Here Comes The Tiger

The Masters tee off today. What won’t be any different this year from the last decade or so of The Masters is that the media’s stories will all be about Tiger Woods. What will be different from the last decade or so of The Masters is that the media’s stories are all about Tiger but not about how well he swings the sticks. No, it’s still about the “scandal” from half of a year ago. I feel like this has gotten more attention than Michael Vick’s dog fighting ring. My opinion on this has already been documented though. The reason I’m going to be willing to put up with all the questions surrounding this is because I love watching Tiger Woods. The man is simply phenomenal. I hope he makes his return and just flat out stomps the competition. I don’t want it to even be close. I want him to make the non-verbal statement of “I’m back. I’m the best. Deal with it.” Ali vs Jerry Quarry style.*

I think Tiger will take a “me vs. the world” mentality, which is a scary mindset for him to be in if you’re one of his opponents. Tiger’s nerves of steal and highly competitive nature is arguably what has set him apart from the rest of the competition for his years and years of dominance. For him to feel like he has something to prove, and having a chip on his shoulder with doubters and critics to quiet will only amplify and feed the fire that is his killer instinct. I want to see a tunnel-vision Tiger, looking for nothing but a win. This man won the 2008 U.S. Open on one freakin’ leg. I -nor anyone else in the world- could win it on two legs. If he’s hyper-focused, like he needs to be, then the hecklers in the crowd won’t bother him, nonetheless clicking cameras in his back swing. He was only gone for four months. He can return and dominate. MJ wearing 45 style.**

While we’re making comparisons to Michael Jordan, let’s take a quote from a recent Bill Simmons article:

“Now, there’s a chance golf will become something of a sanctuary for Tiger Woods — a little like what basketball meant to Jordan in those final Chicago seasons. Including playoffs, Jordan played 310 of a possible 310 games in three seasons from 1996 through 1998. Why? Because he was a hypercompetitive maniac, but also because a basketball court was one of the few places that made him happy. I could see this happening with Tiger. Potentially. There’s also a chance Tiger could come roaring out of the gate in Eff You Mode and give us an exhilarating stretch of golf like we’ve never seen in our lives. Everything’s in play.”

That is what I think is most likely to happen. He needs golf. A countless number of men and women all over the world play golf to go out and do something they enjoy that will take their mind off the stresses of daily life. You think Tiger won’t want to get away from the stresses he’s going to have in his daily life now? As Simmons said, it will be “something of a sanctuary” where he can both escape mentally by doing something that requires high levels of concentration to take his mind off his other problems and also relieve physical stress by whacking the hell out of ball and siphoning off his own frustration into his opponents. Tiger must be absolutely stoked to come back. When something is that big in your life for so long it’s hard to live life without it and now he’s back. Brett Favre style.***

A lot of history’s most loved athletes have had issues away from the game. Michael Jordan gambled. Babe Ruth drank. Muhammad Ali liked his women. Andre Agassi liked crystal meth. And now Tiger Woods also likes women. They all had their own problems and they all were some of the best athletes this world has ever seen. None of their problems involved breaking the law (well, except Agassi) they were “private thing(s) that happened to a public figure” as Bryan said in his post about Tiger’s return. They didn’t kill anyone -like OJ Simpson- or anything -like Michael Vick- nor did they rape anyone -like Mike Tyson- or even do anything that illegally improved their chances of winning -like any of the countless athletes that have used HGH, steroids or any other illegal performance enhancer.- Heck, they didn’t even illegally video tape opponents signals and game plans -like Bill Belichick Belicheat- they just had some thing that they enjoyed on a more regular basis than they should have.

Tiger Woods didn’t break the law and he didn’t cheat (well… on the course, that is). He simply likes sex. A lot. Raise your hand if you don’t like sex. Okay, look up. Is your hand in the air? If so then you’re asexual and nobody is thinking any less of you for it. I’m not judging you and Tiger Woods isn’t either, so why are you judging him? When you’re a good looking, professional athlete, who gets that much publicity and is that successful you are going to have an unfathomable number of beautiful women throwing themselves at you constantly. And I mean All. The. Time.

Can I sit here and tell you that I would have the will power to resist that kind of temptation? Sure I can. Will I be telling the truth? I don’t know. I would have no way of knowing until I was in that situation myself. I brought up the same point to a friend of mine (we’ll keep him anonymous) and he said, “I can’t judge the man, if I were in that situation, I’d probably be riddled with STDs by now. Heck, I’m just impressed he managed to resist the other billion or so women who threw themselves at him that he didn’t hook up with.”

However in the end I’m in the same boat as Bryan on one point and it’s that if you want to continue to cheer for him, that’s fine. If you now want to cheer against him, that’s fine. If you are now simply indifferent then that’s fine too. I just thought I’d provide my perspective on it to give a different angle on it from Bryan’s. To see his opinion and to see how his and mine contrast simply click here.

I also highly recommend that you read the article by Bill Simmons that I quoted above. It’s a great article no matter what you opinion of the whole situation is. To read that article click here.

*Ali got a technical knock out on Quarry in three rounds after being away from the sport for 43 months. That’s over three-and-a-half years. Tiger has only been away for four months.

**Michael Jordan announced he was returning to basketball (from baseball) on March 18, 1995 and on March 28 he put up 55 points against the Knicks in Madison Square Gardern, and that was after being away from the sport for nearly 18 months.

***Brett Favre retired and returned like a thousand times. Just ask Bryan.

Also, I just saw the new Nike Golf commercial with Tiger and thought I’d go ahead and put it up here:


5 Responses

  1. I hope Tiger plays well. This weekend is about Golf.

  2. I completely agree. Tiger has always been, and still is a great golfer and I hope he continues to prove himself in the sport. Just because he is a bad husband does not make him a bad athlete.

  3. I hate Tiger, for my own reasons, one of these days I’ll get around to writing why, but anyways, I know he will be as good as ever. Think how many less relationships he has. He looked so relaxed out there today, and it got me thinking. Now he only has to please one girl instead of 15! That must be a huge stress reliever! I think I saw him smile more today, than I ever have in any single round during his entire career. Maybe Y.E. Yang had some jokes saved up for when they were paired together or maybe he was just that happy to be back… Either way, he will dominate golf as long as he’s healthy…

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