Sports in the real world

Kyle Nodarse

So Tiger Woods knows how to play golf. Is anyone surprised? I mean honestly, how many more victories is he going to get in his career? He already has two victories this year, including his fourth year in a row of winning the Buick Invitational, and he goes into the match play February 20 as the number-one seed.
Last year alone he played in 16 tournaments and won seven of them. He currently sits at number-one in the world and was the highest paid professional athlete in 2006. That’s right, he’s making more than Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Alex Rodriguez and Peyton Manning. And he deserves more.
He has won 13 major golf championships and has 62 career victories. He has the most career Major wins and most career PGA wins of any active golfer. He was the youngest player ever to achieve a career grand slam, winning all four Major events.
He is on pace to break Jack Nicklaus’ career wins and Major wins record. He is going to own the record books by the time he retires.
Here’s the question. How good are superstar athletes like Tiger Woods for individual sports? How beneficial is it that the same person wins week in and week out? If he starts winning consistently again this year, and he plays as well as he has looked capable of early in the season, how good is that for golf?
The entire point of sports is the competition factor, and he takes that away from everyone watching. He is so good that he doesn’t give the other guys a chance. Phil Mickelson chokes just seeing Tiger’s name on the tournament roster.
Other professional golf players — the best in the world I might add — admit to playing for second place whenever Tiger plays in a tournament. Where’s the fun in that?
Last year, the FedEx Cup was the new version of a golf play-off. If attendance was mandatory, which it wasn’t, Tiger would have clinched the entire tournament victory after the first two weeks, leaving the last two weeks completely futile to play, attend, or even watch on TV. What fun is that?
That would be like crowning the Boston Celtics NBA champions after the first round of the NBA playoffs. It takes all of the fun out of sports.
Parity is necessary in all professional sports and Tiger Woods has the ability to both wow crowds and to make them disappear.
He takes away the competition part of professional sports. Is he too good? Only time will tell. But make sure to tell me, because when it gets to the weekend of a golf tournament, I’ll be off doing something more entertaining than watching Tiger with a nine-stroke lead.

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