Monday, August 9, 2010

Tiger Woods: THE Big Sports Story (Whether it should be or not)

At a golf course he very often excelled at, in Akron (where he took away headlines from Lebron), Tiger's performance has intrigued most golf critics. His 18 over finish at the Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone is the worst in his career as a pro, and he was 30 shots back of the winner, Hunter Mahan. He replied about that afterwords, "I never, ever thought that would be possible." Well, you're not alone. Most everyone in the world of sports (let's face it, it's ESPN), is still a bit shocked by Tiger Woods' bad performance. But, even though some people, including me, kind of expected a bad performance, people still want to harp on Tiger's bad performance, a week before the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin, and even more importantly, this performance hurt his Ryder Cup stock. But, I want to know, why all the hype surrounding Tiger, months after his scandal quieted.

Golf Experts like Jason Sobel, have retracted statements saying that Woods would break Jack Nicklaus' record of major titles. He went on to say, that Tiger's performances are now great unknowns. I believe that all of that is true, and has been pointed out for months now, but, why do we have to continue to hear it again and again from the worldwide leader? We get that Tiger is not as good as he was before the scandal broke, we got that the first moment we learned of this. But I still see the "Tiger Tracker" on ESPN's front page for golf. Even for the 3 days between tournaments, we'll see stories from Tiger's practices, to hear about his inability to putt consistently, or hitting only 35.7% of green's in regulation. But, I do know why Tiger is constantly put in the spotlight.

The story causes ratings, which ESPN wants badly, which I find funny because ESPN doesn't have the rights to broadcast the tournament. But, no matter even if something major happens this weekend in sports, no-hitters, Brett Favre returning or actually retiring, whatever it is, Tiger may be put out in front. Now, don't get me wrong, I want to know what happened with everyone, and how it relates to the Ryder Cup (which I'm interested in), but I don't want the first 10 minutes of coverage to be Tiger, I want to see how everyone else did. I'm interested in Tiger, but not THAT much.

Tiger has had much different things to deal with this year, besides the scandal. He has to care for his kids, and he has said that caring for them is more important, and that has taken away from his practice time. He has parted ways with his swing coach, Hank Haney, in May. He has had bad finishes in every tournament except the U.S Open, when he finished in 4th. This has been a trend, that even I, not a big golf fan, can see. I like Tiger Woods, and I think Tiger is a great golfer, but I can't stand the constant stories on ESPN about him that frankly aren't necessary, and are taking time away from worthier stories. I don't discredit ESPN for doing this, and I love the worldwide leader, but, after Tiger struggles to make the Ryder Cup team (unless he plays really well in the next few tournaments, including winning 1), I want the stories for golf to focus on golfers that are close to winning tournaments, and the people who are playing. Take the foot off the gas guys, Tiger's a big public figure, but he and the viewing public of America need a break from each other.

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