My initial reaction when my issue of SI Golf arrived in the mail today was, “WTH!?” (Actually, something stronger than that, but I try to keep this a family blog.)
On the cover is a Spanish PGA golfer named Miguel Angel Jimenez, smoking a cigar, with the headline, “Smokin’.” The article then features several photos of him smoking.
Well, apparently, it turns out that cigars are a big part of this golfer’s persona. He has been known to smoke cigars while actually competing in tournaments.
Now, the article addresses his cigar habit, and his love of whiskey, in the opening paragraph:
“I come from a different generation. And I’m not a hypocrite. I don’t hide the way I am. If I want to have a drink, I have a drink. Why shouldn’t I? Is it illegal to drink alcohol? Is tobacco illegal? So why should I care if people see me smoking? I do what I do out in the open. If people have a problem with that, they can their tongue up their ass and let the rest of us do what we want to do.”
OK, I get that. The guy’s got a “don’t give a shit … I go my own way” attitude. Fine. Did SI have to put a photo of him puffing away on their cover to make this point? NO! Did they have to post six — count ’em, six — other photos of him smoking to make their point? NO. John Daly smoked like a chimney, I don’t ever remember an SI cover of him smoking.
I’m not mad at the golfer, I’m mad at SI for continuing to promote smoking (SI has a long history of taking ads for chew, cigarettes and e-cigarettes). It’s a track record with these guys at this point.