I was looking at a sports news site this morning and out of the top ten golf stories, all but one had something to do with Tiger’s eminent return to golf. The other one was a video of President Trump raking a putt while it was still rolling. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. Even when Tiger was one of the best players in the world, broadcasters regularly covered him over players playing far better, and often more than even the leaders of a given event in which he was far back in the field.
Now that he’s more of a sideshow, rather than the main show, though, it’s becoming increasingly dubious for credible media insiders to continually report on him, his game (or lack thereof), and his odds of being competitive in whatever the next event he might play in and not be truly guilty of simply engaging in sensationalism, click-bait tactics, and what has begun to feel like little more than the dirty business of tabloid journalism. When you see headlines like, “This Tiger Comeback Will Be Different”, “Tiger Has a History of Fighting His Way Back to the Top”, and even “Tiger’s 17 most eye-popping achievements”, it’s hard to not only not feel a bit manipulated, but sad. Can or will Tiger ever return to something that even remotely resembles his previous form? Let’s say something akin to one of his bad years of the decade when he was atop the sport? No one knows, but it’s been just about another decade now since he won a major, so the odds are against it. He knows that, his peers know that, and if you ask anyone in the media to be honest, they know that.
It seems, however, that a great many are still so desirous of Tiger to return to even a shade of his former self, as if that alone can bring back some form of the halcyon days of golfing yesteryear, that they think printing enough positive things about it, showing enough old highlights, and covering every attempted comeback with the fervor of the lead-up to a major can somehow will it into existence. No amount of hoping for it will bring back the Sunday reds, the fist pumps, the finger-pointing, or the sight of tiger at the press table feeding the press corps a multitude of platitudes after his latest win like a pack of hungry dogs. No matter how good they were, we can’t bring back those days any more than we can Jack’s, or Arnie’s, or Ben’s. The game has moved on. We have new names to follow now, names like Jason, Justin, and Jordan, and in case you’ve missed it while watching some of those old eye-popping moments of Tiger’s, these guys are pretty good. Isn’t it time we give them their due instead of chasing Tiger’s Tail?