It has been about two weeks since I sat down and thought about writing another Sports Column sort of thing and I know what it is and why I was putting it off.
It has been about two weeks since I sat down and thought about writing another Sports Column sort of thing and I know what it is and why I was putting it off. I was wrong about Big Brown, I was dead wrong about the Lakers in seven and I was in complete awe of Tiger Woods at the U.S. Open last week. I just couldn’t keep my thoughts in one place long enough to sit down and write. It happens from time to time in this business and with the warmer weather forcing me to wear my sunglasses I had to take advantage of some late evening fishing. There’s really nothing more peaceful than sitting on the side of some private lake with a cold beverage and doing some lazy fishing, you know the kind I’m talking about, the live-bait bobber fishing with as little work as possible involved, but it is fishing and it just as exciting when you hook into one of those monster bass that are just laughing at you a few feet below the surface.
So, while sitting on the bank a few days ago I began to think about the Sporting World I love so much. Big Brown let me and the country down as we needed to witness a Triple Crown. For one reason or another and for things we will never fully understand this creature was pulled up and finished in last place. The horse just didn’t have IT on this particular day and his jockey, Kent Desemourex — knew it. It was a sad day for fans of history as well because we will all have to wait a year for another attempt at making it into the books.
The Lakers looked like a sloppy team and were blown out in game six. It just seemed like Kobe would be able to pull it all together and get the Lakes a win to send it to a decisive game seven, something the NBA desperately needed. I am in no way a Lakers fan, and don’t really like Kobe’s style and off-court persona he portrays but for some strange reason, and a strong influence of History in the possibilities of being made I rooted for L.A. and IT didn’t happen.
This brings me full-circle to Tiger Woods. This was amazing in all aspects of Sports involved. This guy battled through a busted up leg that he was told by doctors to rehab, on crutches, during the time he was teeing off at Torrey Pines. They said don’t play; don’t risk the consequences of what is a very real possibility to play the game you love. Don’t risk a future of dropping in putts and sinking wedges from 45 yards off the green. He is an athlete and the competitive nature in an athlete, not unlike a Warrior going into battle, is that no one can tell you NO. No doctor and a bum leg could stop this guy in the red shirt, and the only person in the world that had any say at all is Rocco Mediate. He was the perfect opponent for Tiger in this sort of set-up. He was the peoples’ choice to win, and even I found myself silently hoping he would win, he’s that type of man. Tiger won, as we all know on the Monday afternoon playoff, one that left people with jobs, like me, missing the live action on television, but undoubtedly watching it “live” on the internet in the office.
What did this victory mean to a fan, a golfer who hits the links once a week, and a Sports Writer, it meant that things are still good in the Wide World of Sports. It proved that victory is worth the risk of loss. It meant that one man who is the best golfer of all-time took a step back and said to himself that he hates to lose more than he loves to win, and it cost him. Tiger is out for the rest of the year following the Open. He will get the needed surgery to swing the club again, but he is done for this year, and as we all know a lot can change in a year. He could realize that time at home with his wife and child is just more important than traveling the globe knocking in birdie after birdie. He may realize that the time he has at home with his loved ones is what matters the most. He might come out even more determined to win everything in sight, only he knows what lies ahead, but no matter what he chooses he made my afternoon in the office more exciting.
So what does all of this mean? What was the point to this rambling bit of words I just had you read? What is my point? It’s quite simple, I write, as I am interrupted by ESPN telling me that Jevon Kearse was arrested for DUI. Sports are America. Sports are what keep our minds off the soaring gas prices. Sports are what keeps us sane. Whether you like it or not, the only pure thing left in this country, filled with Politicians and lawyers and lobbyists, is the fact that we all love a home team, an underdog and the overwhelming favorite, and we never really know what will happen until that last shot is hit, the last second field goal crosses the bar, or the final buzzer expires to end the game. The pure thing about Sports is when the Fat Lady sings there is a winner and a loser. Cut and Dry, there is no recount or room for debate. When the whistle blows someone won and someone lost.
My predictions for the future: I have no idea at all but I know I hate to lose more than I love to win.