Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Duval Playing an Outrageous Game with Golf

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Duval Playing an Outrageous Game with Golf

Article excerpt

Byline: Mike Freeman, Times-Union sports columnist

What if quarterback Byron Leftwich, in an AFC title game, went 5 for 40 with six interceptions, in a losing effort, and afterward he told reporters, "All in all, I would call it an enormous victory for me today."

Imagine the reaction. He'd have to go Mach 7 to outrun the tidal wave of fan anger. The media would call him, "Byron the Selfish."

What if a great boxer, early in his career, was considered the No. 1-ranked fighter in the world, had earned tens of millions in salary and endorsements, and then suddenly walked away from the sport because he began to lose more than he won?

Imagine the reaction. Would your blood pressure explode if you read this quote from him: "I've got to take my time, and play when I feel like I'm ready . . . play when I want to."

And what if a high-profile athlete decided that making millions of dollars playing sports was not good enough. He wanted to leave his sport because he needed time to think, to sort out life, to find himself. He said: "Next time I feel like I'm ready to play is when I'll show up." Would you call into a talk show and blast him?

All of those quotes come from David Duval. And all of those scenarios are based on what has become his chaotic, strange life. All of this leads to one question.

Where is the outrage?

There is a demarcation between a team sport and an individual athlete. Where there should be no difference is in the effort a professional player is supposed to give, whether that person is part of a team or not. That effort should always be constant. Recently Duval has not even come close to that most basic of athletic standards.

If an NBA or NFL player treated his sport with the kind of casualness -- really, disrespect -- that Duval is treating his, there would be Congressional hearings. …

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