7 years ago, Tiger Woods beat Rocco Mediate in an 18-hole playoff at Torrey Pines to win the US Open. His 14th career Major.
This US Open victory was a heroic one if you think about it for Tiger. He had just had arthroscopic surgery on his knee and since he didn’t take enough time to heal, Tiger ended up with stress fractures in his leg and further damage to his knee.
This was when it all changed for Mr. Woods.
We all remember the Thanksgiving fire hydrant story, the ugly divorce from Elin and the long extended time off from the sport that followed that 2008 US Open. Hell, I even make Perkins jokes on a regular basis here on Open Mike because of it.
But I still LOVE Tiger Woods…the golfer.
People seem to be incapable of separating sports from life in 2015. We have this disgusting need to be in every second of every single person’s life on this planet. Because of this, we are obsessed with the personal lives of our professional athletes now in the sports world.
To me this is reality TV’s doing, but that’s another story.
Our obsession with the off the field (or course in this instance) nonsense is what makes so many people react with such blind hatred it’s dizzying (something you can read about here). It causes people to tweet things they really didn’t mean to, say things they really didn’t want to and do things they know they really shouldn’t have done.
I’ll use A-Rod as an example, as I did a few weeks ago on my show Bases Loaded (Monday’s at 6 pm on 740 the Game). I loathe A-Rod the person. The guy who funded the PED mill for High School kids in South Florida is a scumbag. The guy who has decided to put baseball first in 2015…I kinda like that guy.
So I relate that back to Tiger Woods now. I don’t condone cheating on your spouse. I have never and will never cheat on any woman I am in a relationship with. I dislike Tiger for that, it made me lose a lot of respect for him…but as a sports fan, you have to do something FAR worse than that off the field (e.g. spousal abuse, child abuse, etc) to make me lose respect on the field.
Tiger didn’t do anything bad enough force me to hate Tiger the golfer. So on the course, I’m staying loyal. I will cheer for Woods in every single tournament he enters, and I will make my on air pick for Tiger to win every single major until he retires…because I’m a fan.
I get why people like Bianchi don’t like Tiger, why Orlandoans don’t like Tiger, but he means something to me.
I shared this on air and am not ashamed to share it again.
Tiger’s arrival on the PGA tour changed everything for me as a young golfer. I started golfing when I was like 6 years-old. Little by little I became obsessed with playing the game. It wasn’t something that led to any kind of popularity for me.
When Tiger came along…the popularity followed. For years I’d try to find a friend to come golf with my family and I on the weekend and couldn’t, but when Tiger exploded onto the scene…everybody wanted to come golf with us. Suddenly it was cool to play golf and even to watch golf.
You add the invention of Tiger Woods Golf by EA Sports…and it was all over. Golfing wasn’t detrimental to my elementary school popularity any longer. It was actually helpful.
Sadly now, once again, it’s not cool to golf…but at 31 I don’t care what is and isn’t cool anymore. I love golfing, so I go alone at times now if I have to. Things are different when you grow up…but one thing remains the same for me.
I am cheering for Tiger Woods for at least the next two days, and hopefully for the next four. I hope to see that red polo on the 18th green at Chambers Bay on Sunday evening.
Any and all feedback is welcomed! Hit me up on Twitter @Ditti33 or via e-mail at ditti@740TheGame.com!