Hoist With His Own Petard

I’ll be honest with you here folks.  I’m not 100% sure what a petard is.

I’m pretty sure I used to have one…but then my neighbour back in London borrowed it and never returned it to me.  Or maybe he smoked it or something?

At any rate, there have been numerous examples of people in the news this week, who have been hoist with their own petards…and it’s been a mixture of horrifying and immensely entertaining.  And, if my theory holds true, we’ll have one more example in sports by the end of the weekend.

In deference to Hollywood icon Clint Eastwood and his magical talking char, let’s call the 3 cases “The Good, the Bad and the Fugly.”

Okay, example number one (“The Bad”): the mouth-breathing moron who produced the inflammatory anti-Muhammad/anti-Islam movie, then after a total of zero people showed up to see it in theatres had the great idea of spreading his hatred on YouTube.

Breathtakingly stupid…mind-bogglingly moronic…and sinister to the seven hundredth degree.  Rush Limbaugh and Hitler would be proud.

I’m all for free speech (as you probably would have guessed), but examples like this one give even a guy like me cause for pause…and a sharp desire to see this racist asshat thrown into prison for the rest of his miserable life. 

Or even better, stuck in a big crate with a few air holes and a bit of lettuce and sent via FedEx to downtown Benghazi for some real old-school Truth or Consequences justice. 

The fact that his Triple Z-grade movie, which makes the average $300 porn flick look like Citizen Kane, has incited riots over a growing swath of the planet is precisely what he had planned…and there should be consequences for his incredibly irresponsible actions. 

That his blatant stupidity has resulted in deaths, makes it a slam-dunk case as far as I’m concerned.  At the least he’s guilty of being a conspirator or accomplice in negligent homicide.  At worst, he’s guilty of murder by proxy.

That the US Government, the people whose people were murdered, will have to step in and offer him protection from his would-be assassins, just adds to the injustice.

Now example number two (“The Good”):  and when I say “good,” I mean REALLY good!

Mitt Romney was hoist with his own petard this week when video of a speech he delivered in front of a $50,000-a-plate fundraiser of fat cats went viral and then hit the mainstream media.

In Romney’s case I’m definitely an advocate of free speech…because the more that particular asshat speaks freely, the more he reveals himself for the shallow, simple-minded, selfish, deceitful, xenophobic, misogynistic, homophobic, racist puffed-up prick that he is.

Virtually every second of the video was the Republican Party’s worst nightmare…and the best early Chanukah / Xmas present that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have ever received. 

We all knew that Romney thought like that, right…but who would have ever thought that we’d get to hear him say all of it in public? 


Well done Mitt!  Well done.  President Obama; you can start working on musical guests for your big re-inauguration party now.  This one’s a cinch.

The BMW Championship

Before I get to petard hoisting example #3, there’s a little unfinished business I need to address first…and that’s the unveiling of our results from the 3rd leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs.

How cool to see Rory rack up another win (in a row!)  How sad that I didn’t have the balls or the foresight to take him!

Results – The BMW Championship

Derek’s Picks D&D (Daughter & Dartboard)
Dustin Johnson


 $      278,000 Bud Cauley


 $          18,080
Tiger Woods


 $      352,000 Kyle Stanley


 $          43,200
Jim Furyk


 $      232,000 Ryan Palmer


 $          22,880
Jason Dufner


 $        53,200 Seung-Yul Noh


 $        108,600
This Week’s Total  $      915,200 This Week’s Total  $        192,760
Season Total  $  35,354,639 Season Total  $    10,759,096

Overall, it was a pretty good week for the old man…and a pretty crappy performance for the bairn.  It seems that the fickle finger of fate has stopped guiding her dart-throwing hand and random chance is back to performing the way it should.

And a small part of me is sad about that.

The Grand Finale – The Tour Championship

And that leads us straight into the inevitable petard hoisting to come this weekend folks…example #3, “The Fugly.”

If you’ve read this column for any amount of time you’ll probably recall that I’ve mentioned the “FedEx Cup Curse” a few times in this little corner of cyber space.  It’s my own invention, and while I’m not a superstitious person by nature, if you look at the records of the FedEx Cup winners, you’ll probably come to the same conclusion I have…or at least see some merit in the whole idea.

To save you some time on the interweb thingy, here are the stats:

The FedEx Cup has been in existence for 5 years now.  And in each case, the winner of the title and the $10 million bonus prize has suffered “The Curse.”

Last year’s winner, Bill Haas, was the least scathed of the winners.  He actually won a tournament this season…and posted a few respectable finishes too.  But, his performances this year, were a far cry from the Bill we saw in 2011.

Jim Furyk won in 2010…and promptly fell of the face of the earth, only to semi-return to form this year.

Vijay Singh won in 2008…and promptly fell off the face of the earth, only to semi-return to form this year.

Tiger Woods is an interesting aberration in the theory.  He won it in 2007 and followed it up with a good year.  Then he showed the incredibly poor judgement to win it again in 2009…and promptly wrapped his car around a fire hydrant, had his wife wrap a 9-iron around his teeth, saw his entire world, including his carefully crafted image crumble, then fell of the face of the earth, only to semi-return this year.

Five events, four winners…ever one has suffered “The Curse.”

So, according to my wonky little theory, whoever wins the FedEx Cup this weekend will actually be hoisting himself with his own petard…or, more accurately, will become a victim of his own success.

For that reason, I almost feel badly for picking winners this week.  It feels like I’m cheering someone on to their own inevitable suffering. 

Derek’s Picks – The Tour Championship

Rory McIlroy – As much as I don’t want to see him cursed this week, I sure as hell want to see him win.

And, given his 3-in-a-row record he’s amassed in the past month, how could I not take him on my squad?

Rory is the real deal.  He seems to thrive under pressure.  He has a head and a swing for it.  And he’s just a hell of a nice kid that you can’t help but root for.

Of course, winning 3 in a row is a great reason not to take him too.  The train has to stop sometime right?  And since I’ve taken him, this’ll probably be that time.  But I really hope not.  Not for the column, but for the plain fact that I love watching him and love rooting for the kid.

Tiger Woods – I won’t be cheering for him…other than to have another epic blow-up on the weekend, but as much as I hate doing it, it’s REALLY damned hard not to take this guy this week.

Woods has been in the thick of it too often not to be on the radar this week.  His T4 finish at the BMW showed some of his best form of the year…and that’s in a year where he’s already won three times!

Woods record here in Atlanta is also pretty relevant.  He’s won on this course twice before and has a handful of top 5’s to sprinkle on the resume as well. 

Love him, or love to hate him…he has to be a major contender going into this tournament.

Phil Mickelson – My #3 slot is going to Phil this week.  As I work my way through all the possibilities in the 30-man field, the picks do get harder (would there be any truly bad choices?), but Phil is still a pretty easy one to make.

Phil has been on a bit of a mini-heater since the end of the Barclays.  In the past 2 PGA Playoff events, he’s finished T4 and T2.  There’s only one place left to climb from there; solo 1st.

Phil comes into Atlanta with a fantastic record at the East Lake course.  In the 5 years of the Playoffs, he’s won it once, and had two other top 10s.  He also had another win here back in 2000, which pre-dates the Playoffs.

As long as “Smart Phil” shows up this week, rather than “Hell Bent For Leather Dumb Phil” making an increasingly rare appearance, then I like his chances.

Luke Donald – Of the remaining 27 golfers in the field this week, I really like about 15.  Naturally daughter gets to claim her 4 with the darts (and wait ‘til you see them!), so I’m left with about 11 I’d be comfortable going with. 

The biggest dilemma for me is dropping Furyk..because I’m going with “Luuuuuuuuke.”

The first man in history to win both the American PGA Money List and the European Order of Merit in the same year; Donald has absolutely nothing to prove…possibly for the rest of his career.

The only major things he didn’t win last year were a Major and the FedEx Cup title.

And yet, when I see Donald stalking the fairways these days, I can’t help but feel that he does feel he has something to prove…a LOT to prove

For me, the dream scenario on Sunday afternoon would be a final threesome of McIlroy, Donald and Woods all tied for the lead and shooting it out for the championship. 

In that fantasy, McIlroy and Donald both shoot the lights out and match each other stroke for stroke…to force several extra holes (Monday finish anyone?).  Meanwhile Woods soils himself for 18 straight holes to go from the lead to last place…followed by an indignant sprint to the parking lot to jump into his car and scream off the property.

 Donald has played extremely well at East Lake the past few years; finishing T3 last year, solo 2nd the year before that and T5 in the first FedEx Cup version of the Tour Championship.  He likes the course, he likes his ganme and he has lots of positive mojo to feed off.  

He’s not a slam dunk, by any means, but I like him anyway.

And now that I’ve had my ramble, let’s turn it over to the girl to see the evil she’s conjured up for me this week…

D&D’s Picks (Daughter & Dartboard):

Dustin Johnson

Bo Van Pelt

Adam Scott

Webb Simpson

Hey, you’ve gotta love those picks too folks!  It just goes to show what 4 darts in a field of only 30 can get you, doesn’t it?

And that’s all for this week.  As always, thanks VERY much for reading…and for all the fun comments that have been dribbling in in the past couple of weeks (they make my day).  Enjoy the big tourney!



p.s. 100 bonus points if you can identify the author and sourcebook for the phrase “hoist with his own petard.”  Take another 100 if you can actually identify what a petard is.  But no fair looking it up!

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