I’m pretty bad about being away from my desk. When I hit a wall, or my corporate issued thermos is empty, I head straight for the water cooler to recharge. Most of the time, I can make the roundtrip in less than a minute, but every now and then, I’ll find someone in the break room that’s looking to burn a few minutes before jumping back into the grind. It’s usually something just slightly above your classic exchanging of pleasantries and small talk, but on rare occasions, you can find yourself debating the important, hot button issues of the day. This was one of those occasions.
It started as golf talk. “Who you got winning The Masters?” or something like that. Like many, I threw out the name of the former Longhorn great, Jordan Spieth. The guy’s having a pretty solid 2015 season, and that’s on the heels of what was a very impressive 2014. Naturally, the conversation devolved into talk about how much ass he’s leaving on the table by dating his high school sweetheart, not that that’s ever stopped a professional golfer before, but I give Spieth the benefit of the doubt. He’s easily the most mature 21-year-old I’ve ever encountered, and by encountered I mean followed around at the AT&T Byron Nelson Championship.
Right when the conversation hit a lull, someone tossed out, “Man, the kid is on such a run.” I followed up with, “That’s a McConaughey-esque run he’s on.” Yeah, I said it. It’s a hot take, but I stand by it. I compared the season of Spieth to McConaughey, who is fucking everywhere: winning Oscars, giving pep talks to collegiate athletes, creeping us out in a rad kind of way in those Lincoln ads. His run is historic. Then someone mentioned DiCaprio, you know, the guy that just purchased an island and is apparently dating Rihanna? The run Leo is on is nothing to scoff at. He’s on Crushing It Level Black. He’s basically living the Corona commercial.
Then it happened: I dropped a hypothetical that set office productivity back by at least 25 percent. If you could permanently trade places with Spieth, McConaughey, or Leo, at this point in each of their careers, who you got?
Time stopped. The shitty office playlist that plays the same Alabama Shakes song every day stopped. It was quiet. Obviously, no one wanted to fuck up by making the wrong choice and look like a huge dork/loser. This is how respect is lost in the streets. Then I said it: “Give me Spieth.” Bold, I know. Spieth hasn’t even won a major yet, but I felt confident in my assertion. After all, I had him winning The Masters this weekend, so the least I could do is back him in this strangely pathetic hypothetical.
Before you slam your laptop shut in anger, hear me out on this. I’m a former high school golfer that decided to focus on drinking Keystone 30 packs in a field rather than his short game. I’m not sure how good I could’ve been, and I’ll never know. With that being said, I watch Spieth navigate courses and the press in pure awe at his maturity. I’m about a decade older, and I still occasionally sling a sand wedge. The kid is already winning tournaments, making millions, and buying homes in top tier Dallas neighborhoods.
Please understand that I’m not overlooking what McConaughey and DiCaprio have done, and are doing, on the reg. DiCaprio is the quintessential American playboy that all young degenerates will live through vicariously. But he’s 40. Nothing wrong with being 40, but the guy has already accomplished everything (besides earning an Academy Award, but who cares). Spieth still has to prove himself as a golf god, but he can do so knowing that he’s financially set. If his career turns out like that of a Steve Stricker or Matt Kuchar, it’s just a disappointment. A very lucrative disappointment. I’d argue that barring some unforeseen catastrophe, that’s as bad as it can get for Spieth. The other two? Man, those wheels could come flying off without any notice.
Don’t get me wrong here – I’m not part of the anti-McConaughey contingency that seems to be growing with every fantastic Lincoln commercial that runs in primetime. I fully support the other former Longhorn great’s right to show up, not shave, and bro down, but I won’t be shocked if I wake up one morning to find out that he smoked DMT and never made it back from the center of the universe. I hope that never happens, but it’s a possibility, maybe. Also worth noting: he’s 45. He’s got 5 years on Leo, and 24 years on Spieth. That’s not even counting the years of wear-and-tear from all the Ayahuaska ceremonies he’s attended.
Look, I’ve heard great arguments for all three in recent days, but none that will convince me that being a movie star or HBO legend is greater than having absurd God-given golf talent and your mid-to-late twenties ahead of you. I like to think that my best days are still ahead of me, much like young Jordan’s, but mine will probably just consist of breaking 80 in the club championship and maybe owning a half season mid-level Mavericks season ticket package..