Wednesday, May 22, 2013
SERGIO GARCIA PLAYS THE 'FRIED CHICKEN' CARD
If you taunt, chide, and try to be funny at someone else's expense long enough, something
is bound to blow up in your face.
On Tuesday night, Sergio Garcia, who seemed to be enjoying throwing darts at Tiger Woods
as if he was representing everyone who hated the best golfer on the planet, ignited the TNT
that's finally wiped the smirk off his face.
At a golf dinner in Europe, Garcia, who has no major victories in his illustrious career, was
asked in jest if he was going to be inviting Tiger over for dinner during the U.S. Open. Garcia,
who often whines like the petulant 5-year old child at the toy story who didn't get the stuffed
giraffe, fired off words that he'd like to have back:
"We'll have him round every night,'' Garcia said, according to multiple media reports. "We will
serve fried chicken.''
Oh, no he didn't. Unfortunately, for him, yes, he did. Sergio Garcia played the 'fried chicken'
card. I don't have to tell anybody what using fried chicken in the same sentence with a person
of color means, but it's racist.
After the second round of the Masters in 1997, which Tiger Woods won in historic fashion, Fuzzy
Zoeller used fried chicken in the same sentence as Woods and it cost him dearly.
"He's doing quite well, pretty impressive. That little boy is driving well and he's putting well.
He's doing everything it takes to win. So, you know what you guys do when he gets in here?
You pat him on the back and say congratulations and enjoy it and tell him not to serve fried chicken next year. Got it."
Zoeller, one of the most popular players on the tour, never recovered. His sponsors dropped
him like he was hot, and Zoeller pretty much dropped off the map. He was toast.
Up until Tuesday night, Garcia seemed to be relishing his role as Tiger's adversary and "standing
up" to him. During the controversy at The Players Championship two weeks ago, Garcia said
Tiger "wasn't the nice guy on tour" and also wasn't "true to himself." Never mind that Garcia
was his same old self, whining and complaining that he was distracted during a shot by the commotion Tiger's entourage created. Garcia put all the blame on Tiger being Tiger.
For a guy who has no major titles on his resume because he chokes when the pressure gets too
hot, this was almost comical. I realize the media has made Garcia out to be a player who has
seven major titles under his belt, but in the grand scheme of golf, he has done nothing. He was
trying to pull Tiger, who has 14 majors and 78 victories to his credit, down in his sand box.
To his credit, Tiger never really took the bait. Oh, sure, he called Garcia what he is, a complainer,
but he didn't abuse Garcia's major-less career like he could've have. Tiger just went on to win
The Players Championship, thanks in large part to Garcia, who evaporated in the heat like a
snowball in the desert.
Despite another major choke job, Garcia kept coming at Tiger, saying on Monday that Tiger
told the truth for the first time in 15 years when he called Garcia a whiner.
Tuesday, Garcia passed the point of no return with the 'fried chicken' comment. Oh, he apologized
through a press release, but the damage has been done. It's too late. By Wednesday at noon, this
will dominate talk radio and the twitter-sphere. Garcia is going to get destroyed in the court of
public opinion. It's one thing to be a complainer, it's quite another to be perceived, even in the
slightest of ways, of being a racist.
Will Garcia recover? Well, he's young, so time is on his side. However, if he comes unglued
when the pressure's on during a round of golf, it'll be interesting to see if Sergio comes completely
undone by the heat and hatred he will feel by the rest of the world for making the fried chicken
Garcia chided Tiger for being untruthful. It'll be interesting to see how Sergio acts now that the
truth about him has finally come out.