Vijay Singh should be on the cover of every golf publication this week. As the year's top money winner, he has a good chance of being named the PGA Tour's top player. Nobody questions his sensational year inside the ropes. But until he lets his guard down a bit, he's going to continue hurting himself and the game.
In many ways, Singh compares favorably to baseball's Barry Bonds. While both are universally admired for their talents, neither will ever receive widespread public support. Those close to the athletes claim both are simply misunderstood, but the public - the same fans who enable Singh to bring home his sizable checks - only sees one side. Say what you will about the press, but it serves a valuable role. Until Singh learns to handle the media in a more productive manner, he'll remain one of the more frustrating personalities in sports. Feel free to add your insights and we'll print a selected number of them below.
Your article about Vijay Singh talks about the way he handles the media being the problem. In my opinion it is the media who need to change. The news should be reported as it is rather than as the news writer wants it to be.
A sports star should be able to perform their sport and let the results speak for themselves. Yes, we have some who are adept at public speaking and offering insight into their inner personalities. That does not mean that all top sports stars should be required to follow suit. Let the man play the game and be one of the best in the world. That is accomplishment enough!
Michael Hudson, via email
Why are you sticking up for Vijay Singh? What insider says he is misunderstood. I've met him and HE IS A JERK. The media has made no mistake. Singh has shown himself. I spoke a few words to him and he stood and stared at me without saying a word. Please, don't defend this moron. He has no social skills whatsoever. He is a simple minded, uninformed one dimensional boob. He should never be considered for any golf award. Tiger woulds is hands down a better golfer and a far better human being. In what way does Vijay give back to the game? He just shows up every week to collect a check. He is a selfish, greedy human being. Don't waste space discussing this low life.
Bill Arkins, via email
Just because you don't like the way Singh deals with the media, makes him no less a player or role model. I have never seen him be publicly rude. If he is that way to his paying FANS that's different, but maybe he is sending a message to the media - back off once in a while. He shouldn't ever be rude, but not dealing withe the media is his choice. They can be rather "in your face."
Ann Randall, via email
Regarding your statement on Singh handling the press, who's frustrated? Singh or the press? Why don't you leave him alone and let him enjoy his success!
Mike Hackett, via email
You mention the pair above as though you have spent time around both. When you compare Singh to Bonds, are you using personal experiences with both or simply what you perceive them to be like because of what you have read?
Greg Pryor, former ML player for 9 years and a real golf fan
A fair question. Having covered the Giants briefly in the early-90s, I've seen up-close how Bonds interacts with fans and media. And it's not always done in a courteous manner. Does that make him a bad guy? Not at all. But it's not too much to ask stars such as Bonds and Singh to interact with fans (and the media) on a professional level. Especially since many casual fans look at these athletes as being representative of their sport.
Why the heck does every athlete have to kiss some reporter's behind to receive good press?
Jack Triplett, via email
You are right on with your comments of Vijay. He needs a course in communications management and posture. A friend told me a story last week about Vijay in the tournament after the Colonial in a restaurant where Vijay confronted the person who played with Sorenstam (a good front of Vijay's) and used every expletive in the book when he loudly confronted the individual, astounding other tour players and the public. Amazing he can handle pressure in a tourney the way he can.
Tiger and 99 percent of other players would not handle the situation like this. Continue the good golf perspectives. For the love of the game!
Kent Doss, via email
The comparison between Vijay and Barry Bonds begins and ends with their difficult relationship with the media. In case you missed it, Barry just received his third consecutive NL MVP award, the first man ever to get three in a row. His stature continues to rise -- many now talk about him in the most select baseball company: Ruth, Mays, the immortals of the game. There's no comparison between the two as players.
Fred Cooksey, via email
Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management.
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