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This Is Why Kids Hate Golf

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"On The DL" podcast host Dan Levy will be checking in on The Sporting Blog twice per week with a look at sports media. Be sure to visit his podcast every weekday. ↵

↵As an American sports fan, there’s not much better than waking up on a lazy Saturday morning and watching Major Championship competition, particularly if you rise most days before the sun. ↵

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↵Fraggle Rock, the occasional dirty movie and breakfast with Wimbledon were the reasons to have HBO as a kid. And while the American sports fan gravitates more to azaleas and green jackets in April than pot bunkers and winter jackets in July, there’s really nothing better for links fans than waking up, turning on the tube and getting meaningful golf. ↵

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↵Too often, our sports are slated for prime time, and with start times being pushed back further and further into the night, it’s nearly impossible for kids to enjoy some of our most important sporting events. The first actual pitch of last week's All-Star Game (not the Obama cover-up ceremonial first pitch) wasn’t thrown until after 8:40 p.m. Other than in the NFL, PGA and maybe NASCAR, big sporting events never seem to take place during the day anymore. And golf tee times seem to be pushed back more and more these days, with leaders not teeing off until close to 3:00 p.m. in some cases. More tournaments are ending with flashbulbs than ever before. Everyone wants a piece of that prime-time action. ↵

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↵Which is why The Open Championship, won yesterday by Stewart Cink, is one of the great joys on the sports calendar. Imagine the scene: the sun cascades through your blinds to gently start your day and rather than getting out of bed to mow the lawn or paint the fence or wax the car, you lazily turn on ABC to watch Tom Watson try to make history. ↵

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↵And as they cut to commercial with a breathtaking Turnberry view and a look at the short leaderboard, it was evident that ageless Tom Watson was still in the lead, just one stroke ahead of Hannah Montana. ↵

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↵Wait, what? ↵

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↵Yes, it seems that early morning sports make for great TV -- unless you are a nine-year-old girl. The British Open preempted some of ABC’s regular morning programming, which included -- of all things -- Hannah Freaking Montana. Not once, but twice during the day, the hit show was skipped in favor of links. Young girls all over the country must have been freaking out (thankfully my daughter still only cares about Sesame Street, which by the way was in its regularly scheduled timeslot TYVM PBS). ↵

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↵Add millions of pre-teen girls (and Billy Ray Cyrus) to the list of people who hate Stewart Cink right about now. ↵

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↵If the USGA is really trying to grow the sport of golf, they better be careful how many kids they anger on Saturday mornings. Granted, I started this by saying how wonderful early-morning sports can be, and even how I, as a kid, loved waking up with Wimbledon and The Open Championship. But there has to be a balance, doesn’t there? I’ll tell you right now, as much as I loved my early-morning sports growing up, if Snorks or SuperFriends had been preempted by golf, you may not be reading this right now. ↵

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↵What about the children? How are we expected to produce the next Morgan Pressel (heck, the current Pressel might still be young enough) if we’re pushing aside their favorite shows in favor of boring ol’ golf? How will we get the kids to love golf now???? ↵

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↵There needs to be a happy medium. ABC Family? I suppose. Give everyone a free day of the Disney Channel anytime Hannah Montana is preempted for sports? It might work. I don’t have the answer. At least ABC was prepared, and clearly thinking about the kids, getting Zack and Cody to pop in and host the coverage for a while. ↵

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↵Man those two haven’t aged well. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.