Men's golf has an evident problem: The Tiger Problem.
What does it say about the sport when "Where did Tiger finish?" consistently eclipses "Who won?" (Unless Tiger IS who won.)
Oh, sure, the media goes through the charade of first saying "So-and-so (say, Zach Johnson) won the Masters." But, in the next breath, it's: "Tiger finished in Xth."
In this case, maybe it's that Tiger finished so close to first that makes it that notable, but I'd say it's bigger than that.
It has gotten to the point where fans care mostly about Tiger, then everyone else. That's not a cult following of the sport; it's a cult following of a single personality.
No other sport seems to have this issue. Imagine if the story read: "The Mavs win the NBA title!
I guess it's that no other sport orbits around a single personality like men's golf does around Tiger. I like him, too, but doesn't that strike you as a bit unhealthy for any sport?
More of today's big stories:
More Masters: Does posting the highest winning score in Masters history make Johnson's jacket any less green? Hell no. I say: More power to him. They can't take that blazer away from him, no matter what happens the rest of his career (and no matter how he won it).
Meanwhile, to follow with my own analysis above, I can't NOT talk about Tiger: It did seem like Tiger was a little off his game, didn't it? I had argued that pending fatherhood would inspire him to Masters victory. Perhaps pending fatherhood was just enough of a burden on his brain to knock him slightly off? (Past and present pending fathers can relate to what I'm talking about.)
NBA: Dwyane Wade returns! 27 minutes, 12 points and 1 loss. But give it two months; he'll be leading them to a second straight NBA title. (And his long black left sleeve will surely become the NBA's signature on-court fashion look of the spring.)
More NBA: (1) LeBron held to 20 in Cavs loss to Pistons. Preview of Eastern Conference playoffs. (2) Suns top Lakers. Another playoff preview. (3) How about this: Chris Bosh for NBA MVP? (4) I know he's a FreeDarko poster guy, but how underrated is Gerald Wallace (30 points in Bobcats win over
Quickie analysis: He is the most versatile frontcourt player in college basketball. (Comps: At best, a slightly shorter Kevin Garnett. At worst, a slightly tougher Lamar Odom.)
MLB: Anyone's fantasy team get wiped out this weekend along with the snowed-out Indians-Mariners games in
(Should MLB move the Indians' home-stand vs. the Angels to
UPDATE: Amazingly, I flashed a rare bit of prescience on this. MLB moved the game to Milwaukee, which is close enough to Cleveland that fans could have a chance to get to the game -- and Milwaukee fans will get a kind-of-cool novelty of seeing two top AL teams play.
Real-life Crash Davis: 32-year-old Marlins RP Lee Gardner earned his first MLB save yesterday after racking up 130 minor-league saves. The real sign of legitimacy: How many fantasy owners have him on their rosters? A few more saves and that total will increase.
Stud (batter): Ivan Rodriguez
Stud (pitcher): Johan Santana
Schilling bounces back in primetime: I was curious how quickly Curt Schilling would update his blog after pitching (well) against the Rangers last night. When I popped open his blog at 8 this morning, there was his post. And a long one, too. That's pretty damn impressive.
(As many have noted: Why do I need the local
CBB: Wichita St's Mark Turgeon to Texas A&M. Somehow, I don't think Turgeon will pull a Dana Altman and run back to the Missouri Valley after his announcement as new coach at a different school.
(More: John Pelphrey to
Reality-TV UFC top-dog Matt Serra winning the real UFC welterweight title from champ Georges St. Pierre in a fairly substantial upset will only help the sport (until skeptics ask if the storybook ending was a little TOO good).
NFL Draft: Look for the first glimpse of the Tirico-Kornheiser-Jaworski troika during ESPN's draft coverage. The draft format is PTI-ish enough that it is MUCH more in TK's wheelhouse than your standard MNF game. I think they'll do well enough that it will trigger a buzz for next season.
Today's 15 Minutes: Elsie McLean, the 102-year-old woman who hit a hole-in-one, becoming the oldest golfer ever to hit a regulation-course hole-in-one. Yes, your golf skills suck by comparison.
ESPN Ombudswoman Earns Blog Cred: By taking on the Colin Cowherd story and getting a response from ESPN before the weekend was over (remember, the incident happened Thursday), she instantly proves herself an infinitely more effective ombudsman (ombudswoman?) than her predecessor – all in her first official week on the job. Oh, and she just got off on the right foot – the very right foot – with the sports-blog community.