Congrats Zach, but Tiger is cool

Congratulations to Zach Johnson for winning the 2007 Masters. It was a gritty performance under the toughest of conditions on golf’s grandest stage. Johnson held off the game’s elite and deserves the utmost respect. And I just gave him his due.It’s been a couple of weeks and I’ve had a chance to let it sink in. I’ll admit, my initial reaction to Johnson winning The Masters was: So What. Outside of the young man’s family and friends, nobody who tuned in to the final round was watching to see Zach Johnson snatch victory in an escape from the depths of obscurity. There is one man we tuned in to watch win. I turned on the TV knowing that Tiger Woods was going to win. I was wrong.

What do I know?

I know that Tiger Woods is the single most marketable, influential and recognizable athlete in the history of the world. Period. He is in pursuit of Jack Nicklaus, and the question is not if he will catch the Golden Bear, but when. Period. And in our current “I want it now” society, the sooner that he gets there the better.

We live in a country that celebrates mediocrity, and worships perfection. And Eldrick is pretty darn close to perfect. Despite what he shows day in and out, golf is not easy.

Now, there’s been a lot of talk in the media about the cover of Sports Illustrated that followed Johnson’s victory at Augusta. The cover showcased Woods breaking his shaft on a tree while laying up on Augusta’s Par 5 13th hole. The question was: “Why not Zach?”

The answer.

It is not “Golf” Illustrated. It is a magazine intended for fans of sports. Not golf. They are trying to sell copies of their magazine, and what better way to do so than to put the Golden Calf of the world of sports on the cover. A casual sports fan would walk by the news stand and see some guy that they have never seen before on the cover and just move on.

I’m sorry Zach. Not to take anything away from your life changing experience, but America just doesn’t care.

Twenty years from now nobody will remember that you won the 2007 Masters. What they will remember is that Tiger Woods hit his second shot into the water on 15 during the final round and fell a couple of shots shy of the winner.

What America will remember is that Tiger passed Nicklaus’ record of 18 major championships x amount of years after that aberration.

Tiger Woods will win at least one major this year. That means he will end the season at least 13 and be only 5 away from Jack.

Woods, with his monumental victory in the 1997 Masters, opened doors for minorities across the globe. Because of him it is no longer a peculiar occurrence for someone of color to be seen on a golf course.

Youths across the world have lost their basketballs and fumbled their footballs in exchange for what once was a stupid stick utilized for smacking a stupid ball.

Golf is cool.

Tiger Woods is cool.

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