Tiger Woods will someday become, the greatest 30-for-30 ever produced. This is not even an argument. Sure, the “OJ Made in America” documentary was a spectacular award winning opus. But it was a crime and race and society piece.
OJ did ONE thing that was “holy shit, I can’t believe it!” for an ex-athlete: he murdered his ex-wife in a jealous rage. And he got away with it. Good story.
Tiger Woods however, became the most popular athlete in the world almost overnight, dominated his sport like nobody has ever done, and then just 20 years later… he was basically done.
The Tiger Woods 30-for-30 is the MOTHER of all “What if I told you…” set up lines. Because with everything that happened since that magical week in April of 1997, it really is an unending string of surreal and unbelievable moments and episodes.
Watch this excellent piece by the Golf Channel about that ’97 Masters. Note the awesome speed and stability of his swing. Compare it to the lumbering position obsessed move of the previous year’s champ, Nick Faldo. It was like Tiger brought a Ferrari to street race full of 70’s muscle cars.
Notice the shellshocked looks on the faces of guys like Monty and Zinger.
Remember the smiles for Tiger that came so easily then, and the joy the game brought to him. It’s gone. All gone. And he’s just 41, while guys like Phil are more than dangerous still deep into their mid-40’s.
The highs were so incredible. He hit shots nobody else could. When he was on, he bulldozed the field. When he was just okay, he won because of how clutch he was in the moment. He flew every bunker and cut every corner in the world off the tee, banked in rollercoaster chip shots under the most crushing of pressure, made putts in the dark, hobbled on one broken leg for 90 holes to win the US Open.
He didn’t move the needle, he WAS the needle.
But what if I told you….
About the sleazy affairs with skanks named – appropriately enough – Jamie Grubbs?
About the insanely awkward and humiliating blue-curtain apology statement that accomplished nothing in terms of changing his now ruined public image?
About his genuinely delusional attempt to become a Navy Seal at age 31? A obsession that helped trash his body, and distract him from what was supposed to be a laser-like focus on summiting Mt. Nicklaus with 19 majors.
And what if people talked honestly about how much of what he accomplished was likely a steroid and/or HGH fueled lie?
Indeed, “what if I told you…” back then in April of 1997 that ALL OF THAT, and much more… would happen? And what if I told you, that he’d be done before he could enjoy the 20th anniversary of his epic win at Augusta?
If I told you all of that, you’d tell me to “fuck off” and then walk away. And yet, it was and is, all too real. And still too hard to get your head around.