Sunday, April 14, 2019

Tiger's Time

Unless you live under a rock, you know Tiger Woods won The Masters today.

Well done, sir.

Truth: I was rooting against him. I've basically always rooted against him, or just not cared.

It's not a question of not liking him. He and the hype surrounding him have never been my thing.

But it was appointment TV. Starting with a rare 9 a.m. "Hello, friends" on TV, I was off and running, watching with amazement.

The simple fact was Tiger had never done this before. Never played from behind and won. Oh, but once he smelled blood, it was on.

Jack Nicklaus, watching while fishing in the Bahamas, told the Golf Channel that he thought the tournament was over that when he saw occasional leader Francesco Molinari sink his shot in the water on 12.

I thought the same.

Is Tiger similar to other dynasties? Obviously, I'm a pretty big fan of two of them (Steelers and Yankees, naturally) so I don't know if that's where I get turned off. I know that, unless you're invested in said dynasty, it can be easy to root against them (HELLO, Patriots!).

Still, never let it be lost that Tiger hasn't exactly been the most wonderful person at times. His behavior caused ex-wife Elin Nordegren to go all "9 iron" on him back in 2009, for instance.

The post-win reaction has been predictable, as Madison Ave (looking at you, Nike) is falling all over itself.

There were moments of humanity in it all, and well-framed by CBS. Jim Nantz gave the winning moment a simple call ("The return to glory"), then got out of the way for shots of Tiger hugging everyone, especially sharing a sweet moment with his son, which was then compared to Tiger hugging his own dad at Augusta back in 1997.

Nantz had a moment of schmaltz as well, telling viewers that we all needed to feel similar emotions, especially fathers.

Sorry, Jim. I did not.

But keep in mind Augusta National isn't always the most charming place in the world. Broadcaster Jack Whitaker was banished from Masters coverage (only ... on CBS) after referring to the crowd (or, as Augusta National MAKES you say, "The patrons") for using the term "mob scene." No, seriously.

Then there's Gary McCord. Let's just not go there.

But I have to admit: I thought he was done. I didn't think it would happen. So I'm more than willing to admit that I was wrong.

So now begins Eldrick Overkill (which sounds one of an enormous collection of band names). If you're not already sick of him, you will be. Soon.

Still, before you think that I was in full Clint Eastwood mode ("Get off my lawn"), let me assure you that my emotions bounced between straight-up apathy and wonder. It was a great sports moment, punctuated by many calling it the greatest comeback EVER.

Let's let it sink in first.

For today, enjoy that it was a great Masters Moment. A great golf moment.

A great sports moment.

Thanks, Mike (Mike Hirn photo)
I meant to give a shoutout to Mike Hirn for sending this picture along from Ohio. He was listening to me caterwaul through a portion of 23 innings yesterday at Yale. I really appreciated that. I'm aware that there was a little ol' technical snafu, especially with the second game, so unless you knew where to listen (and some of you do), then you likely didn't hear it.

All I can say it I knew that the game likely wasn't being heard and as I'm not really in charge of the engineering of the broadcast, there wasn't much I could do. So I continued to stay professional and call the game, given basically the press box at Yale was likely the only audience I had. Check out last nights post if you want to listen to it.

Or not. Chances are you didn't miss much.

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