Sound the trumpets, gild the primrose path with rose petals, and keep 70 virgins on standby. His Highness Eldrick Tont Woods, sometimes known as Tiger, is making his triumphant return to grace us with his royal presence again.
Well then. What manner of lunacy is afoot THIS time? Wasn't the Presidential campaign enough to satisfy the idiots for a while?
It appears not. They're back to root for their hero, boneheads such as they are.
Granted, from roughly 1998 to 2008 Tiger Woods put up arguably the most dominant decade of any athlete in any sport (though a case could be made for the likes of George Herman (Babe) Ruth from the mid 20s to mid 30s and certainly sprinter Usain Bolt of late, among others).
At that time, Woods was seemingly winning everything in sight. Tournament after tournament, breaking records, and few doubted he would pass Jack Nicklaus's all-time major mark. It wasn't if, but when.
Then the wheels fell off and he was exposed for what he had been all along, the latter likely heavily contributing to the former. Because while Eldrick had been tearing up the golf courses and enjoying the hero worship that came with it from certain quarters, he was, at heart, far from an upstanding young man.
His serial infidelity with his wife finally blew up in his face, and the public to date likely knows of only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. While he was Mr. Congeniality in front of the cameras, it became known that Woods and his then caddie Steve Williams were tyrants on the course regarding the paying galleries that had shown up to see him in good faith.
"Out of the way, peasants. Can't you see royalty is coming through? And don't you talk, much less try to take pictures. Just bow and scrape like the worthless peons you are."
Yet his groupies, egged on by the media blitz, kept coming back for more. And quite the blitz it was. During any given tournament, and even those in which Woods wasn't competing, the replays of his "highlights" ran in a continuous loop. There was no such thing as Tiger over-saturation. See Tiger smile. See Tiger putt. See Tiger eat a banana. See Tiger curse. See Tiger pump his fist. See Tiger pound a club. All of this was force fed to the viewers while other worthy to see action was going on all around him. And the public, bless their gullible souls -- ate it up. The TV folks could hardly be faulted. Hey, if they determine ratings will be higher by airing such nonsense as opposed to the sporting event itself -- that's exactly what they're going to do. They prey on the boneheads. How else to explain so many commercials featuring various wonder-products that would normally cost a consumer $200-300 -- right -- but every one of these things is now $19.95? Call now while supplies last, boneheads.
But it is what it is and Eldrick is back again at something called the Hero World Challenge. Well, of course he would choose a tournament with a name like that. Hello?
Even back in his heyday, yours truly smelled something fishy about this guy, so no, I never became one of his legions of fans. The politically correcters, boneheads that THEY are, would and do accuse me of being a "hater". I guess because I refused to fall in lock-step with their vision of Woods, yours truly became a target of THEIR hate. It really is boneheaded logic if one thinks about it. Just because I chose or choose not to root for a person, while smelling a rat, means I must hate him/her. This author is probably one of few in the world that doesn't care much for coffee either. Because my taste buds preferences differ from most, does that make me a beanophobe on some level? See how ridiculous that sounds? Worse yet, if I'd rather watch an Indy car event than one of NASCAR, which is true, in the truest sense of the word have I now become a, gasp, racist? Argh.
Thing is, like a lot of sports junkies, I watch ESPN for the recaps to catch up on many events. It was noted that Woods was hacking his way around at the Hero tourney during his first round. To nobody's surprise, the TV folks were all over it. See Tiger hit one into the sand. Then again, and again. See him chip up a hill to a green, only to watch it roll back. Oops, there goes one in the drink. He must have hit some pretty good shots in between to salvage a one over par 73. Still, that left him a whopping 9 strokes back after a single round while the other guys were carving up a fairly easy course under ideal weather conditions. What WAS surprising is instead of seeing the Tiger highlight reels we've become accustomed to in the past, this time it was like a blooper show.
To his credit, Eldrick would come back (where have we heard that phrase before?) to post an impressive 6 under par 65 in the second round. Only 6 shots behind.
It used to be that the weekends belonged to Tiger. Even when trailing, Saturday was "moving day" to zoom up the leaderboard, and Sunday was time to break out the red shirt and black pants to polish it off. Not so in recent years.
Though he's been sidelined with various injuries, real or excuses for lack of a competitive game, even when he was "healthy" his record was far from admirable, much less worthy of the lofty position so many want to return him to. Ten missed cuts. A few quits when things were going even worse.
And these days, at age 40, with the wreckage still very close in his rear view mirror, does anyone really think he can storm back to recapture the glory of days past? At last look, Woods was ranked somewhere around #198 in the world. Not even on the radar screen of competitive golf at its highest levels. The young studs have blown by him like he once did to the generation before him. And those guys are going to keep on coming. They no longer fear Tiger, but view him as a washed up has-been that can't come close to challenging them.
Idle thought. In the second round of the current tourney, Brit Justin Rose, paired up with Woods, withdrew. Did he really have a bad back, or did he just not want to put up with the media circus, and Tiger himself for the day? Hmmm.
Here's wishing Eldrick Tont well in whatever the future holds for him. Many have said that Woods was good for golf, making it more popular. Perhaps. But there are us that got turned off to the game BECAUSE of him and only jumped back in when other stars emerged while His Highness was out taking a powder somewhere.
Yet to those that still hang on to the notion that their hero will once again assume his rightful throne and rally back at this stage of his career to win a bunch of tournaments and finally eclipse Jack's major record, I can but humbly offer only one word.