I'm not the world's biggest golf fan, but I pay close attention to the major tournaments. For example, I made sure I was in front of a television to watch the last few holes of this weekend's US Open. Why was I interested in watching? Because Tiger Woods was in contention.
People seem to love or hate Tiger Woods. Nobody is indifferent. Freddie P recently wrote about ABT. ABT stands for Anybody But Tiger. Freddie P is rooting for anybody but Tiger the way many of us cheer for anybody but Ottawa during the Stanley Cup playoffs when Toronto isn't there. On the other end of the spectrum is Fred's former on-air partner Humble Howard who is just about the biggest Tiger Woods fan I know. Humble's probably on cloud 9 right now after Tiger birdied the 18th hole to force a playoff. It was a thrilling putt that had this casual fan on the edge of his seat.
You're probably wondering what I think of Tiger and what I was rooting for when Tiger made that putt on 18. Without a doubt, I wanted Tiger to sink it. I hope Tiger finishes the job tomorrow and puts another notch in his belt. If a Canadian isn't going to win a PGA major, I want Tiger to win.
I love the idea that someone we watched, someone during our lifetime is the best there ever was. I rooted for Michael Jordan and I rooted for Wayne Gretzky. Athletes like Tiger come around once in a lifetime and it seems foolish and unnatural to root against them unless they're complete jerks, Barry Bonds style. Hell, for a while I even rooted for him.
Major #14 comes tomorrow. We're closing in on Jack Nicklaus' 18.