Tiger Woods knows a thing or two about working his way back from injuries and controversy, and perhaps that is why the world's No. 1 golfer has a surprising rooting interest for Super Bowl XLVIII between the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos.
According to Rex Hoggard of GolfChannel.com, Woods is pulling for the Broncos on Feb. 2 despite the fact that he is a fan of the AFC West rival Oakland Raiders.
I like the Broncos. I'm good friends with Peyton (Manning). Let's be honest, he got scrutinized pretty hard when he left (the Colts) that he would never be the same after his neck surgery, and it's right, he's not the same; he's better. That's cool to see. That's cool to see the hard work that he put in to shut everybody up.
In a lot of ways, Woods likely draws inspiration from Manning. After undergoing neck surgery and missing the entire 2011 season, Manning's future prospects were very much up in the air. The Indianapolis Colts released him in order to draft his replacement Andrew Luck No. 1 overall, and perhaps the greatest signal-caller in NFL history fell right into the Broncos' lap.
Manning quickly silenced critics by turning in a fantastic 2012 campaign, but he was even better in 2013. He set records for most passing touchdowns and passing yardage in a single season, according to ESPN Stats & Info, and he is a near lock to win yet another MVP Award. He's won four already—the most in NFL history.
Peyton Manning: sets NFL single-season record for TD passes with his 51st of season— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 22, 2013
Peyton Manning: sets NFL record for most passing yards in season (previous record: Drew Brees, 5,476 in 2011)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 29, 2013
Woods hasn't won a major tournament since 2008, as a knee injury and personal issues derailed his pursuit of Jack Nicklaus' record. Woods has been in contention on several occasions; however, he hasn't quite been able to get over the hump.
Which of the following will happen first?
Like Manning, Woods needs a breakthrough win in order to silence his critics once and for all. Woods is coming off a tough start to the 2014 season as he missed the 54-hole cut at the Farmers Insurance Open, but if Manning is able to win his second Super Bowl and cement his legacy, then maybe that will inspire Woods to end his long major title drought as well.
Manning seems to have plenty of fans on his side heading into Super Bowl XLVIII, but none of them keep a higher profile than Tiger.
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