Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Coincidence? Maybe...?

Tiger comes into the U.S. Open looking like John Rambo and three days later the PGA Commissioner is calling for universal drug testing on the tour. Interesting....

First, it should be noted that the PGA is pretty much the last major sport to not test their membership for drugs. So the Commissioner's announcement (a complete reversal of his earlier stance on the matter) that the PGA needs universal drug testing had to come at some point. But I do find the timing of the move--coming on the heels of Tiger Woods showing up to the US Open looking like he could shoulder press Angel Cabrera and Tim Herron--to be at the very least curious. What makes the Commissioner Tim Finchem's comments most interesting are when played against his earlier comments in 2006. Look closely:
PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said he is comfortable with the tour's 13-year-old policy that makes no mention of performance-enhancing drugs. Not only has there been no evidence that steroids are an issue in golf, he said there has been nothing to indicate that the tour should waste time or money looking for such a drug.

"Some say we ought to test for drugs because all sports test and you want to know you're clean," Finchem said. "In a vacuum, I see how you can make that argument. But honestly ... I don't know what we'd be testing for."

And even if anyone discovered a steroid that would allow someone to hit the ball farther or make more putts, random testing would not be the first step.

Golf is built around honor, and that would apply to steroids.

Finchem said if research found there were performance-enhancing drugs for golf, the board would conduct research and decide whether to ban them. Even then, it would be up to the players not to use them.

"People talk about testing, but that's not the question. That might be a subsequent question," Finchem said. "The way you run golf is to pass a rule, and then you expect everyone to adhere to the rule. If we had reason to believe there was a violation, then we could resort to testing."
In particular, I would direct you towards the last part of that statement: "If we had reason to believe there was a violation, then we could resort to testing." Well Tim, you are now resorting to testing. Does that mean you had a reason to believe there was a violation? That is what you said, no?

I'm not sayin... I'm just sayin....


trentsim said...

obviously you're not great with logic: he said if he had reason to believe there was steroid use they could test, not the other way around. for example 'if i was late for work, i could drive fast', but driving fast doesn't mean you're late for work. idiot.

Bryan said...

i agree with trentsim. it is amazing how many people don't know the difference between a necessary and sufficient condition. it is called logic 101!! finchem statement does not imply that IF there is testing, THEN there must have been a suspicion of use. it implies the CONVERSE, which means the exitsence of testing may have absolutely nothing to do with "suspicion of use".

also, tiger has been getting big slowly over a very long period. his workout routines are legendary. he looked especially big at the us open because he wore a slightly tigher shirt.

Bryan said...
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Luol Dang! said...
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Luol Dang! said...

First, I assume neither read the commenting ground rules. Please do.

Second, Thanks for the logic lesson fellas. It really is amazing that people don't know the difference between necessary and sufficient condition. I'd certainly never heard of it. Can you explain to me the difference between modus ponens and modus tollens while you're at it Captain(s) Mathlete. What's more amazing is that two members of The Boner Brigade took time away from World of Warcraft to comment on my post.

Third, you both are right. As a matter of logic, my conclusion in that final paragraph was flawed. But the point (which was clear and warranted from the statements) was this: Finchem previously stated: "...if research found there were performance-enhancing drugs for golf, the board would conduct research and decide whether to ban them." He now not only wants to ban them, but wants to test create a universal testing policy. While I readily admit (in my final paragraph) from Finchem's statement it does not automatically follow that he must (though I did use the word "must") suspect drugs are in being used by players, really I used "must" just to give the point a little more "umph" knowing it was not technically correct as a matter of logic (but not knowing that I'd get called out for it and have my Logic 101 credentials questioned so publicly). I probably should have phrased it as a question: "Well then Tim, are you suggesting that you need this testing because you have reason to believe your players are juicing?" or something to that effect. It just didn't really have the same bite.

But both of you must admit that I am not unfairly construing Finchem's comments to come to my a conclusion.

@Brian - I've mentioned this before, but if you're going to offer a critique of someone and make veiled references to their intelligence (or lack thereof), it usually helps to spell correctly. Just gives you a little more credibility. It's called "You Got Served: 101!" Or second period English class. Oh, and "slightly tighter shirt"? He was wearing water colors for cripe's sake.

Thanks for reading.


Bryan said...

thank LD. just bored at work so i figured i would check out deadspin, which lead me to your post. i picked on your logic because i think a lot of loose, misleading opinions in the media would disappear if we simply held people accountable for misuses of logic, but i admit yours was minor and meant for the effect.... as for topic of your post, i think finchem probably had this initiative set up months ago and it coincidentally came out this week. from his perspective, given the widespread abuse of performance enhancers in sports, it makes sense to formalize a testing policy in golf. i think that's all he is responding to.

let me know how the spelling looks :)