The buildup for the Players Championship suffered a blow last week. It wasn't Tiger Woods hitting the ball hither and yon and missing the cut at Quail Hollow. It was Bubba Watson, the thrill-a-minute champion of the Masters, announcing he would skip the Players to spend time with his wife and adopted infant son.
Watson received much congratulations from the national media for the fine perspective he was putting on life -- wanting to bond with the little tyke rather than mix it up with what often has been the best field of the golf season.
Put me in the group that would have been much more interested in viewing Watson take on the wonderful acreage at TPC Sawgrass this week than in tracking the immature rants of the 36-year-old Woods through another misadventure with his latest new swing.
There's no entity more devoted to giving the public what it wants than ESPN -- even its hour upon hour of nonstop fawning from Jon Gruden and other NFL sycophants.
Clearly, the ESPN research says Tiger remains all that golf has to offer to the general public, otherwise the crawl and "SportsCenter'' segments would have opened with Nick Watney shooting a 64 at Quail Hollow to take the 36-hole lead at 12 under, rather than Woods missing the cut.