Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Evolving Opinions About Giuliani's Golfer Kid

It all started when I read this article at The Onion: Giuliani's Son Suing Duke Over Golf

Next, I found an article at GolfWeek: Giuliani out of Bounds
My reaction: What a tool! This kid is a typical brat who has such an absurd sense of entitlement.

Finally, I found this article at GolfWeek: Giuliani sues Duke over dismissal and this at the New York Times: Forced Off Duke’s Varsity Golf Team, Giuliani’s Son Files a Lawsuit
These articles made me realize that (if the statements about the coach are close to accurate) it is not as one-sided as I initially thought.
Vincent said Giuliani could rejoin the team if each member wrote a letter that satisfied the coach in support of Giuliani, but if one member declined the suspension was permanent, the lawsuit said.
First of all, I hope this is not true. Second of all, if it is true (and based on several sources, it seems clear that the accusations are true), then the coach should be fired. The coach should have done the right thing, which in this case meant cutting the kid from the team. It should have been done cleanly and without any waffling. Some coaches hate to be the bad guy, but sometimes, that is what the coach has to do.

By the way, Guiliani was not a good golfer (when judged against the rest of the Duke team--he'd crush me), so it would seem to me that his performance would be enough to cut him. He wants to become a pro golfer, but he was in the bottom half of Duke's team. From what I can tell, it seems that the kid is a delusional brat, but the coach was weak.

Anyway, the big idea here is not about brat kids, nor is it about weak coaches. It is about how partial information can color how we see things. Does the Internet make us stupid? I don't know, but it can certainly lead us to be intellectually lazy and let other people form opinions for us. Then again, so can TV, radio, USA Today, and politicians.

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