|In all likelihood, the little story about Tom Brady attacking the American diet didn’t hit a lot of people’s radars. Seeing the headline I wasn’t shocked on his ascertains about eating right and taking care of your body, after all he is an elite athlete playing in the NFL. The language he used to describe the foods we allow our kids to eat, certainly stark bordering on inflammatory. Or was it strong enough? Wait a minute, this is golf blog, what goes here?
First off, I’m not a Tom Brady supporter though I am most definitely not a detractor. I live in world surrounded by Patriot diehards, essentially my wife’s family…they keep it real, they love their sports. Typically, when you marry into one of these clans a conversion takes place, subtle at first, escalating to full scale assimilation in most cases. Full disclosure, they got me with the Red Sox….but that’s it…well maybe a little Bruins hockey too. 20 years later, I still get goosebumps when Sweet Caroline comes on the radio, but I digress. So I am intimately familiar with Tom Brady lore and I do admire him as a quarterback. It would be better if he was an Oakland Raider or Atlanta Falcon (I know his talent would have been squandered in Oakland…but I love my silver and black), call me an evangelical in that event. So when the story broke, my “BS” alarm didn’t go off, meaning I didn’t believe this to be another athlete spouting nonsense for the sake of personal endorsement. Does anyone really question if Tom Brady was a regular dude who didn’t take extremely good care of his body that he would be performing at the level he does today at the ripe old age of 38? Is what he is saying about the foods we as a culture consistently accept as sustenance all that controversial? We’ve all heard it before, we are what we eat, yet so many mock the message and the man. Maybe the targets he chose stirred some to a mild rage, I mean who doesn’t love Tony the Tiger? What is more American than a Coca Cola and a smile (being from Atlanta…there is nothing more American)? Hmmm, let’s give the sifter a shake and take a look see.
Why This Should Matter to Us- Golfers
As a golfer, I have an inclination to look at us as athletes or at least people engaged in an athletic endeavor. Okay, stop it, seriously, stop laughing right now….I’m serious, this isn’t supposed to be funny…please follow along sans that goofy smirk. We good? So back to what I was saying. Golf is a sport that when played at a high level requires athletic ability. To play at the highest of levels you will need to be an athlete. Pretty much, Gary Player set that bar, Tiger bent it like a pretzel and now we got athletes. Note to self, less weights, more Yoga…not a Tiger shot, just saying. Look at the PGA tour, not too many slovenly guys meandering the grassy plains. I can only think of a couple that could rep for a tire company at the moment (remaining nameless to protect the innocent). As the recreational player, we deservingly get a bad rap. Typically, middle age guys drinking beers, smoking our cigars, generally acting like frat boys when the cart girl drives by, wheeling our golf carts hither and yon across manicured fairways. No wonder your wives won’t let you out to play! At this point, probably best we all take a deep breath and refrain from name calling. This isn’t meant to be a glass houses session, just setting the stage a bit.
To be quite frank, I was totally that guy. For a long time, golf was just that, getting together with the guys smoking a cigar, drinking some beers…hell throwing back one of those tasty morsels of a hot dog at the turn. You know what’s in those right? If you don’t, look it up on YouTube…my word. None of that screams sport or athlete. When I made a concerted effort to get in shape, my mindset of acceptability changed and many of those life shortening habits lay to the roadside. Whomever touts such nonsense defending Frosted Flakes “fortified” with vitamins is actually good for you…how to put this delicately, they are moronic at best. Now if sugar where a cure all that reigned from heaven above, I might be inclined to have a different viewpoint. Unfortunately, it’s not. Mass produced sugary offerings loaded with life crushing additives will do nothing to increase the prospects of longevity. How do they effect your golf game? Well lets have a look. For one, the additional poundage will make that white belt look like the white wall on a Goodyear tire. Just not a good look, especially if you are unattached and think you might have a legitimate shot with that cart girl. Pounding a couple of donuts before you tee off will lead to a blood sugar plummet around hole 3. Ever drive your car in a dense fog? Yep, mentally that’s the lane you will be in. Rinse and repeat at the turn and extinguish that hollowing hunger with a burger, fries and sugary soft drink. A molotov cocktail for double bogey city on that back nine. Absolute certainity I would have broken 80, years before I actually did if I would have avoided many of these pitfalls.
Now, I couldn’t step to the regiment of a professional athlete, but I fare okay on my own. It isn’t that hard when you break it down. One of the best things I ever did was start walking more often than not. Yes, I said walking the golf course, my own two legs propelling me on the hunt for that sometimes elusive white ball. When I walk alone, it’s a nomadic experience, imagine David Carradine in Kung Fu if you will ( I take a pity on my young readers who have no idea what the heck I’m referring to, you need some edumacation). My only gripe is I wish my local course was less hilly and more flat like those courses in Florida. There are times I curse this new practice, like when it’s about to rain and I have to traverse a massive climb to the parking lot. Or when I’m feeling it and I have to make it to the top of that mountain, only to climb back down for the back nine. Really though, this is how the game was meant to be enjoyed. Walking. Carts are just a bastardization, conjured by the devils of profitability and peddlers of American obesity. Okay, that was a joke, sort of, they really don’t peddle fat, we show up that way…all that other stuff is the straight truth though.
Why do I rant on…to the point…food for thought. Researching some information for this post, I came across some startling data out of Sweden. Survey says that golfers in Sweden live on average 5 years longer than non golfers. Actually, not a survey but a bonafide scientific study. Hmmm, say what? See golf in Sweden differs a bit from many other countries. In order to play, you must walk. If you need the assistance of a cart you are required to have a doctors note prescribing the medical need for said golf cart. Fascinating. The study also goes on to detail the many contributing factors associated with the sport of golf and the conspiratorial side effects of attaining a lower handicap. If you are looking for solid science backed reasoning for getting out to play…oh and your wife saying, “have a great time”….bone up on the facts of the study. She may hedge or guffaw a bit, but in the end she can’t argue against science! Speaking of science, can somebody please explain to me what the hell happened to planet Pluto? 40 years of life, 9 planets that’s what they taught us and then they tell me, “just kidding, it’s really a rock not a planet”. Shut the front door…poor Pluto.
Like him or hate him, Tom Brady has a point when it comes to our diet. He stopped short of going on an extended rant and in the end the story lost it’s footing with the media. Honestly, the audience rather not counter his ascertains as the proof is in the pudding (well not actual Jello pudding, pretty sure that’s not on his list). Pineapple wheatgrass smoothie with a side of air….yessir I’ll have another, you say Tom Brady eats ragweed and hummus, I’m in. Dude is straight balling, why wouldn’t you follow his lead? If your goal is to be better than you were yesterday, maybe we should look at what the man has said and give him a little gratitude for essentially speaking a truth in the face of consensus. As for the golfer you want to be, you envision, give the diet a look see. You may find a better game through better fuel. Every stroke counts, especially when you are trying to break through barriers in scoring benchmarks. Though I don’t pretend to be some kind of great player, just an above average hack, I know through experience what a conscientious diet can do for you on and off the golf course.