Saturday, June 21, 2008

Tiger's Dramatic Victory

This is something I really wished I had time to write about on Monday or Tuesday night. How often is it that a single man captivates the entire country to care about something that otherwise ranks among going to the dentist and paying taxes on the list of things people find entertaining?

All I know is that I watched Sunday's final round, invested in Tiger's success as much as I am when one of my hometown teams is in a playoff hunt. I don't have any personal attachment to Tiger. I don't know him. I wasn't born in his hometown. I have no real reason to root for him other than I want to see history made.

But there is something special about a guy who is the best at what he does in the world. Maybe more so than anyone else is at their job. He is that good. Watching him is simply a privilege. I can't stress that enough. When he drained that putt on 18 to send the US Open into a playoff, I exploded. And millions of people around the world did so as well. For golf!

Then on Monday, as I watched online updates show Tiger's 3 shot lead shrink away with only holes to spare, I was legitimately worried. I snuck away from work into the break-room and stood with half a dozen other guys, all neglecting their duties, just to see Tiger somehow pull off yet another miraculous comeback with a birdie on 18. Then we all stuck around, risking our jobs, huddled around a crappy TV, just to watch him clinch his 3rd US Open title on the ensuing sudden death hole.

And if you read the papers or, you would have seen we weren't alone. People everywhere simply stopped what they were doing. Thousands of people who otherwise couldn't give a damn about golf had a vested interest in how the playoff between Mediate and Woods turned out. That's pretty impress. I think pretty soon, Tiger's legend will grow to the point that everyone will know where they were the day he sank that 25 foot birdie putt to win his 19th major.

What makes it all amazing is that he did it on a knee so badly injured, that he won't be able to play the rest of the season. For everyone who assumed he was faking it, you look pretty foolish now. He risked his health and his future for one shot to prove to himself and the world just what he could do. Unfortunately, it cost him a chance to win the British Open and PGA Championship, but Tiger will be back. If Tiger can win the US freaking Open with an injured knee, then a revitalized Tiger will do just fine on a rehabilitated knee next season.

Last weekend's tournament really was one of those special events in sport where you think to yourself "Wow, am I glad that I was a part of that. Even if all I did was witness it live on television, that is something people will talk about for years to come." Those sorts of sporting events come around once a year maybe, but what makes it most impressive is that America collectively celebrated Tiger's win despite having no allegiances to him.

This wasn't the Miracle on Ice, where the country rallied behind a team that stood for something more. It wasn't any single fanbase celebrating a team's first title in decades, or a legion of hometown fans toasting to their hero's success after a long career, like John Elway or Alonzo Mourning. Absolutely none of us had any logical reason to have such undying support for Tiger, so that makes what he does to us that much more special.

1 comment:

periodicos de doral said...

Thank you for the fantastic article. The place else could anyone get that kind of info in such a perfect means of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I am at the search for such information.