Shocker! Times Finally Gets An Exclusive

By T.J. Simers

The Los Angeles Times scored its biggest exclusive in more than a decade, Sam Farmer telling us in Friday’s Internet posting he’s the only person in the whole wide world who doesn’t belong to the Masters golf club to be allowed inside a storage room.

This is the kind of reporting that separates the Times from newspapers like the Washington Post and New York Times.

Farmer, who broke the Rufus the Wimbledon hawk story a few months ago, reported in great detail his exclusive access to the storage room where they provide green jackets for everyone who is a member in the pretentious club.

On the second day of the Masters haven’t you always wanted to know where they keep the hundreds and hundreds of green jackets the members get when they pay their dues?

Thus, the gripping headline atop Sam’s scoop: “Where are the Masters green jackets stored? Exclusive vault opened for first time.”

If they’ve never opened it, how does everyone get their green jackets? I read Sam’s whole story and he never mentioned that. Where are the editors at the Times?

But beyond that, I only have one question after reading Farmer’s fine account about what the storage room looks like: How did he gain such exclusive access?

Why would a swanky golf course in Georgia throw open its secret doors to a football writer from Los Angeles? Had I asked for entry in my football prime I would have been rejected on suspicion I was casing the place to rob later.

I’m sure there is a line a mile long of legit golf reporters who would like to know if the jackets are folded into boxes or hanging up. Be still my beating heart.

Why Sam? He must have something on those puffed-up blowhards who insist broadcasters call the spectators patrons or they’re no longer allowed to broadcast.

By the way, Sam refers to the “patrons” twice in his story, and now you know why Dwyre never allowed me to cover the Masters. He was always afraid I’d get kicked out of the place, beginning with a column on this whole patrons bunk.

For background Sam gets almost all the big stories in the Times. You can understand why the Times has a football guy covering golf and tennis. He’s good. I can’t remember if Sam was the only journalist to score an exclusive interview with Rufus the Raven, but I know he was the first reporter to give us the precise difference between fluffy tennis balls and balls not-so-fluffy at Wimbledon.

He also shared personal pictures he took of Cooper, Peyton and Eli Manning standing in the hotel they recently purchased aside the golf course where they were playing the British Open. Later he gained access to Peyton’s basement for one of Peyton’s TV shows, a nice exchange of I’ll promote your business venture if you provide me access to all your business ventures.

Nothing wrong with that. I promised Kevin Brown I would rip him on a Monday so long as I could also rip him every other day of the week. He then went out of his way to make it easier for me to do just that.

Maybe Sam promised the powers to be of the storage room that he would write an inane story about people who have built replicas of the Masters in their own backyards. That was a Farmer’s special Thursday. Didn’t see that in the Post or Times, surprisingly Sam not proclaiming it an exclusive.

But he did write a whole ode to Jim Nantz at the Final Four, and then Nantz helped him with his backyard story: Hello friend, let me promote the Masters in your story.

He said he was building a replica of No. 13 at his Nashville home: “There’s something about Augusta and the whole Masters experience,” said Nantz. “It’s visual poetry”

If so, why are readers of the Times being shoved into a secret dingy store room in the back of the Masters’ golf shop for an exclusive looksee at the jackets the snobs wear when they become dues-paying members of a golf club in Georgia?

I think I understand now why Dwyre never sent me to Augusta.

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