Every time Tiger Woods wins another major there's talk of him being the greatest athlete of all time. Not the greatest golfer of all time, but the greatest athlete.
He won the PGA Championship with ease on the weekend and he almost won me my golf pool. I finished tied for first but lost the cash on some crazy tie breaker. I'm still a little ticked about losing on a technicality, but I digress. Tiger is thirty years old and he's won twelve majors. Many will argue there's been no one like him.
When I think of the greatest in sports, people who rose above it all and transcended their sport, I think of four men, in addition to Tiger. I think of Wayne Gretzky, Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali and Babe Ruth. Removing any political and social significance, Gretzky, Jordan and Ruth were heads and tails above their peers, absolutely dominating their respective sports. Gretzky and Ruth essentially rewrote the record books and changed their sports forever. Woods is having a similar impact, but is Woods any better than Wayne Gretzky? I say no.
Upon his retirement on the 18th of April, 1999, Wayne Gretzky held or shared 61 National Hockey League records. These records include 40 regular season records, 15 playoff records, and 6 All-star records. Check out the Wayne Gretzky's records Wikipedia page, if you dare.
Woods is unbelievable, a talent that comes around rarely, and we should appreciate him. He might just be the best golfer in the history of the game. Is he the best athlete ever? I'm not willing to give him The Great One's crown just yet. Would you?