funniest line by a professional jock. Ever.
over Lee Trevino, Tiger is now scooping up the great one-liners like he used
to scoop up the major trophies.
Yesterday the greatest golfer of all
time -- at least according to the all-time money list -- blew out the entire
115th US Open and any chance he may have had to compete in it over the
weekend when he shot an 80 on the par 70 course at University Place,
WA. Any other player -- and any other Tiger Woods, like the one he was
in the past -- would not have found the wherewithal to see, much less say,
anything funny about his performance. But given that his playing
partner Rickey Fowler, who is currently #10 on this year's money list,
carded one stroke worse, Tiger pointed out to the press: “The bright side
is, at least I kicked Rickie’s butt today.”
I'm sorry, America, but that is the
funniest thing a professional jock has ever said. And then today he
did it again -- and by "it" I mean, posting a lousy score and
cranking out a post-18th funny, nonpareil. Having shot a poor 76 Tiger said
he was aiming to get within about 5 or 6 strokes of par, but the other
While the world breathlessly waits for
Tiger Woods to turn the corner, these quips tell me he already has, and in
the best way possible. Maybe he finally sees that no matter how much
money is on the line, golf is nothing more a fucking gormless game of
chasing a stupid, dimpled ball around a bunch of numbered paddocks with a
bunch of numbered sticks. Bobby Jones saw that early in life and moved
on. Hopefully, Tiger has seen it now while he still has time to
develop other skills and personal assets, like his sense of humor.
Although you wouldn't know it by
reading the sports writers, Tiger is still the best the game has ever seen
and the best it will see for many decades to come. Although he is no
longer on the annual money-list, his life-time
earnings are about $110M. Nobody is even close.
At $77M Mickelson comes in a distant second.
Tiger doesn't need to play golf until
he drops, he's proved whatever he, or his father, had to prove. He needs to
find life. He needs to laugh. He needs to stop destroying his
body. Here is my guess as to what is happening to him and why his
problem is his father.
Earl Woods was no more of a swing coach
than I am. He may have been a brilliant Lt.Col in the Army, but he didn't
know shit from shinola when it comes to coaching. He didn't even start
playing himself until he was 42, three years before Tiger was born. By
then Earl was an enthusiast and he took this new son and turned him into a
swing-machine. Earl had no idea the damage he was doing to the boy's
back and knees. He knew nothing about the delicate connections of muscles to
the vertebral column or the complexity and limitations of the knee.
Perfecting a drive like Tiger's to the point his father drove him to perfect
it, would have required millions of practice swings over his life, and each
one would have done a tiny amount of damage to the tendons and ligaments and
to the connecting points of the bones. The human body did not evolve
to hit golf balls 375 yards. While Tiger has proven how powerful a golf
swing can be, he is also proving that there is an anatomical price to
Eventually, Earl brought some local
professionals into the effort, but psychologically the long ball was ever
after going to be not just Tiger's forte but the basis of his
self-esteem. It was a recipe for musculo-skeletal disaster.
But it paid off brilliantly, if not
physiologically then certainly financially. Before the pain and surgeries
began Tiger was able to amass a fortune in purses. And until he backed
the Escalade into the mailbox he amassed another fortune in
endorsements. His contemporaries, Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk,
Sergio Garcia, are far behind Tiger in the money game just as they once
trailed him in the power of their drives, but they will still be competing
when Tiger can barely walk.
Tiger needs to give the game up and
give some thought to what shape he will be in and how much pain he will face
in the next 40 years. He needs to think about what else other than chasing a
dimpled ball his life is going to be about.