that. But you know, though, they were the two guys heading shoulders above everybody else for the longest time and they did have their duels and they did win majors at other each other's expense, and I got to think in nobody's really tackled that subject. There's been a lot written on tiger, but there hasn't been that much written on Phil and there's certainly not been that much written on them as they sort of coexisted, and that's sort of what I tried to do. I try to not get too far away from each guy. You know, obviously there was chapters that dealt with a victory or a loss that the other guy was not involved in, but I still brought the other character in because he had something to do with that tangententally. You know, he might have just been close enough, might not have been in contention, but something happened to him that week, and so it just seemed like a good idea, you know. And Uh and, you know, the people I talked in the business really liked it and I so I ended up starting on it like almost right at the beginning of the pandemic. That's it's just how sort of came together. That exactly. Yeah, you know, it gave me the time the early days of the pandemic. It was it was good, it was bad. I wasn't an outcovering golf, which is was hoping...

...to talk to people in person, but at home. It allowed me the chance to interview a ton of people who I would have needed to get my phone anyway. And now we're far easier to reach because they weren't doing anything. You know, we were all at home there for you know, several weeks, six, seven weeks whatever. Especially internationally, people were not traveling. You know, people I needed to reach overseas where restrictions were more, you know, where they were more confined. They were easier to get because, hey, why not, I'll talk to this guy. I've gotten I've got nothing else to do. So that helped in that regard, and zoom became everyone. Wow, somehow figured out how to do it right like that. It's look at. You know, we're doing it now and it uh, look at, works for so many aspects of media today. You know, you don't have to send a camera crew necessarily to talk to somebody. You could do it this way. Um, it works just as well in many cases. Yeah, no, it's great and I think you know, when I was reading some of the excerpts from your book, one of the things that struck me is it reminded me of kind of locker room stories, you know, little tidbits that people love to hear from inside the locker room. As a media, you know, you we're invaded by the media like five minutes after the game and so there's a lot of emotions going on and there's all kind of stories going on and and they come out a little bit. But in Gol if it's a little different. Right, I don't know if you guys are necessarily in the locker rooms not as much. The locker room has become a place of last resort Um if you miss somebody or you're you're looking for somebody. Typically we get them when they finished the route. You know, they go sign their scorecard. There's an area where we're allowed to talk to the players. It's pretty raw in that case too. A lot of times, you know, the guy just double bogies the eighteen pole, he walks off, he signs a scorecard. Within five minutes you're in his face. That's probably not the best time to talk, but in some cases that's the only time you're gonna get and if it's obviously if it's part of the tournament, there's no other choree. But if it's just like I want, I'm going to interview this guy about Tiger I'm gonna I'm just not gonna do it, then I'm not gonna waiter. I might say, Hey, do you mind if I tried to track you down later? Can I get you tomorrow or what have you. It's just too because, you know, it's just probably the worst possible time when when when they're when they're coming off the golf course and they're and they're hot. Yeah, so do you feel like you need an addendum to your book now with live and everything that's happening. You know, tiger was offered money but he didn't go. And fills kind of help and live be different than the P G A, and it's just like it's almost fits right into your book. It's like this fascinating they're at odds again exactly. I mean, you know, I would think there's gonna be a paperback and I would think they'll ask me to write an addendum, another chapter, what, what have you, because because the book was basically done in January, none of this had come up at that point. And you know, you've got tiger and filling on opposite side of the issue. Tiger has been very for him even very much Um, you know, very uh expressive, let's say, about his dislike for it. He could have said he didn't like it without saying a whole lot. He said a lot, you know. He said, I don't like fifty or four holes, I don't like the guaranteed money. What about the shotgun starts? These guys have turned their back on the entity that that made them to the point where somebody would want them. He went deep on it. Phil obviously went the other way has a lot of issues. UH, some of them are are kind of issues that are in the weeds about the PGA tour. That kind of got lost in the bluster. You know, he said some things that were that we're taking his outrageous. You know, the you know the about the tours greed. But he he also said some things that probably has some truth in a lot of players believe that lack of transparency. Where is all the money? You know, why aren't the stars compensated better? Frankly, I think the whole live thing lives, frankly, because there's no guaranteed money in golf. You know, Tiger showed up at St Andrews a...

...couple of weeks ago with tremendous fanfare. I'm sure when he was playing the ratings were at their highest. You know, uh, he brought up a lot of attention to the event. He missed the cut and got paid zero, you know, nothing. I mean he's part of the show for two days and I think he at the majors. Sometimes they give a five or ten thousand dollar, you know, stipend, but I mean a regular tour events you don't get paid anything. If you missed the cut and you know, I happen to think the players have a have a legitimate right there, you know, the last you know, the last guy on the bench of of an NBA team gets paid, whether he gets in the game or not. You know, and and throughout team sports. Yeah, I kind of wonder, like how you would pay you know, I guess you have a base salary depending on years. I don't know how it would go. It would be interesting to see the question. It's not an easy thing to get to the bottom of, you know, like it's easy to say what I just said. But how, how do you make it practical? Do you give everybody who gets a tour card two hundred thousand dollars to start the year to get, if everybody twenty dollars just for showing up an event? To increase that as they've been out there longer? Um, do you find a way to reward the stars? Now, one way the tour is trying to do that is starting next year they're gonna have this series of three events in the fall, no cut, guaranteed money. Well, that's what lived does every week, you know. And and but yet you still have to perform to get into those events. You know, there's something all based on performance with the tour that in many, many ways it's great. You know, you get what you earn. But by the same token, I use Bryson De Chambeau as a great example who's gone over to live. Bryson was an asset for the PGA tour last year. He had that feud with Brooks Kepka. That got a lot of run. He won a tournament at Bay Hill where twice he tried to drive a green on a par five across the water. You know, he got a lot of attention. He lost the Sixfold playoff to Cantley, Patrick Cantley in the playoff. He was leading the US Open with nine holes to go and didn't break forty at Tory Pines and you know, finish like I mean, he was always making news and that's good for the tour. He was he's a you know, he's he's an interesting figure that plays with the single length clubs and all the weight gain and all that stuff. Well, he got hurt earlier this year and if he just stayed on the PGA tour he's probably not qualifying for those Fedex Cup playoffs. He just really started playing again and so that means he gets none of the reward and yet look at all that he brought. And so that's where, you know, getting to the middle ground on that very difficult. You know, how do you do it? But I'm just trying to point out this is where we got where we got. I think there's been enough players and agents who feel that there should be some guarantee compensation, compensation and now lives going way overboard and given guaranteed compensation. Yeah, they have gone overboard and I think the PGA has had such a stranglehold on the players that's some point the dam was gonna break right whereas you know, they can't do different functions, they can't do anything else. You know, you can't. There's there were so many things um about that that I just thought like because there were different charities, even with the NFL alumni, trying to get the PGA to do events and they're just like no, we don't, we don't do that stuff for our own thing, you know, where it's like the NFL has done such a great job of just just marketing being out there and getting their guys out there and and that's what it's kind of being. I felt like the PGA didn't do that. Now live is like, all right, we're gonna do things a little different, you know, we're gonna do golf but louder. Yeah, no, they've got this. Listen, they've got some ideas that I think have some merit Um. There's there's nothing wrong with like, let's say they live never came along, but the tour borrowed some of their ideas. Like what, what would be wrong with having six whole events? Right, you know, what would be wrong with with forming twelve four...

...man teams that play across six or eight tournaments a year? And you give us a different aspect? I mean the PGA tour is almost you know, there's forty seven events that they just announced for their schedule next year. I believe forty five of them are stroke seventy two whole stroke play events. UH, they have a they have a match play event and then they have a stable for an event. That's it. Everything is seventy two whole stroke play. And you have a sport where you you you know, obviously you can't change the parameters of football or baseball for sale though they they play a different size fields in baseball golf. You could shorten it to fifty four holes. You could have more match play, you could have a team aspect once in a while, and I think that would be especially if you had teams that competed across several events. I think that would be fun. But but they haven't explored those things and these guys have done that and obviously they're paying the huge sum of money to get guys to join join in and, you know, we'll see if it if it sticks or not, but I don't necessary certainly think some of their ideas are bad. Yeah, no, I think so. I think that they could do many, many other things. Obviously, when you play Golf, I'm sure you're another like I am, there's so many games that you can do with your buddies, you can go out and play, you know, and it's always like, how come the PGA doesn't do some of these right, it's always very old school. This is what they did back in the day and this is what we're going to continue to do. And now live is coming blown at all. I'm not a big fan of the shotguns start because I don't think I don't I think everybody should start at the same hole, you know what I mean, like somebody starting on a part three. It's probably a lot easier than starting on, you know, whatever the first hole is that they make pretty hard at some of these major courses. I'm not I'm not a fan of that, but everything else I'm cool with. Yeah, I mean a shotgun starts taking some getting used to. Um, you know, last week Matthew Wolf Uh, you know, gave Henrik Stenson a run. Shot Sixty four in the last round and got close. Well, he started on the fourth hole, so that means he was finishing on three and Hendrick was finishing on a team. You know. I mean that's a little jarring when you're used to the traditional way of doing things. Um, and you know, seventy two holes has been the way to determine the best winner typically, but, as you noted, we play different games. Max Play is very common game among you know, average, you know, regular golfers, even Stableford, playing for points instead of worrying about score. You know, because if if you if you make it that you don't get any points after a bogey, you don't worry so much about making a double or triple. You're probably gonna be more you might even be you know, take more chances. You know, because you think. You know, it's worth it to me for me to try for this par this burdene. If I blow up, it doesn't ruin my round, you know. And yet the tour doesn't do those sorts of things very often, Um, and I think if there's a way to work it into the schedule, the problem that they have is, well then, does it count for the Fedex COB there's account for this season long thing? Well, sure, figure out a way to make it count. Figure it out. Yeah, know, uh, my feeling is kind of like hockey. Right seven game playoffs are just way too many, really, like you can't do it. You can't decide to winner in three and maybe the Stanley Cup, you know, is in five, you know, but seven games the whole way. It's it's like it's too much. Sometimes maybe you just need to make golf on the weekends when you get your viewership, when you get your audience. You know what about that? Um. So, before I let you go, you wrote this book. You got to interview two of the greatest, biggest names in golf, obviously one of the biggest names ever in golf. Um and what's your real takeaway about your book? And, like all the people that have asked you about it, the comment and on it. What's the one thing that that makes you most proud of why you wrote it? Well, there's two things, I think. One is that Phil was tiger before tiger and I tried really hard to bring that out. You know, we focus a lot on tiger as a kid and being on TV and how great he was as a young are. So is Phil. He...

...came four or five years before and Phil did things Tiger didn't do. Phil won a tour event as an amateur when he was a junior at Arizona state. He won the Tucson open and Tiger never sniffed the pro win as an amateur. The best finish he had as an amateur was twenty two British Open. Phil contended a couple of times. Phil Phil, you know, Tiger one three straight US amateurs. Phil won one. Phil also won three ncaa titles, individual titles, and finished fourth in the other year. And where? And that was the year that he won the tour event. Tiger won one Ncaa title only stayed at Stanford for two years. You know. So there if you look at their their amateur careers and didn't know who was who you might think that Phills was better or pretended more pro success because because winning the amateur you know, there is a bit of a crap shoot involved in winning amateur matches. You know, you could shoot seventy six and win, you could shoot sixty eight and lose, whereas you know, the sixty eight is could always hold up and stroke play. So there's that aspect of it. You know. I think Phil has almost been underrated and how great his career was. Uh, you know, to win. He won forty five times, but thirty six of those wins were during the tiger era. Um, you know, when Tiger one eighty two, it's pretty impressive, you know. And then of course, from the tiger side of things. Um, I think what I tried to bring out that maybe you wouldn't have known it, is just, you know, he did view Phil as a threat. He he kind of maintained this aura of of dismissiveness when it came to Phil, you know, especially early on, and I have some stories about this, you know, but filled that under his skin a little bit and tiger, you know, recognized that Phil was really good and for a time I think he wondered why he wasn't better. You know what, he was wasting his talent. And then they came and then he came to have this respect for him and they kind of came together to help with the Ryder Cup. You know, they matured and they they got past some of the pettiness. Uh. You know, now, as we were talking about, I think it's gone the other way because there are other sides of this Um. But you know, Tiger sent Phil a really nice congratulatory tweet when Phil won the PGA last year. You know, Um, that's something that you wouldn't have expected from him, certainly ten years before. He would have he wouldn't have done something like that. He wouldn't have he wouldn't have reached out, certainly not publicly. So I try to bring that out, you know, and and I highlight two of their great wins, their last wins, and I think you could argue which one was better. Was Tiger's master's win better than Phils a win? I think it's a good a good argument, a good topic, because obviously what tiger did was incredible, but so was Phil. He's became the oldest major champion. Uh. And actually, you know, it's kind of hard to believe we're at where we're at with Phil Right now. It's not that long ago that he won that tournament of Kiela to become the oldest major champion. Just a huge career defining moment for him. Yeah, it's it's it has been crazy to watch how the candle can can burn out pretty quick, you know, no matter what sport you're in, Um, and you know, I think it's it's it's great. I think everybody should go see it. Um, thank you for writing it. Thank you for joining me on huddle up with GUS UM and everyone. It's just an amazing you know, I feel like it's like the stories that a lot of people don't know and I think you bring them out in a very good light. And, uh, you know, we all have our little demons and it's almost like they're on each other's shoulders. That's right, no doubt. Yeah, I appreciate it. Thank you all right, Bob. Last question for you. How Chicago going to do this year? Oh God, I don't I don't have a whole lot of hope. I don't have a whole lot of hope. I think as long as Aaron Rodgers is in the in the division, hey you know, speaking of rivalries, just real quick, I used the packers and the bears as a great example of Tiger and Phil because I've had people say, well, you know, Phil was never really arrival to tiger. Okay, yeah, by to the record, but do you think the packers don't view the bears as arrival, even though they have been kicking their tails for years? Of course they...

...do. You know, the record doesn't show it for the last fifteen years or so, but man, they get after it when they when they play each other. They don't look at the other guy as being inferior, you know, and that's how I sort of felt tiger and Phil work. You know, the records might not have been the same, but they you know, they certainly saw each other as as a guy, the one to beat. Well, I mean I played in Detroit and Minnesota and you know, anytime you step on the field as a pro, whether it's the golf course, to field, the diamond, whatever it is, you have a chance to win. And you know, if you ever think your opponent it can't beat you, that's when you're gonna get beat. Um, I appreciate you, Bob, joining me today. Um, and it was really nice to have you on how to help with Gus. Thanks for having me. Enjoyed it all right, everyone, another episode of how to up with Gus. I appreciate you listening. Check me out and how to up with GUS DOT COM or wherever you listen to your favorite podcast, and we'll see you next week. That's rap sports bands. Thanks for joining in the fun. At the sixty thirty one digital studios for another at huddle up with gus, featuring fifteen year NFL quarterback GusFrerotte. Huddle up with GUS is probably produced by sixty one digital media and is available on at the Music.

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