Friday, April 9, 2010
I used to love those words. They meant a break from the grind and time to have fun, wherever you could find it. Now as a father of three young children, it means daddy has to entertain the youngsters while theyre at home. Dont get me wrong, I live for that, but this is quite the sports week, and its hard for me to keep up with everything while Im chasing the rug-rats, especially when they have the added advantage of the extra sugar provided by the Easter Bunny. No worries. Ill caffeinate heavily (Diet Dew!) and keep the CrackBerry close at hand. (Not my first rodeo!) In between getting them ANOTHER snack, and cleaning up the house AGAIN, I was able to catch a few things, and, of course, I have an opinion.
TIGER TIME: The story like no other, gets all of the attention. How can you not watch? Im fascinated by it all. This story comes at you from so many different directions. As it goes along I keep asking myself one question: No one knew about this before? I really find that hard to believe. Honestly! How can he have been so brazen in his behavior and not one person, press, players or otherwise, not been on to it? Then again, maybe their behaviors were not too far off from his. I find it also hard to believe that hes the first golfer to ever have strayed, but hes taking the heat for all of them. It makes me wonder who the hypocrites are among the players and press. (Conspiracy theorist to the end!) One whom I guess is not is Augusta National chairman Billy Payne. Ouch! Hes obviously one person who can let Tiger have it and not fear his wrath. I think Payne hit the nail on the head with his comments. Consider it tough love.
I also find amusing the fact that everyone is discounting Tigers chances. As I said two weeks ago in my segment with Kap on Chicago Tribune Live, this was the perfect place for him to come back. The course is PERFECTLY suited to his game and the environment will provide the most controlled externals that he has to deal with.
My feeling has always been that Tiger has a chip on his shoulder and plays better when he gets angry. The other consideration would be that he was put on this earth to golf. Its what he does and he does it better than anyone any of us has ever watched. That fact has not changed. Being able to be on the course he loves with a chance to express himself in the way he knows best is his best way to move forward.
Watching his press conference was very revealing and finally a chance to see him unscripted. For me it was finally a time when I could see his humanity and really feel that he recognizes how he has wronged and hurt so many.
But the real point here is forgiveness. As far as is family goes, thats between them and I hope that they can come to a place that they can live with. But for me, and any fan of golf, Tiger stepping up and asking for our understanding is more than we can ask for. Like anyone else I just want to get back to the way it was. Unfortunately, as Mr. Payne reminded us, that wont be the case. Still, Im one to realize that I, and anyone that I might root for, are not perfect. Anyone should be afforded a second chance. Its whats done with it that should be the focus now, because there are no thirds.
BUTLER BLUES: I still feel like this was one of the best NCAA tournaments Ive ever watched in spite of its ending. All those twists and turns and the villain win anyway! It was the opposite of a Hollywood ending. Kind of like the movie Miracle having the Russians winning.
I wanted that Hoosiers ending where the small school wins at the end. But, you cant beat Goliath when you shot 35 from the floor. Early on, when the kid with the bad mustache went around another Duke defender, only to miss a short shot or layup, announcer Clark Kellogg (Whom I like very much, the anti-Packer. Did you see his game of P.O.T.U.S. against the Commander in Chief? That Obama is one cool cat!) opined that, At least he was getting open looks. Thats not the object of the game. You need to score the ball! Butler missed way too many gimmes. Unfortunately, when they look back they will realize this, only adding to their pain. I found it ironic that the night before that I watched the second half of Villanovas victory over double-digit favorite Georgetown in the 1985 National Title game. One of the biggest upsets ever. It was a half that Nova missed ONE shot, and slayed Goliath by two points.
MORE MASTERS, PLEASE!: Its this time of year that I wish for one thing and one thing only: The ability to watch play on Augusta National on every hole. Slowly, over the years, the curtain has been drawn back and weve seen more and more of the course on TV. What I want is more! Especially in a Major, I love being able to watch EVERY shot that the leaders take on Saturday and Sunday, every stroke on the canvas to complete the picture. They cant use the ratings as an excuse, because the more they show, the more we watch! I had to kick the kids of the computer on a cold and wet Thursday so that I could watch the Masters Extra online before the TV broadcast started. Another case of tough love, but totally avoidable if they would just put it on TV earlier so I can hide in the man-cave and watch all I want. Did the hamburger industry suffer when the started selling double cheeseburgers? No! They sold more!
BUEHRLE MAN: Mark Buehrle is one charmed dude. So many good things go on around him and because of him: No-nonsense, get the job done and then the odd World Series win or no-hitter. Whatever it takes, he gets it done. His play in the Opener was one for the ages, like we should be surprised. Mercy!
BACK TO THE KIDS: Time to give up the computer, but before I go a couple of questions: Nervous yet about the Cubs? Not as nervous about the Hawks? Why do people at the bar snicker at me when I talk about the Bulls playoff push?