There’s nothing in America like a comeback. Especially from the depths of public failure. In this country, we love to see people get knocked down when they deserve it — and then we cheer for them to climb their way back up the mountain.
Muhammad Ali, Bill Clinton, Richard Pryor, Elvis Presley, Michael Jordan, Sinatra, Robert Downey, Jr., etc., etc.
And there’s nothing like watching the drama unfold in real time. Will that happen today?
Even when Tiger Woods was at the top of his game and winning majors, I didn’t like him. I loved WATCHING him. But I didn’t like him. I thought he was a dour, whiney complainer of a champion. Not much personality. Screwing around on his wife. Unfriendly toward people in pro-ams. But it was thrilling to watch such an excellent athlete performing at that level in my favorite sport.
When he fell from grace, I thought he deserved it. My, how we can get high and mighty at times — forgetting ourselves.
In the 10 years since Tiger’s car accident and confession of all his problems, I imagine he’s done a great deal of growing. I think about the last 10 years of my life, and I know I have. Am. It’s a process that doesn’t end until your life does.
Tiger is at this moment tied for the lead in the British Open and on the 9th hole. That last sentence in and of itself is amazing.
Tiger is 42 years old, playing against stallions in their 20’s and early 30’s. He’s physically stronger than almost all of them, but his body has been through a meat grinder. FIFTEEN surgeries. Shoulder, back, knees, neck. More.
Now when I watch Tiger, I’m not just thrilled by watching him — I’m ROOTING FOR HIM. Everyone is. It’s a comeback story that most people thought could never happen. He didn’t have the “mental strength.” He didn’t have the “physical strength.” He was “too old.” Blah, blah.
I thought he could, even if it was unlikely. He’s the most intense and mentally strong player who’s EVER played.
Never count out a human being. Out of anything. If he or she wants it enough, it is possible.
Tiger smiles a bit more now. Gives better interviews. Shakes more hands along the rope line. He probably has a better idea of what he means to the fans and to the game.
Nine holes to go. I won’t step away from the television today, not for a minute.
I want to see every single second of this historic comeback.
Just do it.