A funny thing happened on Friday night at about 7:05 p.m. as I bounded out of work for the weekend. I should have been flying, but instead, a hard-to-pinpoint uneasiness sat in my gut.
Like most everybody on the planet, I should have at “peak happiness” for the week, knowing I could stay up late, drink several mixed beverages of my liking, binge-watch back episodes of “Deadliest Catch” and then wake up at the gentlemanly hour of say, 8:30 a.m.
(NOTE: I no longer have the ability to “take it deep” as teenagers do, sleeping in until 11:30 or even noon. A condition of getting old, no doubt, and over a decade of a morning radio time slot of 6 a.m.)
Instead, something was gnawing at me. What the HELL, I thought, over and over?
Then it dawned on me: Tiger Woods was streaking like a comet to the top of the leaderboard in Greensboro, and might just WIN THE DAMN TOURNAMENT.
Yep. W-I-N. With THAT stupid post on my stupid blog, sitting right there above this, having proclaimed he would “never win again.” Oh boy. Could THAT be what was gnawing at me? Actually, it was. How utterly stupid.
Rooting for a particular team in sports – any team, any sport – is perhaps the dumbest voluntary activity in the world. Sports, by nature, means your team will NOT be able to claim championship glory about 99% of the time. (96% if you are a Patriots fan). But people still do it.
As a radio host, I find myself more often than not rooting for my opinions. As the court jesters of the sports universe, we are paid for our opinions, and they MUST be rendered in advance. Preferably, with authority, volume, or both. That is, unless you are one prominent host at a prominent network, who works with a gentleman of the same given name, who has a habit of saying “Well, we’ll have to see how this plays out.”
Of course. Thanks for that. Wouldn’t it be nice to just read a few scores, then fall back on the “lets see it play out” porch of non-predictoration.
So you put your bold predictions out there on the air, or in digital print, and root for them. Root, root, fucking ROOT for those opinions like Bob Costas once rooted for Mickey Mantle. Because nobody likes to be wrong. Or look stupid. Or have your own pile of DUH shoved back in your face by contradictory events.
In reality, I don’t care if Tiger wins this weekend or not. I don’t really hate him, or hold any moralistic grudge about his Perkins philandering. Yeah, he can be a delusional douche, but he’s now at least treating the public with some semblance of grace and class. He signs more autographs. He tolerates the media much better. He is playing events he normally never does (the par-3 contest at the Masters, Wyndham).
Sure, I think much of this change was born out of the fact he can’t dominate anymore. But give him credit where it’s due.
So excuse me when I root for Jason Gore today, or any of the other 9 guys within a shot of Woods. It’s not personal. It’s just my opinion I’m rooting for. That way, if Woods loses in a frantic 4-way playoff, because somebody holes out a shot from the bunker, I can still report to work Monday and say smugly: “See. Told ya.”
Then I’ll have a few months to figure out if I can disavow a possible Tiger win at his 17-man charity event this fall, the Hero World Challenge, and still hold on to my prediction.