Martha Burk, Meet Tony Favero

Martha Burk, Meet Tony Favero

Last week we published a Thumbs Down about people who view Augusta from the outside and get things completely wrong.
“To David Livingston,” we wrote, “columnist for Sky Sports, who wrote a story about Augusta’s downtown during the Masters. It was supposed to be folksy and informative; instead, it was outdated, condescending and, in more than one instance, just plain wrong.”
A few days later, our point was proven once again when we received this letter from Tony Favero, who describes himself as a “Free-lance writer & Media Researcher.” He also sent the same letter to the San Jose Mercury News, who published as well.
Apparently, Favero really hates hazmat suits and doesn’t know who the current chairman of Augusta National is. So much for that media researcher title.

To the Metro Spirit:
I am truly alone in the wilderness in this view of the Masters Golf Tournament.
William Woodward “Hootie” Johnson of the Augusta National Golf Club once kicked some guy off his course for the horrific use of a range ball. Afterwards Hootie, alone in all major tournaments, compels that all caddies henceforth adorn what one can only portray as hazmat suits for the Masters. There is little that I have witnessed in any major/minor golf event that detracts so appallingly as viewing caddies wearing such attire. In my humble opinion the Masters should be relabeled the Masters Hazmat Golf Tourney. Such a gorgeous and stunning golf course, where the media speaks in hushed tones usually reserved by cloistered monks, about the “Eisenhower Tree” and “Amen Corner” is unquestionably marred by this tasteless apparel telecast worldwide. Such a spectacle is a travesty and an outrage to the dignity of this storied and historic event; not to mention appalling for the decorum and tradition of this gentlemen’s game. Most shocking of all is that nothing is ever mentioned of this in the media. Does the media truly dread Hootie’s response concerning this ghastly image cast on this sport of gentlemen and ladies and fear ostracism from the powers that be?
Forget the range ball, Hootie, and return dignity to the game of golf.

Tony Favero
Half Moon Bay, California

  • TonyFavero

    Well, first of all thank you Metrospirit for printing my letter concerning what I regard as hazmat apparel for Masters caddies; esp. so after I learned that letters from outside the area are rarely printed, so the honor is mine.

    The letter, in brief form, was also printed in the New York Times sports section last Sunday (Easter Sunday) as well, plus other local newspapers in the San Francisco area.

    I shall decline your gracious introduction to Martha Burk, to whom I have paid scant attention to and in all earnest I probably have a great deal more in common with Mr. Johnson; since I am disinclined from progressive anxieties and give preference in embracing conservative values. Yes, there are such people in California…surprisingly!

    My letter perhaps a bit strident offended some sensibilities, and provided more credence to the influence of Mr. Johnson on the Masters jumpsuits than it should have. In all fairness, Mr. Johnson remains an emeritus chairman in the shadows of current chairman Billy Payne. Be that as it may, let’s disregard the chairman topic for now. The Masters has always embraced change, a change that has been historically glacial through the times. For instance there was a period when all Masters Players were white, and blacks were banned until 1975 when Lee Elder became the first black pro allowed to play in the Masters and all resident club caddies were black until 1983.
    As John Paul Newport, who writes a weekly golf column for the Wall Street Journal, was sharing with me this week……”The Masters is the only major tournament requiring jumpsuits for caddies” and that “It’s one of those old, inexplicable golf traditions that some clubs hang on to but most have abandoned by now.”

    A tradition that in present time appears demeaning to the caddies and certainly out of place in such a prestigious event; such apparel is commonly employed to clothe convicted perpetrators in our county lock-up or the guy who comes to inspect my home crawl space. Appropriate for the Masters? I think not, my humble opinion of course.

    My apologies to Mr. Johnson for any unintended offense.

    Best Regards,
    Tony Favero
    Half Moon Bay, CA

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