This needs to be made into a t-shirt. Pronto….
I promised I would NOT panic on the Nats season, until they were 5 games down to the Mets, by September 1st.
Welp… it’s now 5. And the 1st of coming quickly.
Might be time to call up the Czaban Boyz. How bad could we be?
A funny thing happened on Friday night at about 7:05 p.m. as I bounded out of work for the weekend. I should have been flying, but instead, a hard-to-pinpoint uneasiness sat in my gut.
Like most everybody on the planet, I should have at “peak happiness” for the week, knowing I could stay up late, drink several mixed beverages of my liking, binge-watch back episodes of “Deadliest Catch” and then wake up at the gentlemanly hour of say, 8:30 a.m.
(NOTE: I no longer have the ability to “take it deep” as teenagers do, sleeping in until 11:30 or even noon. A condition of getting old, no doubt, and over a decade of a morning radio time slot of 6 a.m.)
Instead, something was gnawing at me. What the HELL, I thought, over and over?
Then it dawned on me: Tiger Woods was streaking like a comet to the top of the leaderboard in Greensboro, and might just WIN THE DAMN TOURNAMENT.
Yep. W-I-N. With THAT stupid post on my stupid blog, sitting right there above this, having proclaimed he would “never win again.” Oh boy. Could THAT be what was gnawing at me? Actually, it was. How utterly stupid.
Rooting for a particular team in sports – any team, any sport – is perhaps the dumbest voluntary activity in the world. Sports, by nature, means your team will NOT be able to claim championship glory about 99% of the time. (96% if you are a Patriots fan). But people still do it.
As a radio host, I find myself more often than not rooting for my opinions. As the court jesters of the sports universe, we are paid for our opinions, and they MUST be rendered in advance. Preferably, with authority, volume, or both. That is, unless you are one prominent host at a prominent network, who works with a gentleman of the same given name, who has a habit of saying “Well, we’ll have to see how this plays out.”
Of course. Thanks for that. Wouldn’t it be nice to just read a few scores, then fall back on the “lets see it play out” porch of non-predictoration.
So you put your bold predictions out there on the air, or in digital print, and root for them. Root, root, fucking ROOT for those opinions like Bob Costas once rooted for Mickey Mantle. Because nobody likes to be wrong. Or look stupid. Or have your own pile of DUH shoved back in your face by contradictory events.
In reality, I don’t care if Tiger wins this weekend or not. I don’t really hate him, or hold any moralistic grudge about his Perkins philandering. Yeah, he can be a delusional douche, but he’s now at least treating the public with some semblance of grace and class. He signs more autographs. He tolerates the media much better. He is playing events he normally never does (the par-3 contest at the Masters, Wyndham).
Sure, I think much of this change was born out of the fact he can’t dominate anymore. But give him credit where it’s due.
So excuse me when I root for Jason Gore today, or any of the other 9 guys within a shot of Woods. It’s not personal. It’s just my opinion I’m rooting for. That way, if Woods loses in a frantic 4-way playoff, because somebody holes out a shot from the bunker, I can still report to work Monday and say smugly: “See. Told ya.”
Then I’ll have a few months to figure out if I can disavow a possible Tiger win at his 17-man charity event this fall, the Hero World Challenge, and still hold on to my prediction.
Somebody had to do it. At least, somebody of “stature” in the golf punditry. (I’ve said it for a while now, but we all know sports-radio-guy opinions don’t count!) Somebody had to have the balls to declare the Tiger Woods era officially: “over.”
I’m gonna give credit to the severely under-rated, straight shooting Rich Lerner of the Golf Channel.
Saturday morning, after Woods had slopped up the bloody remnants of his 3rd straight missed cut at a major, Lerner said succinctly, as the network went out to break: (and I’m paraphrasing closely from memory here) “As good as it was… there’s no doubt now, the Tiger Woods era is over. It now belongs to these guys…. (shot of Speith and Day).”
Bravo. ‘Bout damn time.
It’s one thing for Tiger himself, to navigate a delusional trip up the Nung River to find Col. Kurtz and bring him back alive, but for the assembled golf media to wait breathlessly for it had become quite the embarrassment. Ryan Burr of the Golf Channel, wins the award for Tiger-obsessed absurdity. After Tiger’s nice opening round at The Greenbriar, Burr opened Golf Central with an authoritative swagger, saying perhaps now Tiger was “all the way back.” He then asked a somewhat taken-aback Aarron Oberholser, if this would essentially “shut up” all the Tiger critics who said he’d never win again.
It was a Thursday. At the Greenbriar.
This year has been a spectacular shit-show for the man once poised to claim the title “Greatest Golfer Who Ever Lived.” It began with him flubbing chip after chip, and finishing dead last at his own 17 man charity event on his home course!
But don’t worry, said Tiger back then: “I think I found something!” (No really, he said that! Just like you and me, and every other hacker on the planet after 3 good shots in a row!)
It proceeded to more short-game horrors at Phoenix, a convenient case of glute de-activation to avoid more misery in San Diego. A self-imposed, overly dramatic “hiatus” ensued, with the manufactured drama of “will he come back in time for Augusta!!!”
He played the par-3 with Lindsay and the kids (which he never used to do) had a decent finish (T-17) while popping bones back into place, then bragged about “being in contention” (he wasn’t) and reminding everyone 500 times how he “worked his ass off” to fix his short game.
He then dumped Lindsay. Kept taking more “time off” for “vacations” after mediocre finishes (TPC). He shot 85 at Jack’s Place, missed the US Open cut by a trillion shots while cold-topping a 3-wood like a double-play chopper in baseball.
He was okay at Greenbriar, then told everyone he was “close.” Went to St. Andrews and found out that his version of “close” meant “still can’t play for the Isleworth A Team.” He muttered something about checking his spin rates (Bloodwork: “Negative.” Phew) then promptly took another vacation with the kids, and happily told the media all about it. (Dad Points: 500!)
He had few nice rounds at RTJ at his own event, and then drove his Atlas Moving Van on moving day right off a cliff, with a 74 that should have been an 80, if not for some miracle recoveries.
Finally, he showed up at Whistling Straits this week and sounded realistic for the first time all year, saying merely he isn’t thinking about winning, he just wants to keep getting better.
He didn’t and isn’t, but that didn’t prevent him from trotting out the ol’ “total control of my golf ball” trope one last time, before cheerfully saying he had – once again! – FIGURED SOMETHING OUT ON THE PUTTING GREEN! (Alas, it was too late.)
He filed his paperwork for this week’s Wyndham, at a place that doesn’t suit him, and he’s never ever ever played. But in true Tiger form, he wouldn’t actually COMMIT COMMIT to the event, until he had discussed it with his “team”. I mean, really, what the fuck does that mean? Discuss it with my “TEAM?” You need a meeting with your agent and your caddy about playing Greensboro? Does “Frank the Headcover” get a vote?
Before jetting out of town, he humble-bragged about all of the exciting overseas golf he will be playing this fall, (silly season, appearance fee events) which was akin to hearing Michael Jordan get juiced up for a driveway game of H-O-R-S-E.
But hey, don’t forget: The Woods Jupiter has tuna crudo and fish tacos, plus big-screen TVs, where you can watch the 300 or so professional players Tiger can’t beat!
Cool to watch him win from The Woods Jupiter. pic.twitter.com/pig9sUrQ0O
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) August 16, 2015
Tiger Woods will turn 40 on December 30th. He’ll never win another tournament again. He’ll be quasi-retired by 45. It was a helluva a ride. But it’s over. Go home, people.
And I am willing to bet, there are plenty of callers to Philly sports talk radio who will INSIST that it shouldn’t be used against the good citizens of the “City of Brotherly Love.”
Sure. Whatever. Let’s check the list….
And now, some dude in a Randall Cunningham replica, smashes “Hitchbot” into a coma. Good work, Philly. Never change.