December 8, 2022
Ithaca, NY | 40°F


Why root for Tiger?


You need to know I don’t have control over what is on my television. Ever. It’s just not my choice — the people that flock in here to peasant around decide what to watch. But it makes for a perfect study of the demographic I would assume I’m writing for: College sports fans.

It’s currently 5:45pm and it’s a gigantic day in sports. Kansas and UNC are playing for that last Final Four ticket. But, that’s not what we’re watching. Tiger is wearing red and I have a handful of 20-year-olds in my room avidly watching golf as Woods wraps up a victory in the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

You may think “avidly watching golf” is an oxymoron and I don’t blame you. People have told me when they can’t sleep they throw on the golf channel. I get that. But, the aura surrounding the sport changed the past few years because there was no Tiger in professional golf. People weren’t passionate, weren’t in to it, didn’t care. Why though? What is it about Tiger that compels people so much?

When I posed this question to the sloths that are lingering in my room they did not take me seriously so I can’t give you any investigative research. He is the best golfer of my generation. He is black. He is ripped. He is an off-the-course celebrity. He wears red on Sundays.

He also is an adulterer.

I think it’s that people enjoy watching a prime specimen of the human race hit a white sphere very far. It’s as simple as that. People put off the field issues aside for right or wrong because the pleasure of viewing an athletic performance outweighs the hatred of rooting against someone for wrongdoings. It takes more effort to root against someone.

Regardless, Tiger winning is good for golf. People now care.

Just think — what were you doing last year when Martin Laird won this tournament?