Professional golf, at any rate. While watching baseball (Go Cards), I kept seeing ads for this one video game. Some sort of Tiger Woods Golf or something - didn't pay much attention, really. But the gist of things is that Tiger's got to sink this putt, and while he's lining it up he's thinking about all the many distractions. I wish he'd stop whispering. Someone's cell phone just went off. I smell french fries. Et cetera ad nauseum. The thoughts get jumbled up, the music swells, he swings his putter, sinks the ball, and the crowd cheers.
You know why I hate that commercial so much? BECAUSE PROFESSIONAL GOLFERS ARE LAME! Think about it. I'm watching the MLB playoffs. There's this guy, that's got to hit this tiny ball. A moving target coming at him somewhere around 95-100 miles an hour. And the pitcher's trying his best to make it twist or curve or sink or slide so that it's as unhittable as possible. Hell, he might even throw it shoulder-high or into the dirt. If there's a runner on first, he might be trying to steal a base, darting across your field of vision. All the while you've got just as much money on the line, just as many if not more cameras are on you (baseball being "the National Pastime" and all), and I assume just as much overall stress. Is anyone forcing those crowds to shut up? HELL NO! In fact, in high-pressure situations the fans normally scream louder.
I know for certain that's how it is in college football. You're a quarterback, okay? You have to drop back, scramble out of the pocket, try to find someone that's open, throw a ball thirty yards downfield, hit a moving target, and somehow get it past the defender that's trying to knock the ball down out of the air. All while avoiding the half-dozen savage monsters that are trying to chase you down and really, really hurt you badly. Oh yeah, and there's a clock that's quickly ticking away. Millions of dollars are on the line. You're on nationwide TV. That has got to be one of the most stressful things in all of professional sports. In golf, they demand that you be perfectly silent so that they can concentrate. They can't make the shot unless you're absolutely silent. In football, people brag about how loud their student sections are, and how intimidating their home field is to play. Fans screaming, yelling, trying their best to screw you up. In some stadiums it gets so loud that you can't even hear the audibles or the snap count. It's so real and such an important factor that they're starting to model that in the newest batch of video games.
In golf, the ball's not moving. You're not moving. You're standing there, physically relaxed and comfortable. There's no time limit. The hole's not moving. No one's trying to block you, block the hole, or physically crush you. Even the crowd is forced to perfectly quiet so there's absolutely no distractions whatsoever while you take your shot. Long story short? I know it ain't easy and I know I couldn't do it, but don't give a damn if Tiger Woods or any of his buddies can smell french fries when they're playing golf. He's a fucking professional. He gets paid MILLIONS and MILLIONS of dollars to do what he does. Shut up and act like you got a pair, and take it like a fucking man. Just do your damned job and quit being such a crybaby.