I am suffering from news overload. I have been sleeping little and watching war too much. Ukraine is like a car crash you cannot avert your eyes from. I have been glued to the reports of Benjamin Hall, Trey Yingst, and Mike Tobin.
These three men are not human.
They seem to be working 24/7, much like President Zelenskyy. It is like they are afraid if they close their eyes to rest, they might miss that moment in history they yearn to cover. I have witnessed every global conflict since Vietnam, but none have ever been seen from the side of the hunted. It is a perspective that leaves you in awe at how others can treat people when without a soul. It is sad but addicting.
Tonight I had to pull away to cleanse my mind. It sounds trite but tonight was about golf, my final frontier in sport.
I say the final frontier because I have given up on all of the other sports I grew up playing, watching, and loving. Egos taint all professional sports. Team sports are no longer about a team but more about a group of individuals who happen to wear the same uniform.
The twenty-year run for the Patriots may be an exception but not enough to let me overlook the $50 Million a year contract signed this week by Aaron Rodgers. There is such a thing as too much money, and that from a capitalist.
Golf is not about the team but individual. Yes, there is the Ryder Cup and the President’s Cup, but week in and out, it is about the lone golfer vying to be the best that week. The PGA has become so stocked with incredible players that anyone can win on any weekend. It makes it fun and keeps it interesting.
There have been times when I got caught up in one player’s domination of the rest. The year that Jordan Speith had in 2015 will keep me a fan whether or not he ever wins another tournament. He was that good and better still, he still seems to be a better person than a golfer. He is a rarity
Then there is Tiger. Tiger was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame tonight. Tiger is why I had to take a respite from the battle this evening. I don’t look up to Tiger the man, for he is flawed. But Tiger is a man, and men are imperfect.
I’m not too fond of some of Tiger’s things in his life, but that is not the side of him I admire. Tiger, the golfer, is the man I am glad I lived to witness for the last twenty-five years. Tiger did not play golf. He mastered golf and transformed the game.
There are times when I need a break from reality, so I’ll go to YouTube and watch highlights of Tiger Woods. I cannot tell you how many times I watched his putt on the 17th at TPC, but I will watch it many more times. It was better than most. It was fitting that Tom Brady made a video tribute to Tiger during the HOF ceremony. The GOAT from football pays homage to the GOAT of golf. These two deserve to share the title of The Greatest of All Time. They were both better than most.
Sport does not have the same importance in my life as it used to occupy. It used to be a driving force, but much of sport drove me away. That is sad, but growing up watching the careers of these two phenomenal athletes has given me enough thrills for a lifetime.
You can never say there will never be anyone better, for that is what they said about Nicklaus and Montana. These two, however, may live out their lives never being supplanted by a newer and better Goat. I think these two own the term. It may have been invented with them in mind.
Tiger cried as his Daughter, Sam, presented him to the Hall. I, too, shed a tear, for greatness and excellence is far too rare today. Tonight, they were both on stage embodied in one great golfer, Tiger Woods.