Tiger Woods is still a hot button topic in the sports world, even though the NCAA Tournament is in full effect. News broke that Woods will make his first start of the PGA season in Augusta at The Masters, the PGA's biggest and arguably most famous tournament in history.
Well, there are apparently some who are upset and think that Tiger is "hijacking" the tournament. That's kind of a strong word to use if you're asking me, but apparently some international newspapers wanted to take their own shots at Tiger, because we just haven't dug him a deep enough grave.
Before I dig into the comments made by our brethren overseas, let me make one thing perfectly clear where Tiger is concerned. Whether you like him or whether you hate him, the fact remains he is arguably one of the best golfers of our time if not the best ever.
Not only is he a tremendous golfer but he's a phenomenal athlete. People that normally wouldn't watch a golf tournament will tune their tv's to a tournament just because Tiger is playing. People that normally wouldn't ever be in the gallery at a golf tournament, will go just to get a glimpse of Woods.
Before news of his infidelity broke, Tiger was possibly the most beloved athlete of any sport anywhere, and yes that includes soccer, a sport I'm not a real big fan of, but I digress.
After the news broke and most of us got over the initial shock of what Tiger had done and to the extremes he had gone to, some us shrugged it off and didn't look back. We figured it was his personal life and what he had done and what he would do from there wasn't really anything we were concerned with.
To others, you wanted details, you wanted to be the judge, jury, and executioner. You wanted Tiger to leave the game of golf and never come back. You wanted all that and, oh yeah, you wanted Tiger to personally apologize to you, your family, your kids, your dead relatives, and, ok I'm getting a little carried away. You wanted things you weren't going to get, but you were hell-bent on getting it.
What Tiger owed to you or any of the media who expected something I don't really know. He didn't do anything to us or to them but we have certain expectations and when they're not met, boy are we mad. It's because as fans, we're irrational.
Well, it looks like the international media has now joined in on that irrationality and has taken their own shots at Tiger. Not only have a few of them climbed up to the high dive but a few of them jumped off, only to end up doing a belly flop and left gasping for air. Grasping at whatever straws they could or throwing words against the wall and seeing what stuck.
Daily Mirror columnist Oliver Holt seemed to be one of those belly floppers saying, “How typical of the man to hijack the world’s most famous golf tournament. How could he turn Augusta into a circus like this? Does his vanity know no limits?”
While Holt does have some other interesting, well, more funny than interesting comments, let me address this one like this. The dictionary defines vanity as "excessive pride in one's appearance or accomplishments." How does making his return at The Masters have anything to do with the way he dresses? Isn't that what it means when it says "one's appearance?"
Holt accuses Tiger of hijacking the tournament then accuses him of turning Augusta into a "circus." If I'm not mistaken, doesn't the media turn something into a circus?
While Tiger is making one of the biggest returns in sports history, isn't it up to Augusta to limit the amount of media members they allow at the tournament? Would you rather he make another tournament the "circus?"
Here's another quote from an international media member taking his shot at Tiger. This one from The Herald's , a Scottish paper, Douglas Lowe.
“When he finally sticks his head above the parapet before a hungry media at Augusta National, don’t be surprised if he refuses to talk about anything relating to matters that predate Feb. 19 on the ingenuous grounds that he has already dealt with that."
Why should we be surprised at a "no comment" from Tiger when someone asks about his indiscretions? Isn't this about him returning to play golf? The media should know, going in, he's not going to answer anything outside of how he played.
Now to my personal favorite from Mark Reason of the Daily Telegraph . “All that halting guff about maybe returning to golf one day was just a great big fib. Tiger, Tiger, pants on fire, nose as long as a telephone wire."
What are we, five-years old, Mark? You went with the "liar, liar, pants on fire" line? That's writing at it's finest right there.
While I'm sure Mark is a great writer in his own right, he has to do better than "liar, liar pants on fire."
While most want to take their own shots at Tiger, knowing full well they can hide behind their columns, there was one in particular that caught my attention. Not only because he didn't focus on Tiger's personal life or his apology, but he focused on Tiger the golfer and athlete.
Karl MacGinty of the Irish Independent said “Tiger’s comeback will rival that of legendary heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali as the world tunes in to see the greatest-ever golfer face the most harrowing challenge of his career."
He is right on with that point. This is going to be the biggest challenge to make his return on golf's biggest stage. What will be bigger yet, is if Tiger can take all the criticism from fellow players and the media, and continue to win.
Tiger has the best focus of any golfer, or athlete for that matter, that I've seen in my lifetime. If that focus can lead him to be the golfer we all know that he can be and if that focus can lead him to victories, the criticism will slowly fade away and the fans will return.
Tiger has a long road ahead of him. A road that will be full of bumps and bruises. It won't be how Tiger goes in to this challenge, it will be how he comes out of it.