Fort Worth, Texas — Admit it, men. Inside, we're all a quivering mass of lemon Jell-O.
We're afraid of being exposed as the frauds we are. We're afraid that someday the world will realize that behind that big, gruff exterior of muscle and beer belly, day-old whiskers and bad breath, that we're really as soft as a goose-down pillow, as insecure as a freshman starting Hell Week.
We're scared to death that at any moment, someone -- a woman, of course -- will rip aside the curtain and expose the Wizard of Macho for the scared, trembling little boy that he really is.
And then somebody like Vijay Singh comes along and makes it easy for them.
Who asked you to sing anyway, Vijay?
We had a good thing going here, you know. We had the gals convinced -- sometimes, anyway -- that they're the weaker sex. We've been lording it over them since the first caveman picked up a club, whacked a rock out of his way and grunted something like "Gawwllllffff!"
It didn't take long for us men to turn it into a four-letter word.
And now the guys are running scared because a woman has dared to challenge their manhood on their own ground, the golf course.
Here's my suggestion to Vijay and the rest of the quivering macho male egos out there who are offended that Annika Sorenstam will invade their world at Colonial next week: Get over it!
Your whining, male chauvinist tears are making the rest of us look bad. You don't like Annika playing alongside you? Then go out and beat her into the ground. Show us how macho you really are.
But whatever you do, stop crying. I'd like to tell you there's no crying in golf, but since we've seen Len Mattiace and Fred Couples break down into blubbering puddles of goo on TV just in the past few weeks, obviously that won't wash.
Some would like to give credit to Singh for at least speaking his mind. Not me. In Vijay's case, I prefer the Mark Twain approach: "It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt."
Same goes for Fulton Allem, Nick Price and Scott Hoch (as in choke), who have joined Singh in dissing Sorenstam and Colonial for having the gall to invite her to play. Sure, they have a right to make themselves look like chauvinist pigs, but do they have to be so darn blatant about it?
"Some people don't believe she should be out here -- golfers and men in general," Hoch told The Associated Press last week. "Most guys hope ... what comes out of this is that she realizes she can't compete against the men."
Two points, Scott. First point: That's fine. That might be exactly what happens. Sorenstam might not make the cut. She might not be able to compete against the guys. It might come as a shock to you that some of us are interested in seeing if she can and hoping she will.
Second point: Don't ever speak for me or men in general again.
What these Stone Age throwbacks don't seem to get is that Sorenstam isn't crashing the men's tour. She's coming to Colonial strictly on a one-time invitation, a sponsor's exemption. She's not a threat to show up every week at Pebble Beach, or the Kemper Open or the Masters.
Sorenstam will represent the LPGA well, win or lose.
Make the cut or not. She won 13 tournaments last year. She can play the game.
Moreover, this is about entertainment, isn't it? The Colonial will make do without his royal highness, Tiger Woods, for the sixth consecutive year. Tiger, it appears, doesn't like our beautiful golf course with its tight fairways and majestic oaks, or our barbecue, or our unique Fort Worth hospitality, or something. We have to live with that.
But Annika's presence has already assured that the eyes of the sports world will be turned to Fort Worth next week. CBS Sports and the USA Network have already expanded their coverage to focus on Annika's visit to Colonial.
Talk radio has been abuzz about Annika. Media credential requests are mounting daily.
You think people are showing up to watch Vijay? Price? Hoch? Fat chance.
No, they're coming for Annika. And Annika is coming because she's a competitor. Better that she take this step than Susie Whaley, a club teaching pro, who has qualified to play in a PGA Tour event this summer.
Some of the male idiots have complained about that, too, that Sorenstam didn't qualify. Please. First, she's been invited; that's good enough. Second, she's more qualified than half the men in the field, at least.
She has dominated the women's tour even more than Tiger has dominated the men's. She has earned some respect, not just for what's she's done on the women's tour, but for her courage in the face of all this bitter, insecure criticism coming from the Jell-O gallery.
Here's hoping she birdies every hole next week.
Let the whining and blubbering begin.