Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Tiger, Kobe, and Danica

No need for last names. It's kind of like Hillary, Rush, and Godzilla. You know who they are. But the title trio have something in common. I think we can safely rule out gender, race, and even the sport they participate in.

[As for H, R, and G sharing similar traits -- draw your own conclusions. Yours truly would dare say there's nary a beauty queen in that formidable bunch, though they all seem to be of the same ilk when it comes to blasts of hot air.]

True, they've all accumulated great wealth, and there are those that consider at least a couple of them rather good looking in their own ways -- but sort that one out yourself.. Ahem.

But what they have truly had in common all along is all were media darlings. The press and talking heads could never seem to get enough of them. Every time Woods, Bryant, or Patrick had something to say -- the reporters were all over it. The media wanted them to win. They NEEDED them to win. When the media has adopted another darling, legions of lemming fans that believe everything they are told will never be far behind.  And a couple of them came through. The process of elimination is fairly simple in this case.

With all due respect to the politically correct and thought police, it could certainly be objectively argued that Tiger was going to be anointed as golf royalty -- even before he went on his 10 year tear on the PGA Tour. Why? Because he was a black man playing an historically white man's game. To his credit, Woods put up likely the most dominant decade in the history of pro golf. He was winning seemingly everything. Until he crashed.

On a similar note, it could be argued Danica Patrick became immediately popular because she was a woman trying to compete in the highest levels of automobile racing -- a sport long dominated by men. Thing is, an obscure Indy car race in Japan years ago notwithstanding, Danica never won squat. Not in open wheel racing, nor in her recent years after having jumped to the NASCAR circuit. Yes, the media always looked for a way to trumpet an accomplishment -- ANY ACCOMPLISHMENT -- along the way. OMG, Danica is leading the Indy 500!! Never mind all the "true" leaders had come in for pit stops while Danica stayed out on the track for another lap or two. It gave the announcers a reason to hype Danica -- until the field inevitably reset itself. Ms. P once even won the pole at the Daytona 500. She was in contention until the very last lap of the actual race. Right up until the big boys decided to go blowing by her. But mostly over her NASCAR career she's become famous for two things. Wrecking cars and hissy fits. Like the Indy cars before, this venture doesn't seem to be working out well either. Especially if you're the one that has to keep paying for new very expensive race cars. Go Daddy finally went gone. Can you blame them?

Kobe Bryant is a different animal. He's won his fair share of individual awards and titles in the NBA over the years. But though they never got along -- would Bryant have ever been a champion without the big goof -- sometimes called Shaq -- on his team? Bryant was the ultimate offensive "street" player. He could ball handle, had a thousand different moves, and would always find a way to eventually shoot. Put up enough shots, and points will come. But he could also never play a lick of defense. Conversely, O'Neal was the next coming of Wilt Chamberlain. The tallest and biggest guy on the court by far. If either got the ball close to the rim -- get out of the way. It's a dunk. Both grabbed plenty of rebounds to boot due to their pure size. But neither were a threat of any sort over 10 feet away from the basket. And between the Stilt and Shaq, they threw up more bricks from the free throw line than your average mason would during a lifetime. It was pitiful.

But they needed each other for the team to be successful. Hey, Abbott likely wouldn't have gone far without Costello. And Ollie needed Stanley, despite the fine messes he continually got him into. Moe Howard wrote the scripts and was a comedic genius, but where would he have been without Larry, Curly, and Shemp? Nyuk nyuk indeed.

Fast forward to the present. Sure, the media and "legions" are praying Tiger Woods makes a comeback. But it's not going to happen. He'll be lucky to make cuts let alone contend for championships. The young guns are just too good and have passed him by. They will keep coming as Eldrick continues to fade.

Danica can keep posing for photo shoots and/or endorsing various products, but she's never going to be competitive on the NASCAR circuit.

One could consider both those ships pretty well decommissioned. On that note, one could also say one of them was a Titanic. The greatest spectacle there ever was -- right up until that pesky iceberg got in the way. A frigid watery doom indeed. Perhaps this is what happens when one gets busted as a serial adulterer. Good luck with that. Brrrr. The other was always little more than a garbage scow with a fancy paint job jumping into the fray with a flotilla of world class speed boats. You can throw money at it and dress it up all you want -- but like nags don't win the Kentucky Derby, this temperamental filly isn't going to take a checkered flag either. Give it up. It ain't gonna happen.

Kobe? He's still making $24 million this year. What could Laker's management have possibly been thinking when they signed him to a $48 million contract extension two years ago? The guy was already washed up. The former Show Timers have turned into Blow Timers. They stunk it up last year and are even worse this season. Between them and the woeful Philly 76ers, the race is on to see who can sink the furthest into the nether regions of the league.  And they're paying this guy $24M -- for what?

Oh, that's right. The reporters still hang on every word the Black Mamba utters. They want him. They NEED him. And after the media hounds finally tire of the three mentioned above (please hurry), they'll no doubt anoint another few to be lauded over in coming years -- whether they're competitive or not. They'll find a reason to hype their newly adopted darlings.

It's just about enough to make an average sports nut tune into foreign soccer games, or the curling circuit, even perhaps the always exciting worlds of badminton, croquet, and world class putt-putt golf. Did you see that shot? Through the peril of the windmill, off the clown's nose, and perfectly caromed over the drawbridge up the perilous slope to fall in the hole for an ace? Oh-my-God. It's a colossal achievement, the first EVER such shot in the glorious history of the game.

Eat your heart out, Jordan Spieth.

But some obscure sports cable channel with breathless announcers screaming will likely cover such events soon, if they aren't already.


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