Who Was the Athlete of the Decade?: Hint, It's Not Tiger Woods or Roger Federer

Donald MarhefkaCorrespondent IJanuary 6, 2010

Tiger Woods was recently named Athlete of the Decade by the Associated Press. I will show in this article that none of the top three candidates should have been considered for this distinction. 


I intend to name my own candidate. But, in order to find out who he or she is, I will not reveal the name until later. 


First of all, I will address Woods. He won 12 majors in the years from 2000 to 2009. Although this is less than Roger Federer’s 15 Grand Slam titles, AP writers voted for Woods. There are two problems with his selection:


First of all, what is a decade?


Most people agree that the year 2000 belongs to the 20th century and that 2001 begins the 21st century. So, technically, the year 2000 belongs in the decade of the '90s. The current decade, then, is from 2001-2010.


Why is this important? Well, it just so happens that Woods won three majors in 2000. If we reduce his decade count of titles to just nine, how many votes would he have gotten?


As if that’s not enough, what is the definition of “athlete?” Here is a definition I found on the Web:

"A person trained in exercises, games, or contests requiring physical strength, skill, stamina, speed, etc."

OK, I’ll give Tiger physical strength and skill. But we cannot say that he has stamina and speed. This is a sport where a 59-year-old man just tied for the British Open Crown before losing in a playoff.

Cyclist Lance Armstrong finished second. Nothing against his heroic effort while battling cancer, but, if I want to watch car accidents, I can just go to the stretch of I-75 leading to Northern Kentucky. Coming from the South, it’s the steep hill going into Covington and has the nickname of “Death Highway.”


That leaves Roger Federer. He is a personal favorite and is hard to pick against in light of all his accomplishments. But I have another person in mind. 


OK, who is it? Who should have been named Athlete of the Decade? 



Yes, the same Barack Obama that is the President of the United States. 


But what has he accomplished in athletics, you ask?


Didn’t he just win the Peace Prize for NOTHING?   


By what stretch can we call him an athlete?


Doesn’t he walk from his $3,000-a-day cottage in Hawaii to his private swimming pool? Let’s not forget that he likes to play one-on-one basketball with White House visitors.


Doesn’t he deserve something positive after already being called one of the worst Presidents in American history after just a year in office?


OK, of course, I’m not serious. But, I am serious about—based on his potential—that he is given the Heisman Trophy.