Apr 25, 2019
Man Time: Why you should hate Phil Mickelson
The British Open starts today, and Phil Mickelson is the defending champ. That’s him in the photo up above, don’t you just want to punch him in his stupid face? Look at his face, being all punchable. Don’t you hate him already, you guys?
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If Phil Mickelson looks like a smug, shit-eating golfing man, that’s because, by all accounts, he is a smug, shit-eating golfing man. His fellow PGA Tour pros — a group of people not exactly known for their humility and common-man touch — occasionally refer to him as “FIGJAM.” That’s an acronym for “Fuck I‘m Good, Just Ask Me.” This is not a new development, and as proof, we will now block-quote at you from the 2006 GQ list of the 10 most hated athletes, where Mickelson placed 8th.
Last August at the PGA Championship at Baltusrol, in New Jersey, a reporter turned to a golfer on the tour and said of Phil Mickelson, “Man, the fans here love Phil.” The golfer replied, “They don’t know him the way we do.” It blew our minds a little when we heard this, since Mickelson ranks among the most admired golfers in America. But today the same reporter makes his case bluntly: “Phil Mickelson literally has no friends out there. He annoys everybody.”
Mickelson is indeed beloved and admired by golf fans, but golf fans are a curious lot. They enjoy watching golf on TV, and have you ever tried to watch golf on TV? We will spare you the paint drying comparisons and instead point out that even with incredible advancements in camera and CGI technology, it’s still really, really hard to actually see a golf ball in flight with anything but the naked eye. Most golf fans, quite literally, see the tee-to-green game in their mind’s eye rather than on the screen.
Anyway, back to Phil Mickelson. He’s really, really good at golf, has been his whole life. Hits the golf ball a long way, putts the little golf ball into the little hole without too much trouble. He’s particularly good at the short game, and he’s especially good at something called the flop shot. Basically, the flop shot involves sliding the face of a wedge underneath a golf ball with a full swing in order to make the ball go really high without going very far. It is really hard to do, and Mickelson is very good at it, and if you set him up in just the right lie, he can actually hit the ball backwards while swinging forwards, because science. Watch as Mickelson describes how to hit the backwards flop shot, and please try to not put your fist through your screen.
Did you even make it past the first five seconds? Which part made you the punchiest? Choose one:
1. “The ba-ah-ckwards shot! This. Shot. Is. Fun!”
2. “Oh, come on, bay-bee! Do it!”
3. “Ohhh! I misread it!”
Which one did you choose? WRONG! The correct answer was ALL OF ‘EM, KATIE.
Like most professional golfers, Mickelson is a thin-skinned whiny man-baby who makes millions of dollars off the fact that golf is a spectator sport while demanding that those same spectators stand in silent awe of his golfing prowess. He’s not alone in this, but he is particularly dickish about it.
Compare and contrast Mickelson with Tiger Woods, whose own dickishness needs no introduction. The first clip is a video of Mickelson kicking a spectator off the golf course because the spectator called him FIGJAM, and that hurt Phil’s fee-fees (apologies for the terrible quality). The second is a Vine of Tiger Woods during his first round at this year’s British Open, getting angry at a spectator who had the temerity to speak while Tiger was playing golf.
The difference between the two is that Mickelson’s heckler actually waited until after Mickelson had played his shot. Tiger could plausibly claim that his concentration was broken in an event where one stroke can mean the difference between winning and losing. Mickelson’s just upset that a paying spectator called him a mean name, so he told his caddie to get that riff-raff out of here. In the immortal words of Judge Smails, some people just don’t belong.
If all of this sounds like small potatoes, that’s because it is. The real reason why you should hate Phil Mickelson is his ultra-privileged myopia as regards his citizenship in a political commonwealth. Like most country clubs, the PGA is overwhelmingly Republican. And like most Republicans, Phil Mickelson knows that HE DID BUILD THAT.
Q. Is it a stance that you are taking because on the one hand, you’ve made a lot of money, and no matter how much they take out, you are left with a lot of money?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah. I’ll probably go into it more next year or next week. But if you add up, if you add up all the federal and you look at the disability and the unemployment and the Social Security and the state, my tax rate’s 62, 63 percent. So I’ve got to make some decisions on what I’m going to do.
Q. How do you balance that against the TOUR’s retirement plan which by all standards is the best retirement plan in sports?
PHIL MICKELSON: I don’t understand. What do you mean?
Q. Well, I mean I understand the 60 percent part of the equation, but in the TOUR’s plan, you guys put about as much money aside as you want. It’s treated differently under tax laws than most anybody else’s tax plans. Where most people can only put away $45,000 or $50,000, you guys can put as much away as you want. And so at the end you guys end up with a much larger pot of gold than most people can.
PHIL MICKELSON: But when it comes out, it’s still taxed at the same 62 percent rate.
Q. Well, you’re still making that kind of money. That’s if you’re still in that bracket.
PHIL MICKELSON: (No response.)
It’s bad enough that Mickelson — a man worth about $180 million — is whining about the cost of living in the nation with the lowest effective personal tax rates in the developed world. But what’s really galling is that he also sucks at math.
Thanks to the expiration of the temporary 2% reduction in the payroll tax rate on the first $113,700 of self-employment income, Mickelson will have to fork over an extra $2,274 in tax during 2013, an additional burden that makes it hard to justify briskly walking as many as five miles per day, four days a week. In long pants, nonetheless.
Forbes goes on to point out that California’s Proposition 30 might actually take a real chunk out of Mickelson’s earnings, but good God, man, do you even hear yourself? No, you don’t. Like Mittens Romney apologizing for his 47% comments, the plebs can tell when you’re being sincere and when you’re covering your sponsors’ butts, like you did when you tried to walk back your comments about being overtaxed.
You make your living playing a rich person’s game for the enjoyment of other rich people. You have literally never supported yourself by doing anything other than walking around ecological wastelands and hitting golf balls for the enjoyment of the wealthy. From the bottom of our just-barely-median-income heart, we hope you miss the cut at Hoylake this week, Lefty.
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