Tiger Woods the best ever? Or, why ESPN's Gene Wojciechowski isn't fit to carry my jock
Tiger Woods’ victory at the PGA Championship was the type of event that caused, nay, mandated the sporting world erupt in an orgy of gush. Hyperbole be damned, find an adjective and run with it. Tiger’s performance, on top of everything else he has accomplished, was worthy of as much praise as one could heap.
And a day later, the feeling is just as strong. Which is why I stand proudly by my assessment that Woods is the best athlete of his generation. Name one better. Ronaldinho Gaucho? Floyd Mayweather? Kobe Bryant? Albert Pujols? Annika Sorenstam? LaDainian Tomlinson? Go ahead, name someone better.
You know what? You can’t. There is not an athlete alive who does his or her thing better than Tiger Woods does his. Argue at your own peril.
Of course, in a society based on laws and reality, there comes a point where you just have to rein it in a tad. Which is why my 300-plus-word ode to Tiger was brilliant, but ESPN’s Gene Wojciechowski’s 900-plus-word column today is hysterical nonsense.
Wojciechowski laid it on thick, and then went back and laid it on again in proclaiming Tiger Woods the best athlete ever. That’s right, ever.
The fact is, once you start throwing the word “ever” around, you’ve swan-dived into a pool where only 14-year-old girls dare to swim (”Justin Timberlake is like, the hottest guy ever!"). Proclaiming that Tiger Woods is a better athlete than Michael Jordan, Pele, Wayne Gretzky, Muhammad Ali or Willie Mays means there’s a high probability that Wojciechowski has “Tiger + Gene: Together Forever” and “I hate Elin” written several hundred times on a Pee-Chee folder.
Now, aside from the fact that it’s just downright silly to start judging Woods against athletes from different eras, Wojciechowski completely nullified his entire point in the fifth paragraph.
“I thought Phil Mickelson was good enough to challenge Woods, but he isn’t. Not now. Maybe not ever,” writes Wojciechowski.
If you’re willing to throw it all on the line by writing that Tiger Woods is the greatest athlete in the history of history, you probably don’t need to hedge your bets on whether Lefty will challenge him in the future. The whole thing falls apart and starts getting inane.
“Tiger Woods is the best athlete of all time, unless Phil Mickelson gains on him. Then he’d be the best. And that Shaun Micheel kid, wow, I’ll take him over Jesse Owens any day.”
So, while the “Tiger Woods is the greatest athlete ever” line is fabulous for those spiffy ESPN.com polls (because we’re all dying to find out Arkansas’ take on things) it just won’t fly here.
The best athlete of his generation? Absolutely. The best ever? Well, that debate is best left to much wiser folks than I or Gene Wojciechowski. It is a question that can only be answered by one of our elders. Say, someone like Tim McDonald.
|« Golfer Un-Supremacy Rankings: Forced by Tiger Woods to focus on the negative||Tiger Woods wins PGA Championship, cements position as world's best athlete »|
Besides, everyone knows that the best athlete ever is Skippy the Waterskiing Squirrel.
If you want athletes at top physical condition and athletic capabiilty, then I'll give you any NHL player as being a better athlete. Most of those guys are in peak condition for 12 months of the year.
Most golfers and many of you golf scribes really have no idea how fit those guys have to be, just to get on a farm team, let alone a NHL team. Which is also why most American hacks have no idea about hockey or hockey players
Now if you are talking Talent and athletic ability in his chosen sport? Ahh, then I'll go along with your choice of Tiger in this era. Gretzky would have given him a run for his money 10 or 15 years ago but.....
Gotta fill a 24-hour sports network somehow...on our TG network we generally fill in gaps with Michelle Wie.
As far as this "generation", I'm not sure whether Tiger goes ahead of Armstrong, frankly because I feel like all we know about Lance is he wins one big-time event a year. Bikers train all year for one event? I don't get it.
And why isn't anyone talking about the Asian hot dog-eating kid? Isn't he dominant? ESPN shows him all the time too! Damn this network! Is he the best hot dog-eater ever??????
Tiger Woods's mindset and work ethics are in a league of its own. His 12 majors and 51 PGA wins are truly remarkable in a ten-year span.
A side comment about some of Tiger's partners: On the first hole, Luke Donald tried his best to avoid watching Tiger by looking at his shoes as Tiger rolled his putt in. At least Donald fared better than Sergio Garcia at Hoy Lake, though Garcia complained that Tiger got all the breaks while he didn't, hence he couldn't close the deal yesterday.
Ultimately, that will be the only possible flaw on his resume after he's won 25-30 Majors.
Oh, sorry, wrong blog. I meant this for the fruit growers associations of America. (FUGGA)
Jack is a great golfer during his time, but to continually say that somehow his majors mean more because the field was better is like saying horse and buggies are better than cars. Each era has its own competitive group.
In the end, there will always those who will always think that Jack is better than Tiger - then there are those who think that each is great in his own time. I wasn't born when Jack played and won his last competitive tournament.
Tiger plays and wins in my era. To me he is truly awesome as an athlete and philanthropist off the green.
Hockey players are tough guys who possess a great deal of hand eye coordination, but take them off the skates and their just a bunch of bow-legged Canucks with bad teeth and even worse hair.
2006-08-22 @ 09:02
The best professional athlete to play an individual sport? yeah (federer waves his hand in the background).
The best individual pro athlete that employs mental abilities with pure skill to win? yeah. definitely.
or just plain..the best physical athlete? If this one is the case, then you could say Asafa Powell is a better athlete, or that Reggie Bush or or even Ichiro could challenge Tiger.
saying Tiger doesnt have any studs to challenge him is weak, he's been the most dominant individual athlete we've seen for this generation.
I think there is a growing murmur of putting down the other player's play as a way of weakening Tiger Wood's feat. I dont buy into that, it's WAY too large a brush to paint so many men with. A few? ok. But ALL the players of the PGA? NO, then you're just looking for reasons to refute what your eyes are telling you.
After all, if Golf has been around for centuries, been played competitively for years upon years, why NOW would the field of individuals just happen to be at it's weakest? Especiall with all the benefits modern technology affords golfers over their predecessors? Are we to assume EVERYONE save one Tiger Woods is an underperformer or inferior to the others who played 30 years ago? come on.
1) Golf is a minority sport in the world. If america did not care about golf it would be Tiger who????
2) Not exactly a sport where you require athletic ability. Can you imagine Muhammad Ali fighting a guy who is flabby and overweight for a title? Most golfers are like this. True champion athletes play and fight against true atheletes. Golf is a game not a sport in my eyes. Beating old men and overweight players is hardly a great atheltic acheivment. thats why golf is a game and not a true sport.
The greatest sportsman has been Muhammad Ali. He touched and moved people over the world. Tiger woods will never reach that stature for simple reasons he plays GOLF!! A sport that means NOTHING to the vast majority of the worlds population!
GOLF IS NOT A SPORT!!!!!
AND GOLFERS ARE NOT ATHELETES !!!
Golf fits into categories such as bowling, competitive juggling and croquet; things that require skill but no athletic ability; that can fit into the category of " look ma' what I can do".
Slim waist? Broad shoulders? Hey, join the club, its called keeping fit. I'm like that but I don't consider myself an athlete. One doesn't consider professional wrestlers athletes, but hey, by Wojo's logic, their impressive physique would translate to sports success outside the ring. The focus and indomitable will? Welcome to the world of computer programming, medical surgery, and trying to keep your family of six fed while working three jobs and saving up money so your children can go to college and make a name for themselves. Or, you can give em a golf club, train em from an early age, and have middle-aged sportswriters a chance to fall head over heels in love with them.
Comments are closed for this post.