The year's greatest golf event is less than a week away. It coincides with blooming dogwoods, perfectly manicured greenery and the most coveted sartorial object in the world of sports.
More coveted than the gold jersey in the Tour de France, more coveted than a Jeremy Lin jersey.
Some events offer trophies to the winners. But the Masters gives a green blazer to each year's champion. Other tournaments like Colonial have a red plaid jacket and the Open Championship had a belt at one time. But Green Jacket started with and by Bobby Jones will forever be the most sought-after textile item in any game we play.
Trophies are symbols of winning. But when you can wear and feel it tight around your shoulders, it is, like Jim Nantz reminds us, a tradition unlike any other.
The Masters is packed with traditions adding to its lore, like the champions dinner. This private ceremony is attended by the tournament's past champions only. The most recent winner decides the menu for a club that is more select than even Skull and Bones. Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer, etc., are the only ones invited.
This year, 2011 champ Charl Schwartzel will host the others in forest green.
Some people probably think they're entitled to be there.
It's the only the proper type of discrimination there is, one based solely on merit.