Monday, October 26, 2009

President’s Cup

There is no other sporting event like golf’s President’s Cup. I know everyone always says that about whatever their favorite event is, but in this case I mean because there is not other event that makes me wish I was playing along in it. I can appreciate LeBron James driving to the hoop, or Eli Manning throwing a perfect 54 yard pass, but it doesn’t make me want to be in the game.

The President’s Cup does.

The recent biennial event was held in San Francisco and was won by team USA who beat a team of the best international players. I particularly liked catching a glimpse of the “off the field” intrigues of the event. In a sport that is exceedingly individualized, it is wonderful to see the world’s best golfers genuinely pulling for one another. It is refreshing to see them openly applaud another’s great shot. They say that the problem with golf on TV is that the only people who watch it are golfers. If a non-golfer tuned into the President’s Cup, I think that would make him an exception to the rule. Or at least, the comradely that is so obvious would make him or her want to grab some friends and go out and try the game.

By Sam DelPresto


I’m a big sports fan. This time of year, with baseball playoffs and the NFL under way is maybe the best time of the year. Throw in college football, and there’s a temptation to kill half the weekend in front of the tube. I understand the popularity of sports in America. I get it that almost sixteen million people watched Monday Night Football. (

But what I’m dying to know is how many people in the New York metropolitan area, where I live, watched either Northern Iowa vs Missouri State or Idaho vs Northern Illinois. Both games were available here. I figure that fewer than the sixteen million who watched MNF could even find any of the four represented states on a map. I guesstimate that about nineteen people from this area went to Northern Illinois, so they were glued to the TV. Throw in a few parents and cousins of students in Missouri and about sixteen degenerate gamblers who figured Idaho couldn’t miss with the point spread and I think the total viewership must have been about three hundred, and I’m being generous. What mostly intrigued me is the finances of the broadcast. Logic would dictate that airing these type of shows week after week makes more money than , say, a test pattern. But I don’t think by much.

By Sam DelPresto

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Depending on what you read, the recession may or not be over. The business excesses of the current decade without a name are well documented - from LBOs to derivatives et al. And as the House of Representatives argues about the means to prevent a recurrence of our woes, let me take a moment to mourn the loss of excess. Will we ever see again such luxuries as once displayed in the Robb Report’s “Annual Ultimate Gift Guide?”

Who among us will mourn the unavailability of a sterling silver tennis ball can for $1,750. Or covet the world’s most expensive bow tie in 24 karat gold with 22 karats of diamonds for $140,000. And gift giving has also taken a hit. Gone is the mink coat for a Cabbage Patch Kid doll that once sold for $400 or a working 24 karat-gold gumball machine set with 158 diamonds and jewels for a mere $100,000.

Some market corrections cannot get here soon enough.

By Sam DelPresto