There’s a difference between a sports fan and sports analyst. The latter is the more “respected” when it comes to opinions, while the other can sometimes be ignorant, biased and any other unflattering adjective. Yours truly happens to fall right smack dab in the former and it is the exact reason why I refused to believe Tiger Woods fell off. Well, I knew he fell off, but I always found myself under the impression the next tournament would be the one where all the chips fell into place. You see, that’s what fans do. We’re like drug addicts. The next high is supposed to be the best high.
With Woods’ premature exit from the season’s last major, The PGA Championship, the feeling as if the sport, which wasn’t exactly the most culturally diverse to begin with, lying on its death bed isn’t just the elephant in the room anymore. And that’s not saying golf will cease to exit because it won’t. It will continue to be successful because there are good players on the tour. Good doesn’t sell though. Good doesn’t have the casual fan, like me, tuning in. Good doesn’t entice potential sponsors. Good, simply put, isn’t good enough.
Watching Tiger Woods struggle these past few years has been uncomfortable. It’s like reliving Jordan’s mid-90s understood, but mind numbing baseball deflection. Or witnessing Griffey suffer through those series of injuries in Cincinnati. Or Steve Bartman acting on impulse in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS. The difference being Jordan went on to win three more titles, Griffey faded away into the sunset and Bartman did the opposite of what Sammy Sosa did, got a super tan, moved to Florida and became the rapper we now know as Plies.
What’s next for the man born Eldrick Tont, I have not the slightest clue. I always said once he could get back to smashing whatever waitress, stripper and porn star he wanted that his putting game would sharpen and life would return to normal. Now we’re all left to wonder if he’s sports’ Bill Clinton – a guy who did so many great things, both at his profession and philanthropically, but ultimately remembered by the blowjobs they received. I’m not a golf expert by any means, so saying what he should focus on would have me looking like a fool attempting to do so.
I just know, as a fan of witnessing sheer dominance in sports, I need to get high again. This sober thing is for the birds.