Sports

Tiger worship is just too much

They were talking about the U.S. Open on the TV the other day when Larry Holder offered a sigh and a deep breath when Tiger Woods’ image was on the screen.

Oh boy.

Another mancrush for Rummel Boy, the guy who plays fantasy football when he’s supposed to be finding out why the Saints cut their ties with Aaron Brooks after a 3-13 season. Larry the Liar likes to play follow the leader, when he isn’t kicking the can or throwing a fit at the food court in the mall.

You know where I’m going with this.

Everybody get in a line and tell Tiger Woods how great he is.

It gets old. Real old. It’s lame. Really lame. OK, Mr. Woods has won a bunch of golf tournaments, and 12 of ’em happen to be major championships. You know what?

That’s two thirds the total captured by Jack William Nicklaus, easily the greatest golfer of all time.

That’s just the start of it, however.

Nicklaus not only captured 18 major championships in his illustrious career, he was the runnerup 19 times. He finished in the top five 56 times. That’s a lot of British Open rough, plenty of anxious moments at the U.S. Open and more snobs at Augusta National than I’d ever want to endure.

Of course, Larry Holder likes hanging out with country club folks with money to burn and golf courses to design. He hangs on every word of the golf announcer on the tube, who tells us Tiger Woods has shown so much “courage” by pulling out a 2-iron to clear the lake in front of the green.

Courage. On a golf course. That’s reserved for physical, demanding sports such as football, lacrosse and boxing. Oh, but golf’s the trendy thing these days. Everybody and his dog wants to get out there and hack, kind of like Larry does with his laptop. The next time Sun Herald sports editor Doug Barber wants to tell me about his golf game, I’m going to pull the lacrosse sticks out of my car and start slingin’ the ball around the newsroom.

Tiger Woods is an exceptional golfer. We get that. He won a Masters at 21. I remember that. I was covering baseball at Mississippi State that weekend. The rest of the field cowered in defeat.

Nicklaus competed against the likes of Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson, Gary Player and Greg Norman. Guys with nerves of steel.

Mr. Woods? Try Phil Mickelsen, who actually muttered, “I can’t believe I’m such an idiot” at last year’s U.S. Open. Or Vijay Singh, who’s already been caught cheating and treats fans and media alike with unbridled disdain. Oh, and Colin Montgomerie and Sergio Garcia, soft Europeans who get excited when they win a bundle of money. Big woo.

Ah, but Little Boy Larry is no different. He actually told us that Tiger Woods has led the PGA money list seven times.

That’s Larry Holder for you. Sellin’ out to The Man. Typical.

Mi compadre Larry is right about one thing, though. Tiger Woods loves Madison Avenue even more than those image-conscious advertisers love him.

Just like Michael Jordan. Don’t take a stand on anything. Play it safe.

Me? I’ll take Muhammad Ali, Jack Nicklaus or the late Walter Payton any day of the week. Athletes with a heart to match the size of their wallets.

Someday, young whippersnappers like Larry will understand.

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