The NFL Draft: A perfect solution to U.S. Ryder Cup struggles
This weekend’s upcoming NFL Draft has turned into an event that is almost as anticipated as the NFL season itself. From the beginning of the college football season in September, the discussion and debates begin over who should be the first pick once April finally arrives. Players are interviewed, scanned, examined, overrated, underrated, ridiculed, and praised. The draft projections change almost daily, as experts and casual NFL fans debate which player will have the best career until the teams finally decide on which player they will gamble with their future. When all is said and done on draft day, the NFL teams base their choice more on instinct than on raw numbers. Ron Dayne, Ricky Williams, Ryan Leaf, and Peter Warrick are at the top of the long list of players with huge college numbers and disappointing NFL careers. How much sense would it actually make for the top twelve teams to choose the twelve players with the best statistics?
But that is essentially the way we select our Ryder Cup team. We allow numbers and complicated statistics to choose 10 of our players, and give human instinct and reason only 2 choices. The names that make up our roster are without a doubt more flashy and famous than Europe’s players, but they still own us in this event. Look at all of the recent champions in every major sport. None have the most talent in their respective leagues, but they all manage to put together the best performance on the field.
I would rather see men like Ben Crenshaw and Tom Lehman have free reign in their Ryder Cup selections than to be given 10 players based on a system of points. Remember when Crenshaw predicted a U.S. comeback simply based on a feeling? I have no doubt that we could put together a more competitive team if we simply allowed our captain to choose all twelve players based on his instinct and general golf knowledge. If that means eliminating Tiger or Phil because they don’t really help the team- so be it. This might sound irrational, but think about how many NFL teams passed on Terrell Owens this off-season.
Obviously the Europeans use a similar system that has worked for them, but the primary difference is that they don’t have the arrogance and egos that the American team does; thus, any of their players would mesh more effectively than our top 10 do.
Once we begin putting less emphasis on statistics and more emphasis on instinct, we will be better suited to take on a group of Europeans who understand match-play and who understand the concept of playing as a team.
Look to the NFL draft for the answers.
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