- Something I realized this weekend while watching the Masters: As exciting as it is to watch Tiger Woods win, it’s equally as boring to watch him lose. And that, even more than Woods never having a real rival, is the biggest problem with the sport of golf. It doesn’t matter if the Yankees are losing to the Marlins or the Red Sox; they’re still entertaining. Same goes for the Cowboys, Lakers or Duke Basketball. The best teams provide compelling stories either way.
But when Tiger is failing, the sky is falling for golf. Rather than appreciating those playing better than him on the sport’s biggest stage, we attempt to figure out how he could persevere, constructing what-if scenarios more complicated than the BCS. Woods didn’t just need to be perfect to reach the top of the leaderboard on Sunday; he also needed a number of guys to fall flat on their face, which is actually quite similar to college football’s system.
But once it was clear that he wasn’t going to be good enough this time around, we didn’t continue to watch those who bested him; we turned off our televisions. And the only reason we even know who beat Tiger is the three-way playoff - guys could be captivated by the Westminster Dog Show if it went to overtime. Otherwise, we would have had no clue who won golf’s Super Bowl in 2009.
- For the record, had Tiger or Phil Mickelson managed to make the comeback from down seven strokes heading into Sunday, it would have been equivalent to coming back from a 3-0 deficit in a seven game series.
But it still wouldn’t have been the best come-from-behind victory of the weekend. That honor belongs to Boston University, who won the NCAA hockey championship by scoring two goals in the final minute of the third period to tie Miami University, and then a goal in overtime to clinch it.
- It has been a rough couple of days for the baseball world, first with the tragic death of Nick Adenhart and today losing Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas and former Tigers pitcher Mark Fidrych. But while it may have just been Kalas’ time to go and Fidrych’s death appears to have been a freak accident, it’s hard not to just get angrier at what happened to Adenhart as more details emerge.
Adenhart and two of his friends were killed when a drunk named Andrew Thomas Gallo ran a red light and plowed into their car. But this was no accident. In the past three years, Gallo has pleaded guilty to drunk driving and was also arrested for public intoxication. Gallo is clearly a man with a serious illness, but that problem is alcoholism, not driving under the influence. People aren’t addicted to drunken driving and we tend to forget that.
That’s why we need even stricter drunk driving laws and we need them to be enforced more. If you make the decision to get behind the wheel after having too many drinks, you should go to jail and you should never be allowed to drive again.
That’s a statement, and maybe it will scare some folks straight.
- Call me crazy, but I really like the idea of Isiah Thomas as a college coach. His players will love him and he’s sleazy enough to make a good recruiter. By all accounts, he’s a pretty charming guy so he’ll win over boosters. And best of all, he’s not dealing with money…unless you know, the kid is that good.
- The opening week of baseball season was great because Verizon was offering the Extra Innings package for free. It was so interesting to listen to the announcers of teams playing the Yankees, Mets and Red Sox. They see things much differently and clearly can’t stand the big market franchises. For example, at one point during a Royals/Yankees game, Andy Pettite fired a questionable strike and you just know that over on the YES Network, Michael Kay was calling him a gritty veteran who has worked for that call.
But there was Royals announcer Denny Matthews offering up this slice of brilliance: “Some might say Pettite has earned that call, but not me.”
- Jacoby Ellsbury has about a month to start hitting. If he doesn’t, I think he’ll join Melky Cabrera and Ian Kennedy on the list of overhyped young ball players who only reach “top prospect” status because they play in a big market.
- Yes, I picked those Mets to win the World Series, the team with guys dropping routine flyballs, the team with one trustworthy pitcher, the team with a closer who is either unwilling or incapable of throwing strikes. Yes I picked those guys.