Monday, August 13, 2007
Tiger Tiger Tiger Woods, Ya'll
Tiger Woods holds up his most recent major championship trophy.
Originally, in the wake of yet another Tiger Woods triumph yesterday, I was gonna use this space to talk about his place in the synagogue of non-team sport athletes. I was gonna make a list. Had my ten finalists narrowed down and ready to blog.
Couldn't do it. Over the last couple years, I've tried hard to convince myself that golf is a sport, so that I could jump on the bandwagon with everybody else and talk about Tiger's place in the athletic landscape, both currently (I was gonna discuss that in my own variation of "Who's Now?" weeks back) and historically (as I was going to touch on today). Wasn't in me. Just as I was about to get started on the countdown, something hit me, and I woke up out of my coma: "Golf ain't no damn sport and you know it. What the hell is wrong with you? Snap out of it, fool." Sorry, Eldrick, but I just don't see it. I just don't. I mean, let's be real here: golfer's don't have to run. They don't have to get physical with each other. The crowd must remain completely silent and avoid distracting them in any way so that they can concentrate fully on their next shot. They have little flunkies who carry their heavy equipment bags around for them, so that they won't have any extra strain on their bodies that will tire them out or make them weak as they WALK across the course.
That's a sport? Really? By what criteria? What's athletic about it? Could a guy like John Daly win two major titles in tennis? Could I? Come on. People play golf to relax. It's an activity. It's a game. It requires skill and technique and smarts, but it's not a sport. I know mainstream media has accepted it as such, but, well, to hell with mainstream media. This is my post.
But I'm no hater, and the purpose of this post is not for me to hate on Tiger, but to show him love. To show love for his greatness. He's unbelievable. Yesterday, he held off two guys to won major champiopnship no. 13, putting him only five behind Jack Nicklaus, and two ahead of him at the same point in their careers. I don't mention the names of those two guys because their names don't matter. There's Tiger and there's everybody else. All of his opponents are the same, when it comes right down to it: just a bunch if faces who can't keep up with him. Can't get on his level. And honestly, if we could transplant the in-their-primes versions of Jack or Arnie or Ben or Lord Byron out there with him, they wouldn't be able to f--- with him either. Tiger Woods>the field. Always.
You have to admire the way he carries himself, the way he never shows any sign of anything other than confidence. The way he never looks rattled. The fact that other grown men are completely terrified of him on a golf course. The way he ripped Rory Sabbatini to shreds (first with that slick comeback about Rory's lack of success, then by kicking his ass at Bridgestone two weeks ago). His big shot ability. That immortal Nike commercial that shows his incredible chip shot at the 2005 Masters. The fact that he is Mr. Nike. The fact that he singlehandedly took golf to a whole new level in terms of popularity. The fact that you don't change the channel anytime you see Tiger Woods with a club in his hand on a Sunday afternoon. You can't change it. You might miss something.
And so now, I bestow upon him the greatest compliment I can in recognition of his talents: Tiger Woods plays golf as well as any other person ever did any other thing. The same statement has been made about Michael Jordan, but it applies to Eldrick as well. He's that great.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have an appointment with a hypnotist: Golf is a sport, Anthony. When you wake up, you wil consider golf to be a sport like any other.