After the disappointing but undeniably riveting events of this past Ryder Cup I keep reading articles about getting more team events in golf. While I agree that it would be fantastic to be able to watch and experience the unbelievable atmosphere generated by this unique event on a more regular basis, it is precisely because of it's uniqueness that the event generates as much drama as it does. Do we want two Super Bowls a year because the first one is so good? Should there be an "October" Madness because March Madness is one of the best sporting times of the year? Of course not. While it's understandable to want more of something that is so very, very good, it is ludicrous to think that it can be created out of thin air just by trying to duplicate the format.
The largest factor in why the Ryder Cup is so good is what's at stake. There's pride, patriotism, bragging rights, and the ever-important ability to hold it over the other guys' heads for two years. It's knowing that each and every shot a player hits matters, not just to him, but to his coach, his teammates, his peers, and even his country. And as the matches wind down, those shots are magnified even more. The intensity is spectacular. Not to mention the history and the actual cup itself. The camaraderie and shared team experience cannot be equalled in any other aspect of the sport. There is only the Ryder Cup and, to a smaller degree, the President's Cup.
Aother major contributor to the drama is the infrequency of the event. They only happen every two years; every four years on home soil. So, again, everything is magnified because each player knows how hard it is to earn his way onto the team. He knows that this may be his only, or his last, shot at playing in this great event so he needs to make the most of it. I guarantee every player out there keeps a closer eye on the Ryder Cup points standings than they do on the FedEx Cup standings. At least until the end of the year, and even then, I'm sure one of the main reasons they want to advance in the FedEx Cup is the extra opportunities it gives them for Ryder Cup points. This might only pertain to the top 50-60 players in the US but in reality, those are the only players most of us are watching anyway.
So, while I agree it would be wonderful to be able to experience events like this on a regular basis, at least half of what makes it so good is precisely because we can't. When the dates finally arrive, we can savor every moment while knowing, bittersweetly, that it's going to be another two years before we get to taste it again.
As an aside......
I wouldn't be opposed to some sort of year-long team event. Take the top twelve as "captains" and then split them into ten-man teams, divided by moneylist rankings. So 12,13,36,37...on one team and 11,14,35,38...etc. Keep score with earnings or FedEx points or whatever. It may add an interesting dynamic in that players could actually "root" for someone else on tour to do well. Even making the cut would matter more than just a paycheck. Right now, the Americans are all basically playing for themselves. This would have the chance of creating at least the semblance of a "team" atmosphere, even if the stakes aren't all that great. They could take the top two or four teams at the end of the year and play some sort of mini-matchplay event. They could even do the same format as the Ryder Cup if they'd like. I'm sure they could find a sponsor willing to put up a little cash for the participating teams. Especially since they'd get their name mentioned all year long as the "standings" were updated on network television. The big problem with this though, is when they'd find time to play the "finals". They'd probably have to do it in November or something and who knows what participation would be like. Just a thought...