Like millions of others, I watched Bubba Watson break down after sinking his putt on the tenth at Augusta to win the Masters. It was a great victory.
Watson has never taken a golf lesson in his life. He is one-of-a-kind. He cried as he hugged his caddy, his Mom, and as he acknowledged the crowd.
He acknowledged his father's recent passing, the adoption of a new baby, and realizing a life dream. It all made him cry.
There's no lack of passion for what he's doing!
Shortly after his victory, the critics emerged. There were those who applauded his show of emotion and those who derided it. Psychologists opined about "healthy responses." Others suggested that "manly men" don't cry.
It reminded me of a recent newspaper article. The National Post's Christie Blatchford wrote a column called "Toronto: City of Sissies."
From the title you can imagine how that went over.
Billing herself "the toughest guy in the room," Blatchford held forth about 10 year old boys greeting each other with a hug and the feminization of men:
"I am wearying of men who are so frequently in touch with their feminine side they, not to mention me, have lost sight of the masculine one. I’m just plain sick of hugs, giving and getting, from just about anyone, but particularly man-to-man hugs."
I am sure Blatchford would also disapprove of Bubba Watson.
I think Bubba's victory at the Masters was cool. And so was his willingness to share what he was feeling about achieving a life dream.
Real men cry. When they're happy, sad, frustrated, angry and afraid. It's a normal human response and good modeling.
It's also the ultimate expression of strength– the willingness to be vulnerable.
Thanks, Bubba Watson. It was a double victory.
© Patrick O’Neill 2012. All rights reserved.