What John McCain Can Learn from Boo Weekley

Written by   (author of Obvious Conclusions)

boo weekley ryder cup victoryLast Sunday, I watched the U.S.A. win the Ryder Cup, a victory spearheaded by an unlikely individual named Boo Weekley, a victory that made all who watched proud of our Americans, and our America.  We saw all of the characteristics that made our country great:  tenacity, teamwork, honesty, competitiveness, friendship, and fun, lots of fun.  I felt great.

Later that same night, I watched 60 minutes which featured an interview with John McCain.  This depressed me

I got to thinking…John McCain could learn a lot from Boo Weekley. 

With the election season upon us, we have entered a season of untruthfulness, lies, and deceit.  John McCain has said in the past that he was against offshore drilling, against regulating the financial community, and against dirty politics.

Now that he is running for president, he has changed his tune on all three of these things:  He leads the cause for offshore drilling and says his opponent has been slow to adopt this policy.  Since the financial fallout in the markets this past week, he has proclaimed the need for financial  regulations that he has never before supported and has recommended the termination of the Secretary of the Treasury Hank Paulson.  And, after claiming that he dislikes dirty politics, he has championed a sleazy campaign against Barack Obama likening him to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton.

All the political lies are enough to make one…consider a redneck for President?

Last weekend, one the greatest sporting events of the year took place:  The Ryder Cup.  For the non-golf fans, this is a three-day golf tournament, played just once every two years,  which pits the United States against the Europeans.  The Americans have been dominated by the Europeans in the recent Ryder Cups in spite of having a better team.

The tournament holds a special place for the golfers, and golf fans, because it is the one time when golfers play as a team, not as individuals playing for millions of dollars.  The experts say that the Americans have lost with such frequency in the past decade because they’re too selfish and unable to play as a team. 

For the first time in many years, the European team was favored to win.  Two reasons account for this:  One, Tiger Woods is hurt.  And two, the Europeans have become better world golfers. 

But this year, the Americans won on the heels of several inspired performances and great teamwork.  One of the substantial contributions to the team came from a golfer relatively unknown outside the golfing community:  Boo Weekly.

Boo Weekly is not your ordinary golfer.  In fact, one might consider him a maverick in the golfing world.  Boo Weekly is a redneck.  In a sport long considered the bastion of spoiled rich kids, Boo grew up in Milton, Florida, which he says is,  “kind of a redneck little town. The boys and girls down there all drive trucks.”

The first real glimpse of Boo that I had was just last year at a tournament called the Honda Classic.  On the final green, Boo had a 3 foot putt, a putt he would make 99 out of 100 times, to win the tournament.  He missed the putt and lost the tournament.  Asked afterward about the missed putt, Boo said, “I was shaking.  I ain’t going to lie about it. I mean, I was shaking like a leaf. … I made a good stroke. I just hit it way too hard.”

What refreshing honesty!  Most golfers would blame the green, the weather, the equipment-anything but themselves. 

The next week Boo won his first golf tournament and has since become one of the best golfers in the world.  But, most importantly, he hasn’t allowed his accomplishments to overshadow himself; he hasn’t changed.

This past weekend at the Ryder Cup, Boo was asked if he felt the pressure of the failed Ryder Cups that preceded him.  He responded:  “That’s all on paper that we’re underdogs. You don’t know what you’ve got until you get out there and play with it.  It’s like getting a new pack of hounds when we were growing up and going deer hunting. You don’t know what kind of dogs you’ve got until you run them, so let’s run them and we’ll see.”

Boo went on to stunning victories in the Ryder Cup this past weekend and boosted the U.S Team to a win not only with his golf but with his humor.

“The Ryder Cup didn’t change Boo.  He just tells it like it is and it’s so refreshing,” said one of the golf columnist. 

The initial appeal of John McCain was so similar to Boo-a maverick who just tells it like it is.

And so, as I watched 60 minutes last Sunday, and heard John McCain telling me what he thinks that I want to hear, I wondered:  Where has the real John McCain gone?  Where is the Maverick? 

Boo would never do me like that!

Other Notes/Links on Boo Weekley

It’s always fun to surf the Internet for similarly-themed articles after I write a piece.  In doing so for this article, I realized first that…

  • Nobody agrees on the spelling of Boo Weekley. Google provides more hits for his name spelled incorrectly-Weekly-than it does for his name spelled correctly, Weekley.
  • Here is a great interview with Boo Weekley:


  • And a profile of Boo’s life with comments from his family in Milton, Fl:


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Richard Cummings

Richard Cummings is writer, traveler, and web content developer.

Get your copy of his latest book entitled Obvious Conclusions, stories of a Midwestern emigrant influenced and corrupted by many years living in San Francisco and abroad. It just received its first outstanding review "...reminiscent of David Sedaris or Augusten Burroughs" on Amazon UK.
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Richard CummingsWhat John McCain Can Learn from Boo Weekley

Comments 2

  1. a. friend

    Why Obama will lose

    David Deming
    The Edmond Sun

    EDMOND — When Benjamin Franklin was dispatched to France as ambassador of the United States in 1776, he won the hearts of the French through his authenticity. Rather than take on an affected and phony continental style, Franklin eschewed the powdered wig of the European gentleman and donned the fur cap of an American frontiersman. Original genius and polymath, Franklin understood that the French would see through any false pretension but respect an authenticity that sprang from an unpretentious and naive love of country.

    What a contrast there is between Franklin and Barack Obama. Obama is a Harvard lawyer who is a mile wide and an inch deep. He is only the latest in a long line of shallow elites that consider it stylish and intellectual to despise their own culture and heritage.

    Nothing exemplifies Obama’s antipathy for American culture better than his statement that Americans “cling to” religion and guns out of frustration or bitterness. We only can suppose that Obama regards religion or firearms as aberrations that need to be eradicated.

    Of course, both guns and religion are essential aspects of American culture. The United States was founded by people seeking religious freedom. Does the word “Pilgrim” ring a bell with anyone? Our freedom and the right to self-government were won by farmers with guns.

    The American Revolution started when the British marched to Concord with the intention of confiscating colonial arms. Both the right to “keep and bear arms,” and the right to “free exercise” of religion are enshrined in the Bill of Rights. We have come a long way when the presidential nominee of a major political party regards the exercise of fundamental rights as a mental aberration.

    When Obama refers to “my Muslim faith,” the verbal gaffe resonates as a Freudian slip because of Obama’s thinly veiled hatred for this country’s unique culture and institutions. Obama sat for 20 years in a church where the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr preached “goddamn America.” He only resigned from the congregation when it became politically expedient to do so. When earlier this year, Michelle Obama said “for the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country,” can we conclude that her husband disagrees? Is it not remarkable that Michelle Obama can be so small-minded as to find nothing in the history of the United States that merits her admiration but the personal success of her husband?

    What is Barack Obama for? His campaign motto is “change.” But even a 6-year-old child understands that “change” can be either good or bad. Lacking specifics, the invocation of “change” as policy is completely empty. As we witness Obama’s minions mindlessly endorse the meaningless maxim of “change,” it only can call to mind the barnyard animals in George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” chanting “four legs good, two legs bad!”

    The choice of Sarah Palin as John McCain’s running mate has been devastating for the Obama campaign precisely because she is everything Obama is not. Palin is not ashamed of her culture or country. She is not embarrassed by being an American, but naively embraces her birthright. Unassisted by affirmative action, Palin has risen to national prominence on the basis of her character, intelligence and natural gifts. In a word, she has guts. This is a woman who is proud of her country, not because it has granted her personal success, but because she respects what America stands for: freedom, opportunity, and individualism.

    Obama is a vapid demagogue, a hollow man that despises American culture. He is ill-suited to be president of the United States. As the weeks pass, more Americans will come to this realization and elect McCain/Palin in a landslide.

    DAVID DEMING is an associate professor of Arts and Sciences at the University of Oklahoma, but his opinions do not necessarily represent those of the university.

  2. Richard

    Interesting post from “a friend”. David Deming, in the article posted above, concludes that Obama is a “vapid demagogue”.

    “Vapid” means lacking liveliness, animation, or interest.

    John McCain, based on his own advertisements, would disagree with that assestment.

    And to suggest that Obama is a “hollow” man lacks any understanding of who Obama is as a man.

    I know of no greater conviction a man could have displayed by risking his whole political career in saying that “The Iraq War” was wrong. Whatever one thinks of the Iraq war, it is irrefutable that the reasons given for this war were lies. In the end, thousands of Americans and Iraqis (civilian Iraqis) are DEAD.

    I think of this war today as our economy faces ruin and the government is requesting a $700 billion bailout.

    The Iraq War costs more than $10 billion a month. All agree that the total costs thus far exceed $1 trillion dollars. In the Washington Post, they say that the cost will exceed $3 trillion dollars: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/07/AR2008030702846_pf.html

    I presume “a. friend” supports John McCain. I always liked John McCain and thought he was someone who would tell the truth. I have been very disappointed in his campaign though as I believe he has deviated from his “tell like it is” manner.

    I am surprised though to hear that “a. friend” is such a supporter of the Republicans. Back in his college days, “a. friend” was more concerned about people than his pocketbook 🙂

    Also, “a. friend” should know that I am supporting his Milwaukee Brewers as they still have a chace to make the playoffs!

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