Wie is too talented a golfer not to bounce back
SHE'S a compelling young lady, love her or loathe her, you have to give her that much. She does have a certain magic, it's true. No matter what happens, you can't look away.
And you can see where the backlash comes from, the way she's sashayed through life, as though the rules don't apply to her, which, mostly, they pretty much haven't. You can see why, now that she's finally vulnerable, she takes hits.
Still, I find myself feeling for her, these past couple of weeks, the way everyone has piled on, almost excessively, lined up to kick her now that she finds herself down maybe for the first time in her young, privileged life.
At last. Kalani, we were wondering when you were going to say something about the Michelle Wie situation.
MICHELLE WIE? I thought we were talking about Paris Hilton.
If only she'd gone to her graduation, all this wouldn't have happened. That's probably the saddest thing. That probably sums it all up right there.
(If only she'd bothered to have done as good an acting job as Al Czervik -- Rodney Dangerfield -- did in "Caddyshack," this wouldn't have happened.)
But instead ...
Michelle Wie was always the ultimate ink-blot test. What she actually said or did was almost irrelevant. People looked at her and saw what they wanted to see. Projection, I think that's called.
FROM THE SAME sound bite people would praise her maturity or chide her for pettiness, your pick. You'd start to think it didn't even matter how she said it or what she said.
And so what's gone on these past couple of weeks isn't really much different than what's gone on around her the last couple of years. It's just that the tide of perception has started to shift against her. More people are starting to look at the ink blots and see them in a different way.
Part of it is simply shooting bad scores. She's had similar craziness happen before, but its noise was always drowned out by her talent and her charisma and by everyone around her needing her more than she needed them. That's different now.
Part of the shift is probably just a cumulative effect. This crazy stuff keeps happening again and again.
A RECENT LETTER writer wrote that he disapproved of "the way some of the media are treating Michelle Wie." But it wasn't the media that was lecturing her about "lack of respect and class," it was Annika Sorenstam. And if Sorenstam -- the best and most respected player and seemingly one of the nicest -- says something like that about you, you've screwed up.
And she has. Her recent bad play has to be partly due to that injured wrist, partly due to everything she has hanging over her now. But she has to be a good bet to bounce back, on the course and off. She's too talented a golfer, too big a personality not to. You'd have to think she'll eventually win everybody back.
But it's probably a good thing for her that, for the first time, she has to.