At this point, you may be thinking, “What does this have to do with fantasy sports?” The answer is “Nothing,” but that’s not going to stop me from trying to explain. Following in the footsteps of Ron Burgundy, the team at Speculativesports is not a typically patriotic type of sports blog. In fact, our name is a play on the Star Wars phrase “I’m not a very good pilot, but I’m a very good speculator” as we are not a typical fantasy sports blog.
In a world where patriotism is celebrated on big screens and in the news almost daily, it’s hard to separate yourself from the ideals of the country you really care about. It’s just easier to lie and say you’re not patriotic, which is the reason some people have never felt comfortable participating in the national anthem at sporting events. I don’t want to sound like a whining, whining, city-boy, but I get really embarrassed when the whole crowd starts singing “God Save the Queen” before my eyes.
In our society, patriotism is a word that is used to describe people as well as sports. For example, the whole nation is glued to the Super Bowl because it is one of the most viewed sporting events in the country, but if a coach doesn’t say the national anthem, he will be criticized by fans and media. Sports teams and their fans are equally patriotic.
This week, Rory McIlroy will be one of two Irish sportsmen competing in the golf category at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. He, on the other hand, does not seem to be too enthusiastic about it.
McIlroy was brutally honest about his views going into the Olympics following the Open Championship at Royal St. George’s a few weeks ago. With the mentality he has going into the competition, don’t expect the Northern Irishman to compete for a medal this year.
Team Ireland is led by Rory McIlroy in the Tokyo Olympics.
During the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games, Rory McIlroy of Ireland plays a practice round at the Kasumigaseki Country Club | Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images
The Americans have a distinct advantage in the golf tournament at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Team USA has four players with a combined total of 32 PGA Tour wins and four major championships, and the three most popular betting favorites to win gold are all Americans.
But it’s possible that McIlroy will be the one to halt the superteam.
McIlroy is the highest-priced non-American on the betting board. He’s just behind Collin Morikawa, Xander Schauffele, and Justin Thomas on the list with odds of +1200 to win gold. Shane Lowry is the only other Irish golfer competing this weekend, with a handicap of +2200.
McIlroy isn’t overjoyed about the prospect of competing in the Olympics.
The majority of professional golfers have already voiced their enthusiasm at the prospect of competing in the Olympics for the first time in their home nation. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance that only a tiny fraction of athletes ever get, therefore it means a lot to the vast majority of the field.
McIlroy, on the other hand, is not one of them.
He remarked after the Open Championship earlier this month, “I mean, look, I’m not a particularly patriotic person.”
“I’m doing it because it’s the proper thing to do,” she says. I missed it the previous time, and if golf is to be an Olympic sport, the top players must be present. More than anything else, I feel compelled to represent the game of golf.”
McIlroy seems unconcerned about Ireland’s chances of winning a medal this weekend. He’ll use the Olympics like a glorified practice session in preparation for the FedEx Cup playoffs.
“I’m not sure there’s anything to get excited about. “Obviously, it will be a very different environment,” McIlroy said. “I’m looking forward to playing another week of golf and working on improving my game. There isn’t much else to do there, so I’m spending 12 hours a day on the golf course, hoping to improve my game.”
McIlroy is unlikely to return home with an Olympic medal around his neck.
Golf had been absent from the Olympics for almost a century until it was reinstated in 2016. Today’s professional golfers didn’t grow up fantasizing of putting a gold medal around their necks since it wasn’t a possibility.
That’s one of the reasons McIlroy isn’t looking forward to representing his nation in Tokyo this weekend. He’s never imagined what it’s like to win an Olympic medal, so he doesn’t seem to mind.
“I don’t know what [winning a medal] would mean,” McIlroy remarked. “I never imagined I’d be able to do something like that. Claret Jugs and green coats were in my dreams. I’ve never dreamed of winning an Olympic medal, so I’m not sure what it means until you do.
“It’s difficult to put into words. If it wasn’t an option for you while you were growing up and dreaming about it, what’s the point? Maybe if I had one, I could explain it better.”
As an emotional golfer, McIlroy has already acknowledged that the absence of supporters during the COVID-19 shutdown harmed his golf game. This week at Kasumigaseki Country Club, that will be the case once again.
Shane Lowry may be the man to deliver Ireland an Olympic gold in golf this year.
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