Sucks to Suck

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By: Michael J Roza Jr

*Yawn.* *Stretch.* Hey sport fans. Sorry for the hiatus. There have been several great disappointments that have happened since you last read my words. The Falcons completed a historically epic second half meltdown to lose to The Evil Empire. Alabama lost the big game on a pick play and their fans are still crying. And in a sport I really care the absolute least about, Dwayne Wade and Rajon Rondo went back and forth about why the Bulls suck for our pleasure on social media and Charles Oakley got the old definition of lit and is now the cult hero Madison Square Garden needed. Man did I miss writing about this tomfoolery. Oh, and Happy 2017 to the few people that have been reading my words since my first article. I wanted to start this year off on a personal note. Through the annals of sporting history there may not have been a more dominant and eventually polarizing figure than the one and only Eldrick “Tiger” Woods. Tiger is a forty-one year old mixed racial darling that burst onto the national scene and captured television audiences by winning the Masters tournament one year into his career in ’97 and then humbly deflected racial comments from fellow golfer Fuzzy Zoeller who stated Woods was actually pretty good at golfing for a “little boy” and suggested that Tiger would ask for fried chicken on the menu for the Winners Dinner the next year. Woods has won a remarkable seventy f*****g nine times since he became a member of the PGA Tour in 1996, which is second among professionals all time. He has four green jackets in his closet, as well as four PGA Championships and three victories a piece at the US Open and Open Championship. Wins aside, Woods also had primo contracts with Nike, General Motors, Titleist, General Mills, and American Express, accruing a fortune that was estimated at nearly $800 million by 2007.

As we sit here now celebrating the onset of baseball season, Tiger recently withdrew from the Omega Dubai Classic after one day of golf due to back spasms. He at least stayed long enough to collect a hefty appearance fee before he boarded his plane back to LA. He previously missed the cut after two days at the Farmers Insurance Open the previous week. In his past nineteen starts, Woods has predominantly withdrawn or missed cuts. The last time Woods won was in 2013, which seems like a lifetime ago at this point with all the new and younger names in the sport that have been dominating these past several years. Woods’ last major victory was almost a decade ago in 2008 at Torrey Pines. After consistently struggling with knee and back issues that have doomed him since ’08, Tiger is not the same golfer that he once was, winning only fourteen times. Now look guys, I will not argue that the wife incident stemming from his dozens of mistresses back in 2009 was a huge damnation of his character to the media and his reputation. However, I do not think it was a significant cause of his career nosedive due to the fact that Tiger got back to playing some competitive golf in 2012 and then again in 2013, which is when Woods was named Player of the Year and took home five championship purses.

I have to come clean about why this is a little more personal. I am not a golf fan and I more than likely never will be. Growing up I also believed that golf, like bowling, is merely a leisure sport that you do with buddies that requires very little physicality and a lot of practice to be good. Tiger began golfing before he was two years old and excelled due to his father having full access to a golf course whenever needed to help Tiger progress far faster than his peers. It pissed me off for a long time to hear sports media tell me that a golfer was the best athlete in the world. To see Woods win Athlete of the Year awards over guys like Ken Griffey Jr, Peyton Manning, and Michael Phelps, and women like Serena Williams, Mia Hamm, and Jenny Thompson, I grew to dislike Woods more and more. Nonetheless, my personal vendetta against golf and Woods aside, I once believed it would kill the sport if Tiger fell off. His face was everywhere and even people that didn’t watch or knew nothing about golf understood that he was the most dominant dude in the game. I believe that Roger Federer winning the Australian Open at 35 after time off due to rehabbing his knee may be one of the most incredible feats in sports, well, ever. But unlike Tiger’s pal Roger, due to his injuries and lack of true guidance since his father passed in 2006, I do not foresee Woods ever capturing another major again. Sucks to suck.

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