During his press conference after the third round of the U.S. Open, Rory McIlroy was asked about Padraig Harrington's comment that not only would Rory surpass Tiger's 14 Majors,but he was the one who would chase down Jack's record of 18.
After putting his head down on his arms, he looked up at the reporters and with a rueful smile muttered, "Paddy, Paddy, Paddy."
It seems that the young Ulsterman knows that one Major does not a career make. It is a lesson the rest of the professional sporting world should heed.
"The next big thing, The newest phenom, The heir apparent." Headlines announce the latest victory as the second coming. Longevity and proven records are forgotten in the race to anoint the latest fresh face in the crowd.
Sporting highways are littered with the burned-out roadkill that only yesterday were going to be the saviors of their sports.
How many first round draft choices actually fulfill their promise in the NFL, in MLB or in the NHL? How many young tennis players or golfers have failed to make the grade after one spectacular tournament?
As sports fans, we demand almost instant perfection after one shining moment of promise.
McIlroy is taking some time off after his triumph at Congressional. The British Open at Sandwich looms on his horizon and if he returns with renewed swagger and confidence, it can only help his quest to live up to the standards set for him by the international press.
If not, will he join the legendary ranks of those who, in William Shakespeare's words, "Were full of sound and fury, signifying nothing?"
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