Below is Tron Carter’s inaugural #LPCP selection of the month, an new section in the No Laying Up Monthly Newsletter, which you can sign up for HERE.
For the uninitiated, LPCP stands for “Lacks Pop, Can’t Play.” My brother Neil (AKA not so ‘young’ Neil – NLU cofounder/Merchandise kingpin) played college football once upon a time for a dismal Ivy League squad (#GoLions), and during his senior year, he had the privilege of playing under his 3rd Defensive Coordinator in four seasons, a fat, stern man with a harsh goatee and passive aggressive streak. Said, ‘Leader of Men’ would work himself into sarcastic, monotoned tirades during film but really let his contempt for his poorly performing defensive unit shine on paper. In preseason scrimmage and in season post-game write-up’s of the linebacking corp, he would ROAST both starters and scout teamers with straight jargon, the jewel of which was a finishing line used more than once: “lacks pop at the point of attack, can’t play.” Here are a few other gems:
‘Rarely in the right place, has shown a tendency to get ejected in A-gap run schemes. Lacks pop at the point of attack; Can’t play for me.’
‘Does a great job with block destruction only to get trucked by a freshmen running back. Stinks.’
‘Due to ongoing injuries, quickly becoming the forgotten man; can’t stay healthy, can’t play for me.’
‘Lacks a fundamental understanding of defensive concepts and is consistently the nail not the hammer in the inside run game.’
Repeat these lines in your head in a gruff, monotone, and you’ll get the idea of what it was like in the film room (it’s also worth noting that the #EJECTED movement was born from this same coach)!
Alright, to tie this into NLU, about 19 months ago the NLU Founding Four was down in Hilton Head for the Heritage with Neil’s tales of football mediocrity fueling the fun at Kurama – Hilton Head’s RENOWNED Hibachi joint (sidenote: Tim Clark was holding court at the table behind us, and they had the ace Hibachi Chef – Onion Volcano trains, accurate Shrimp-to-mouth tosses, classy knife work, strong banter w/ his guests – first class service for Timmy), we decided to follow up our meal with the inaugural NLU Podcast. Naturally, the name of a widely-beloved tour player came up, and a jargon (and Sapporo) infused discussion heated up quick! That player, Matthew Kuchar, has since come to embody #LPCP on PGA Tour. Here’s why:
- Kuchar’s entire being is aesthetically indefensible: the Sketchers moon shoes, his impossibly mismatched outfits, his disgusting swing, all of it – Lacks Pop.
- A few years ago he played both Hawaii events and then shut it down for the entire west coast swing so he could stay in Hawaii and chill out with his family. This irked me because the West Coast Swing is the best part of the schedule by far, but also because the Tour celebrated it and made a commercial out of it! The mileage that the Tour’s gotten out of leveraging Kuchar’s aw-shucks persona blows my mind.
- Peep his record in the Pres/Ryder Cups – more often the nail, not the hammer, constantly getting ejected!
- People will argue that he’s one of the most consistent players on Tour, and that’s true. Conversely, I see a guy who is constantly in the mix and almost always fails to get it done (ironically he holed out from the bunker on the 72nd hole to win a couple days later at Harbour Town, but that was after pooping down his leg on Sunday the previous three weeks, so I’m undeterred). I see a guy who consciously set his game up for a high floor/low ceiling – Matt Kuchar essentially decided to lay up when building his entire game. And it shows – for how often he’s in the mix he notches a startlingly low number of wins. Think about it this way: he’s two years older than Sergio (who, like Kuchar, also spend a few years of his career in the wilderness), has less wins (far less if you consider Euro stuff for Serg), and hasn’t sniffed winning a major (Serg’s been in the mix a bunch but hasn’t closed, which is another discussion).Considering all of that, Sergio should be the more renowned player, yet Kuchar is widely regarded by the masses as clutch, as someone who gets it done, and up until last year, as #ELITE. While some of that is certainly due to the fact that white people automatically embrace you if your name contains a phonetic “OO” sound that they can repeat incessantly at tournaments, it makes me sick to see this guy get a free pass year after year for coming up short.
Matt Kuchar is essentially Bill Haas in five years. Nice player/great guy? Absolutely. Anything more than that? Absolutely not. I want dogs playing on my team. Kuchar ain’t a dog (as outlined in the NLU combine scouting report last year), and that’s why he’s the inaugural #LPCP Player of the month selection.
Disagree or have an #LPCP candidate? Get at us on twitter – @TronCarterNLU and @ngschu