Sunday afternoon right around 2:00 PM on the west coast it was halftime of “America Game Of The Week” on Fox (NFL). It was “America’s Team” The Dallas Cowboys, only regarded the biggest sports brand in the country versus The Seattle Seahawks, However, all eyes were on “America’s Guy” Eldrik “Tiger” Woods as he was closing in on his first PGA tour win since August 2013 and his 80th PGA Tour win.
It was like God knew the timing; as he was approaching the 18th hole, halftime was beginning in the Cowboys vs Seahawks game. All eyes were on Tiger. The same Tiger who grew up right in front of our eyes, who made his first appearance on TV at the age of 2 hitting golf balls on the Mike Douglas show. Here he was at age 42 walking down the 18th to put the end to the drought. Tiger grew up right in front of our eyes. He was a child prodigy, who actually made it, became a household name and then crumbled in front of a nation. We can spare you the whole story, but in case you were living under a rock:
There was the Thanksgiving weekend crash after his wife caught him cheating. Then came the public divorce. Then the rehab for “sex addiction”. The short-lived comeback then the bad back. Then the rock bottom moment of a driving under the influence arrest (for pain killers). Tiger looked like he’d never come back. Multiple surgeries, the reports that he couldn’t even tie his own shoes. It seemed like we saw Tiger grow up, and that was it. We’d never see Tiger again. Then this year we saw something different, a healthy Tiger Woods. A Tiger that competed in multiple majors, to just come up short. The super hero was human. But Sunday, with the best 30 golfers in the world competing, Tiger won. Tiger is back.
The point of this piece is not to just highlight that Tiger is back. We know this now. But to highlight that sports is supposed to be the great uniting force in America. However, in recent years sports has not been a uniting force it has been a huge divide in our country. With the beginning of National Anthem kneels started by Colin Kaepernick and the NFL, to multiple NBA stars like LeBron James and Kevin Durant speaking out against President Trump we have seen what once was an escape in America (Sports) has become a place a never ending area of debate between a mix of sports and politics. Tiger has decided to do the opposite.
A month ago Tiger was asked about his thoughts on President Trump and decided to go with the most politically correct answer you could go with:
Well, I’ve known Donald for a number of years,” Woods, 42, said. “We’ve played golf together. We’ve had dinner together. I’ve known him pre-presidency and obviously during his presidency.”
Many hated his answer and criticized Tiger. They even questioned his “blackhood” and is inclusion in the African American race. Tiger did not seem to care. And frankly, America did not seem to care neither. In our new spots world where it seems that sports and politics have come to a crossroad, Tiger decided to go with the opposite and stuck to sports and stuck to golf. And that is partly the reason why on Sunday with all America watching no one seemed to be rooting against Tiger Woods. Whether you were white, black, republican or democrat on Sunday you were just a Tiger fan. There was no discussion on politics and in America where we have become divided even in sports, Tiger became the great uniting force. See in America we are the masters of building people up and tearing them down and then rooting for them in their redemption story. And that was Tiger Sunday, the great redemption story. It’s the American dream. It was something out of a movie script. As Tiger sunk his par putt on 18th for a brief moment we forgot politics, we forgot race, we forgot everything except for one thing, we didn’t forget Tiger. And we didn’t forget sports. Tiger is the great uniting force in a nation divided.
Tiger, Tiger Woods Y’all.