To paraphrase Jim Nantz (and maybe he actually said it), It's a comeback for the ages. Eldrick “Tiger” Woods, at the age of 43, won the Masters for the fifth time in his career. It had also been 11 years since he won a major, and 14 years since he won at Augusta.
Anyone who follows golf to any degree, is absolutely over the moon right now. The roars from the crowd were deafening. Even when Tiger wasn't winning, golf talk was always about Tiger, and now the talk is, “He's back, baby!”
Throwing myself into the story here, I'm conflicted about this fascination with Tiger. I've never really been a big fan, mostly because of the person he is, or seems to be, and most of the issues he's put himself through. I never felt sorry for him when he wasn't winning, so why should I be happy for him now?
That said, his impact on the sport, and sports in general, is something that can't be quarreled with. While trying to find Sunday Night Baseball on the radio, I came across a sports talk show with one of the hosts making this point. He said this is the one time when you could compare eras. No one will really know who was better between LeBron James and Michael Jordan because they didn't play at the same time. Tiger played against all those young golfers this weekend who had been winning tournaments, and beat them all.
Today, Michael Wilbon of ESPN's Pardon The Interruption, compared Tiger to Mohammed Ali and Michael Jordan. The point being, both of them dominated, went away for awhile, and then came back and dominated again. The three had three completely different circumstances, ut all were able to come back.
Now, the talk will resume about Tiger, and can he pass Jack Nicklaus for winning the most majors of all time. The Golden Bear has 18, Woods has 15. Again, even when Woods was not playing, people still talked about it. People do watch golf, though, when Tiger is playing, and that fact can't be denied.
So what's my problem with him? I guess I like my sports heroes to be good people. Woods hadn't been playing because if health reasons recently, but also had personal issues. His infidelity in 2009 led to a 100-million dollar divorce. He was arrested for drunk driving in 2017, and has been rumored in a lot of other indiscretions.
Long before any of that happened, I hosted a talk show in Salt Lake City (circa 1999 or 2000). The topic I raised in golf-loving Utah was 'Are we Tigered Out?'. You wouild have thought I said something bad anout the Mormon church. Even before that, in 1997, working in Idaho Falls, my boss and co-workers held a Masters golf draft. I somehow got first pick. I took Phil Mickelson.
I don't feel like I 'had it in' for Woods ever since, but I just never became a fan, even though, yes, he has transcended the sport. I also should say that I didn't see any of the Masters this weekend. If I watched, maybe I would feel differently. Maybe.
Losing the Magic touch: One story I have followed, is one of my sports heroes. Magic Johnson suddenly resigned as President of the Lakers this week, and told reporters at an impromptu gathering that team owner Jeannie Buss didn't even know about it yet. He said he wasn't having fun anymore, and didn't like the backstabbing that went on in the NBA. LeBron James seems tp run the show on that team, and more so now that Johnson is out. The Lakers then announced that coach Luke Walton won't return, and before you could blink, Walton became coach of the Sacramento Kings. No wonder soap operas aren't on the air anymore—just watch professional basketball instead.
Joc jacks on Jackie night: This just in. Joc Pederson hit a two-run game-winning homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat Cincinnati 4-3. Not only was it Jackie Robinson Night at Dodger Stadium and throughout baseball, but it was also Clayton Kershaw's first start of the year, and the return of former Dodgers Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp. Puig homered off of Kershaw in his first at-bat against his former teammate Kershaw, struck out the second time, and then singled in his third AB. After wonning eight of their first ten games, the Dodgers lost their next six, and have now won their last two.
They didn't win: There was an old fable about the Dodgers in the 1960s. The story went that someone told Don Drysdale that his teammate Sandy Koufax had thrown a no-hitter. Drysdale allegedly responded, “Great. Did we win?”. This comes up because four pitchers for the Double-A Tulsa Drillers, the Dodgers affiliate in the Texas League, combined Sunday to no-hit the Arkansas Travelers. The Dodger team lost 1-0 in ten innings.
Saturday would have been my mother's 93rd birthday. I was in Palmdale over the weekend to look in on the house and to go to the cemetery. When I'm up here in Marysville, it's almost like nothing happened, except that I don't talk to her on Sundays. I still don't know what I'm going to do with the house, but I guess it's time to get all the legal stuff done. I'm still not really ready for this.