For the last dozen years or so, I think that all golf majors -- including the Masters -- come down to a binary choice:
Tiger or the field?
And, fairly consistently (at least right up until all that unfortunate business with the adult film stars), I was happy to pick "Tiger" every time.
It is somewhat heretical then that I am now firmly in the "Field" camp. In fact, count me among the folks who agree with Joe Posnanski that while we'd LIKE to see Tiger do well, the far greater probability is that his best years are far behind him and that he is on an irrevocable downward slide.
I'm not even sure I'm rooting for Tiger to do well -- I mean, it would be compelling to see him have a resurgence, but perhaps because I'm a "Tiger over the field" person, I have always found his failure to be so surprising that I find it more appealing than his success.
I feel the same way about other athletes/teams that have a vibe of inevitability of winning: The Patriots, the Red Sox and Yankees, Duke basketball, Ohio State football. Their losses are far more dramatic than their wins.
And so as the Masters starts, I pick "the field" -- unfortunately, this year, no one will give me that bet. The "Tiger kinda sucks" bandwagon is a bit more crowded.
Red Sox 0-5 start. I don't get the panic. It's no different than a 5-game losing streak in July. And it's easy to explain away the first bunch; the Rangers appear to be the real deal, particularly offensively. Again, I'll default to "The Red Sox will work themselves out" and I will simply be pleasantly surprised if they don't.
Kyrie Irving goes pro: His legacy at Duke is slightly less than another one-and-done, Corey Maggette -- who at least was part of a Final Four team and, in my opinion, the only unguardable player against UConn in the national title game, making Coach K's decision to bench him for being awesome all the more quizzical. That said: Irving will be the No. 1 player taken in the 2011 NBA Draft; that puts him as high as any talent that has come through the program -- Elton Brand-ish, if you will. But really, Irving's Duke career is a big ol' mess of "What if...?"