SF Gate - Many Bay Area locals thoroughly detest the name "Karl" as a label for the region's fog, and the PGA Championship's official Twitter account decided to step on that beehive prior to the weekend's first major of the year at San Francisco's Harding Park.
"Karl is what they call the fog in San Francisco... and it looks like he'll be staying around a bit today," read a Tuesday morning tweet accompanied by an image of the fog over the course.
People were extremely angry. ...
Shasky is referencing the still-anonymous owner of the @KarlTheFog Twitter. The account first popped up in 2010, and the owner has since written a book and done interviews with multiple local news outlets, all while being almost universally reviled by locals.
"Who’s they? I’ve been in the Bay Area for my 34 years of life, never heard a soul refer to it as that," a resident tweeted at the PGA account. "Try and be a bit more accurate, for the sake of the residents here."
KTVU's Sal Castaneda even got dragged into the replies after someone accused him of referring to the fog as "Karl." Castaneda understandably felt the need to publicly refute the damning charges.
"That’s not true," he tweeted. "I don’t refer to the fog as Karl and never have."
Same here, Sal. Same here.
I've never been to San Francisco, though I'd like to. If for no other reason than to hit the restaurants and see a Giants game at that ballpark and reacquaint myself with Dreamy Garoppolo. And now that I know San Franciscans share the same problems my people do, I want to embrace their city and their culture even more.
Maybe every city in America that can say this, I don't know. But there's nothing more insufferable than out-of-towners who think they know how to talk and act like you. Calling fog "Karl" sounds like San Francisco's version of "Beantown," a word that never passes the lips of anyone east of the Hudson River, but comes up all the time in scripted and reality TV and the kinds of sportscasts where they say things like "... and the Bronx Bombers leave the Windy City after taking two out of three from the Pale Hose and head to Beantown for a weekend series against the Bosox." Pardon me while I hold back the bile in my throat.
People who think we say things like "Beantown" and "Pahk ya cah in Havahd Yahd" also think we go to Cheers, a t-shirt store with a liquor license. Or the other Cheers at Faneuil Hall, which actually has cardboard cutouts of characters from a sitcom that went off the air 25 years ago. And the last person with a MA driver's license who ever drank a beer there was me when we broadcast my old WEEI show there as a promotion in 2015. And don't get me started on the cringiness of the Pete Postlethwaite character in the otherwise great "The Town" calling Fenway, "The cathedral of baseball." Or Bill Simmons in the "30 for 30" about the 2004 ALCS calling it the greatest Boston moment since the Tea Party. Or every part of "Celtics Pride" or "Fever Pitch." Yet everyone who comes to town just assumes that's who we are and how we talk.
But aside from the inaccuracy, "Karl" is just an idiotic name for a fog. And what regional culture would just go along with that? What's it supposed to mean? It is a reference to the poem "Fog"? Because that was written by Carl Sandburg. If you're going to name it after the movie "The Fog," why not call it "John Carpenter" or "Adrian Barbeau"? Could it be a reference to this guy, since fog is big and white and scary?
So while I appreciate any sort of golf major the PGA can provide and I'm over the moon the Championship started today, this is not the way to ingratiate yourself to a people whose city you're a guest in. Be better, golf.