We need the New York Yankees. We need the Dallas Cowboys. We need Duke basketball. We need Notre Dame football. We need Tiger Woods.
Say what you want about Rory and Jordan and Jason. Rickie and Bubba are great too. But no one cares. I am an avid golfer and an avid golf fan. I watch at least a piece of the current tournament every week. I watch every minute of the majors and most of the Ryder Cup.
But when Tiger was, well, Tiger, you could not pull me away from the television. I root for the Yankees and I root against the Cowboys, Duke, Notre Dame and I especially rooted against Tiger Woods.
I cannot root against Rory or Jason. I cannot even root against Rickie (high tops?) or Bubba (crying again?). And no one can root against Jordan…I dare you. Watching sports without a rooting interest is the reason sports booking was invented. We need to root for AND against someone. Who played shortstop for the World Champion San Francisco Giants? Anyone? Crickets. Who played shortstop for the World Champion Yankees? Put your hands down.
George Steinbrenner. Bobby Hurley. Joe Montana. ROGER STAUBACH and TROY AIKMAN. Love or hate, you could not stay neutral… (They call themselves America’s team?…so arrogant.)
All due respect to Jack Nicklaus, but at his peak, Tiger Woods was the greatest golfer of all time. He was the greatest ATHLETE of all time. He was Secretariat for TEN FREAKING YEARS. Go lookup the 2000 US Open. The second thru one hundredth best players in the world could not shoot better than 3 over par for four days…Tiger shot 12 under. This is golf…that is not supposed to happen. There were multiple majors where the bookies gave Tiger even odds against the field. That is the most ridiculous thing ever. He’s not a race horse…he’s a man.
If I never saw another fist pump it would be too soon. I passionately rooted against him every tournament. I loved watching his downfall. I never wanted him to catch Jack.
But I miss him immensely. He made Sunday afternoon great theatre, and not just in majors. He made Doral and the Memorial and Torrey Pines into must see television. Nothing made me happier than seeing him come in second (Y.E. Yang!!!) and I truly wanted him to win EXACTLY 17 majors.