Greater than 90 % chance
75 to 90 % chance
50 to 75 % chance
25 to 50 % chance
10 to 25 % chance
Less than 10 % chance
Tiger has a 2 stroke lead heading into the weekend at the PGA Championship. I say he has a better than 90% chance of winning this year's last Major.
United States Navy (Retired)
A) The best golfer in history
B) The best putter in history
C) The best front runner in history
D) All of the above
Ozzie, your paradigm of optimism!
Go To Hell carolina, Go To Hell!
9F 9F 9F
54 holes are in the book and Tiger has a 3 stroke lead. I'm feeling really confident in my 90% chance vote!
United States Navy (Retired)
Here is a question-- people generally root for the underdog in sports. We love Villanova, George Mason, NC State, and John Daly and the such. Usually, after an initial period of admiration, we being to tire of dynasties like the Yankees, Duke basketball, and others. Certainly the Spurs are not universally loved. I know a lot of people who were rooting for Nadal over Federer in the Wimbledon finals last month.
Anyway, what I wonder is-- why does EVERYONE seem to love Tiger? He wins by 6 or 8 strokes and we admire him even more. Sure, folks love to see him challenged by Phil or Sergio or whoever, but we mostly enjoy it so we can see Tiger triumph in the end. It just seems different than most other dominating athletes.
-Jason "anyone have a theory? anyone out there who hates Tiger and wants to see him lose?" Evans
No credible threats on Saturday, Tiger played it safe for the most part and prevented anyone from picking up strokes on him(well except Boo who is still 7 out).
As far as everyone rooting for Tiger, for a long time I didn't. He had gotten too dominant(2000-2002). Now with others presenting more of a challenge to him, it is easier to go back to rooting for him, there is some element of surprise. Though not when he has the lead going into the final day!
There are obvious demographic factors that might impact why people support him. He is the proverbial "underdog" on another level. It never seems to get mentioned about his Filipino half. Being half Asian myself...
Where'd all the Kleenex go?
Golf fans are rooted in admiring great shots and great play. The best players are the most admired. Hagan, Jones, Sarazen, Hogan, Snead, Nelson, Palmer, Nicklaus, Tiger. Players strive to do their best with each shot. They admire those that do the same and Tiger is the best at doing his best.
Jason - you are right that Americans tend to favor the underdog - but that also tends to happen in team sports, not necessarily individual ones. And with individual sports we have always embraced the superstar (people like Jimmy Conners, McEnroe, Nicklaus, etc). But even in team sports the superstar is revered (see Jordan and Gretsky).
Tiger Woods is quite honestly sensational at his ability to exceed at a level nobody has ever seen. Even back with Palmer and Nicklaus, the level of golf wasn't where it is today, and the courses weren't nearly as long. Think about this. Since 1999 Tiger has won about 1 out of 3 tournaments in which he's played (53 total). That....is unbelievable. He's won 11 majors (soon to be 12) and not won 18. Nobody else has won more than 3. He simply dominates everyone. And for those of us who play golf and know how fickle that game is - it is just almost too much to believe.
Also, another example of how he has completely changed the professional sport - in 1997 when he won his first tour tournament - the payout was $400K. In 1998 he won the Masters and the payout was $425K. Today almost every tournament pays at least $900K, most more, and the majors all pay over $1.3M. Call it Tiger inflation.
People don't hate him, because he's too dominant to even consider hating. And everyone is still in awe.
Andre Dawkins: “People ask me if I can still shoot, and I ask them if they can still breathe. That’s kind of the same thing.”
From Wikipedia which quotes various media sources:
This makes Woods himself one-quarter Chinese, one quarter Thai, one quarter African American, one-eighth Native American, and one-eighth Dutch. He refers to his ethnic make-up as Cablinasian (a portmanteau term he coined from Caucasian, Black, American-Indian, and Asian).
I was incorrect no matter what.
Where'd all the Kleenex go?
I posted the following on a blog back in April after the Masters and after Bill Simmons posed essentially the same question in one of his ESPN columns. It is my take on why we root for Tiger Woods:
WHY WE ROOT FOR TIGER WOODS
A few weeks ago, Bill Simmons, a.k.a. The Sports Guy, wondered in his espn.com blog (April 9, 2007) why he found himself rooting for Tiger Woods in the Masters when he was chasing Zach Johnson ... a Cinderella story ... who was about to become ... Masters Champion.
What he was really asking (I believe) is why he was rooting for Tiger, when he (and so many other sports fans) could never bring themselves to root for other consistent winners such as the Yankees, Lakers, Cowboys or Notre Dame - and often have abject hatred for those teams.
I think the answer is twofold. First, Woods is playing an individual sport. He is not playing for a sports franchise with a base of fans that other fans are jealous of and annoyed at because (1) they are sick of hearing from them when their team wins and (2) their team is hogging too much of the spotlight, not to mention too much of the available championships - the old "let someone else win for a change" dynamic.
Second, and I believe this is the much bigger reason why we root for him, from a fan's perspective Tiger Woods has completely transcended the sport to the point that he is no longer really competing in the game at the same level as the other players. Yes he is playing in the same tournaments and technically against the other players in those tournaments. But we are not necessarily rooting for him to beat the other players. We are rooting for him because we, as sports fans, are such suckers for greatness in motion. Greatness in Motion can best be defined as the sixth sports sense that something special is developing before our eyes - it could be a single performace (e.g., Jack Nicklaus' back 9 in the final round of the Masters, John Elway's drive against Cleveland in the 1987 AFC Champtionship game, or the Mets' miraculous comeback in game 6 of the 1986 World Series) or, more rarely, achievement on a career level where a relatively young player stakes his or her claim to be considered among the best to ever play the sport (After last year's NBA Finals, Dwyane Wade was knocking at that door, even louder than LeBron James. It remains to be seen whether the sports gods let him in.) Unfortunately, career level greatnes in motion very often leaves us disappointed and unfulfilled.
That is not the case with Woods. We realize (and have for some time) that something unprecedented on a career level is happening and we want to see how far it can go - how great he can be, how many tournaments he can win, how many tournaments in a row he can win and, most importantly, how many major championships he can claim before he is done.
Isn't that one of the main reasons we watch sports ... because something great might happen or history might be made? Isn't that why when a pitcher carries a perfect game into the 7th inning people watching the game will start calling their friends and telling them to turn on the game ... because every sports fan wants to see greatness in motion or history being made?
With Woods, every time he tees it up in a tournament, something great IS HAPPENING. We have known pretty much since the statement win in the 1997 Masters that Woods is on a mission to break golf's holy grail of records - 18 major championships. And since then it's been 10 years of pretty constant raising of the greatness bar to an unprecedented historic level.
That's why so many of us root for Tiger Woods and why we might even root even harder for him when he's playing in a major. Because the extent of his greatness is always at stake. We not only want to see how far he can go, we want to see it happening as he goes.
Very nice piece. But I find that I tend to root for dynasties quite a bit, Duke being the most obvious one, but also Notre Dame, Tiger, Roger Federer and, to the extent I follow baseball at all, the Yankees. It's partly that I feel Duke, Notre Dame and the Yankees are all classy outfits who conduct themselves in and out of their sport the way that sportsmanlike champions should. As Dick Vitale says, they do things "the right way." Likewise Tiger and, especially, Roger in individual sports.
I pretty much hate "chip on your shoulder" sports figures, which to me make the likes of Gary Williams, John Daly, and hard-core Red Sox fans really unattractive. That rules out a lot of the classic underdogs.
There are exceptions where these values clash. I despised Jimmy Connors, even though he was a dynasty-like champion for a while, and I'm not a Lance Armstrong fan, in both cases because of the chip-on-shoulder thing. And as a Redskins fan, I will never, ever root for the Cowboys and feel about them the way most people on this board feel about UNC.
Which brings me to my "other" favorite basketball team, Georgetown. Today, the Hoyas are a classy bunch who do things the right way. Not champions yet, but great representatives of the game. But, as everyone knows, they were as hated in the 1980s as Duke has been since. They practically defined the chip-on-shoulder thing, antithetical to all I like. But they were "my" team, nonetheless; my second degree is from GU, and they play in my longtime hometown. They were a "family" exception, I guess.
I also think there's another reason I root for champions. I was raised as an only child in a relatively poor family that put a lot of eggs in my basket, so to speak. I have always had a lot of pressure to succeed, at this point self-imposed and not altogether healthy. And I identify psychologically with the pressure on someone who is expected to succeed, and with the immense relief that comes when it happens. I believe (or at last imagine) that's what great sports champions feel.
Last edited by mapei; 08-13-2007 at 10:43 AM. Reason: typos and clarity
Beyond Tiger's immense talents on the golf course his public persona factors heavily into his popularity. In addition to being well schooled in golf somebody (I'd guess his dad) taught him how to behave. He wins graciously and loses the same way. He does not blame outside factors (Sergio Garcia) or make excuses (the Williams sisters, who always have an injury to blame when they lose a tennis match). He conducts himself as a professional 99.9% of the time...other than the occassional club slam, the muttered obscenity...there were one or two 'f' bombs early in his career but not recently...or a snark at some fan's shutter click in mid swing he doesn't carry on. He gets annoyed with himself (what competitor doesn't?) and while he'll celebrate a great shot with the fist pump he doesn't prance around the green in an end zone dance.
He understands that his off course life is under the same microscope as his on course one. You never heard about Tiger getting loaded at some nightclub and dancing on the tables.
Tiger may be an arrogant SOB in 'real life' but if he is he doesn't show it. If Tiger ran around calling himself the greatest golfer ever...or if he expressed false humility I don't think he'd be nearly as popular as he is.
Mapei...gee just when I thought you were OK you turn out to be a Redskins fan...I lived in DC area for 12 years and after the NY Giants (hometown team) the Tampa Bay Bucs (current local team) my favorite team is whoever is playing the Redskins.
Tiger is revered because he is that rarest of sportsmen - the one who is preceded by a ridiculous amount of hype and who then proceeds to surpass it. That he exhibits a high level of class and a profound respect for his forebears and the history of his sport, and enjoys the admiration and friendship of most of his peers only amplifies this reverence. My guess is that he goes down as one of, if the the, most beloved athletes ever.
Not only that, but the hype began when he was but only 2 years old. I remember seeing him on TV in the late 70's with his Dad. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wHkA_983_s Child prodigies are fascinating, even moreso when their success is sustained well into their adult lives. Greatness in motion, as mentioned earlier. A living legend. How can one not be fascinated watching him play.Tiger is revered because he is that rarest of sportsmen - the one who is preceded by a ridiculous amount of hype and who then proceeds to surpass it.