By god, Hilton Head, some troll just declared war!
"There is not a more depressing golf tournament than the one after The Masters," @ShooterMcGavin_ tweeted Saturday evening.
He's dumping on Heritage, y'all — the RBC Heritage presented by Boeing, as we're supposed to call it — a tournament celebrating its 50th year. But then there's this, a barb from a guy who's pretending to be a fictional character — an imposter!
I suppose we should give him an out: maybe he was trying to convey that day-after-Christmas vibe, when any day, Monday through Sunday, would be a slog. I get it. Still, it seemed a dart thrown at the striped lighthouse, and others chimed in.
So, I shot Shooter an email.
For those of you whose memories are as hazy as mine — I had to Google "Shooter McGavin" — the Twitter account, of the parody variety, is inspired by the villain from the Adam Sandler flick "Happy Gilmore," which I saw in eighth grade and pretended to like more than I did because all my friends quoted it all the time and I did, too.
Regardless, I've seen better golf movies. ("Caddyshack.")
Funnier films. ("Caddyshack II.") (Kidding.)
And more clever tweets. (Like the reply from @aussieinaftrica: "There is nothing more depressing than listening to the moaning of a person who never won the gold jacket." In the film, the garment — a tournament trophy a la the Masters green jacket, a la the Heritage plaid jacket — was claimed by Gilmore, played by Sandler, despite McGavin's efforts to cheat him out of it. Ole Shooter himself, along with 20-something others, hit the *like heart on this one.)
I'm looking forward to seeing how ole Shooter responds — or doesn't — to this column.
It'll be a test for him.
After all, he did get in a highly publicized tweet-spat with Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (4.41 mmmmmillionnnnn followers). Now, @ShooterMcGavin_ (333K Twitter disciples) faces backlash from @WadeGLivingston (510 reluctant supporters and the occasional stat-padding bot) — and that's assuming I even tweet this piece. (I will.)
My point: if he ignores me, he looks like a wimp. If he beats up on me, he looks like a bully. Either way, what a phony! (And ultimately, who cares — this is all in good fun, right?)
Really, though, the critical battle is one he'll fight within himself, one that revolves around a need to be heard, liked and acknowledged. (Something we all deal with; we'll get there.)
You see, ole Shooter just released his first podcast — The 9th Green at 9 with Shooter — and there's some revealing stuff in it. He tells of the origins of the account, and how it started in 2011. But before that, he had a couple of previous accounts. One was, if I heard correctly, a parody of Rick "Wild Thing" Vaughn (the fictional relief pitcher from the movie "Major League") and another was, according to the podcast, "The Book of Tebow" (as in Tim Tebow, former University of Florida, Denver Broncos and New York Jets quarterback, and now minor league baseball player).
But those were just flavors of the month, he said in the podcast. He needed something with "legs" and "growth potential," something that would get him a bunch of retweets. Followers! He said he'd seen "Happy Gilmore" about 100 times or so and thought that might be the ticket. So, he settled on Shooter's character because his comedy seemed a good match (reminder: Shooter is a villain-loser).
He started tweeting at "sports figures," looking (begging?) for those precious RTs. When Paul Azinger paid him some attention, that helped, he said. And then Aaron Rodgers followed him.
In the podcast, one of the first things ole Shooter does is dog actor Christopher McDonald, who played McGavin in the movie and who just got into some legal trouble before the Masters. Yes, celebrity DUIs are fair game, but at least McDonald was at least, sort of, at one point, actually Shooter.
Remember, all of this is in good fun.
And all of this to say that this is the person dumping on Heritage. To the tune of more than 1,300 *likes, 120 retweets! (And counting!)
Yes, there may be better tournaments out there but, man, this one is far from "depressing."
Harbour Town Golf Links is the much-loved Pete Dye and Jack Nicklaus-designed course where Arnold Palmer won the inaugural Heritage and revived his career.
Pros like Boo Weekley have won the tournament and become ironic fan favorites; he brought up ringworm at a Heritage press conference in 2007, when he collected his plaid jacket. Ringworm!
Woody Austin is remembered for whacking himself in the head with his putter, bending the club. Ah, memories.
And this year — get this! — they wrapped the fake lighthouse in plaid to mark the occasion; if you can't find that admirably, delightfully tacky-funny-cool (especially considering the high-dollar yachts it squats over) well, shoot, try harder.
In the Twitter thread, it was nice to see a couple folks come to the defense of the tournament.
It's a more relaxed weekend coming on the heels of the Masters. Dare I say a vacation? The kind of tournament to which new father Ben Martin can bring days-old daughter Ann Pearce and the rest of the fam. (For us media types, we get treated to pizza from Dough Boys — we're fans of Doug's Big Elvis — every night.)
And yet there was still so many haters (even jabs at Ian Poulter, whom I'd love to see weigh in on all this).
Not surprising, though — cutesy tweets and hot takes are quite the currency in Twitter land.
I struggled with whether to write this column.
Would I seem like a self-righteous homer? Maybe.
A curmudgeon? (Who doesn't like to talk sports with failed high school jocks? "You had to Google "Shooter McGavin?!")
Is there a chance I'm wrong? (As someone in the media tent pointed out this morning, "It might be depressing today if all this weather comes through.")
Was I doing it to increase my own Twitter following? The thought has crossed my mind ... (Retweet me, Shooter!)
Would I be accused of hiding behind a keyboard? Never.
And yet, at least you know who's lobbing this Tweet Grenade back across the Trench of Narcissism to the other laptop.
I sent ole Shooter an email asking him, among other things, where he's from, and who he really is. I never received a response. (In fairness, I emailed him around midnight and asked him to respond by 11 a.m. today — maybe he's a Sunday sleep-in kind of guy.) I didn't tweet at him. (I want to get trolled after I write this.)
But, if I heard correctly on the podcast, he's from Ohio. OHIO! And we all know everyone from Ohio loves all things Hilton Head — including the Heritage.
OK, Shooter, I'm signing off.
Take your shot.
Or give Heritage one.
What would Happy Gilmore say?