Ryder Cup Diary: Support from the sky fails to spur on Team Europe
Sunday 30 September 2012
Another great sporting event, and another shrewd piece of marketing by bookmakers Paddy Power, after the infamous "pantsgate" at the European Championships, when Denmark's Nicklas Bendtner showed his rather garish green Paddy Power boxer shorts to the world in celebration after he scored against Portugal. This time, the bookmakers have taken to the skies with a plan to give Team Europe some away support at the Medinah course, and attempt to silence those vociferous, red-blooded Americans.
In a world first using ground-breaking technology, the company will post 60 of the best tweets received at their Twitter account across the Illinois skies this weekend, with stunt pilots flying 10,000ft in the air to display the text. Each of the computer-controlled messages is delivered by five stunt planes flying in formation wing to wing to spell out each character of the message with a vapour trail. They are visible in the air for over 20 miles.
Fittingly, one of the first messages that was seen across the sky was simply: "Do it for Seve", before the messages in the sky became more obvious, including: "How do you spell USA?", "Anyone seen Tiger?", "Rory's gonna get cha" and erm... "Europe has better hair".
Each individual character is a staggering 200ft taller than the Shard skyscraper in London, the tallest building in Europe, which stands at a mammoth 1,017ft high.
Paddy Power's aim to get in the Guinness Book of Records for the "World's Big-gest Tweet" must be in the bag. But their goal of spurring on Team Europe at Medinah seems less successful, after a painful afternoon session yesterday in which the Europeans lost three of the four foursomes matches.
MJ's four shades of blue
For someone who was synonymous for wearing red for the majority of his career, the Chicago Bulls basketball great Michael Jordan seems to prefer sporting a different colour since his retirement. The 49-year-old caused a stir in news outlets in America and across social media for committing the fashion faux pas of wearing four different shades of the same colour – blue – in the same outfit while at Medinah over the weekend, where he is serving as an advisor to the US team. One US website described his outfit as: "sticking out like a sore thumb in a sea of polo shirts and khaki pants".
Noise makes for bunker
Just as like he did the previous day, Bubba Watson teed off to the sound of cheering from the home crowd yesterday. Playing up the role of the pantomime villain, Ian Poulter also teed off to the sound of the crowd, even goading the Chicago rabble to make more noise before he hit his shot to begin the afternoon foursomes session yesterday. It didn't have the desired effect; he hit the ball left of the fairway and could only find the bunker.
"My heart- rate went from I would say 100 to 180 [bpm] pretty quickly," Poulter said of the moment. "It was a great buzz for me for sure."
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