The single car crash that put Tiger Woods under a surgeon’s knife and in a trauma unit has been reported everywhere. We have been reminded of his accomplishments on the golf course, of his surgical history, of his previous “single car crash” and of his celebrity status. I think we should take a moment here and remind ourselves to keep some degree of perspective on this event:
- Everyone must be glad to know that Tiger Woods survived the crash. Anyone who does not fall into that category is a monster.
- Everyone must hope – and pray if you will – that he will recover and put his life back together in time.
- No one should give a fig if he ever plays in another PGA golf tournament; if he can walk and play a round of golf with friends – even if he has to use a cart to get around the course – that is a plus.
- The golf media who created his celebrity persona – and then feasted on it to provide that media with “stories” – needs to let this man recover and find the life he wants for himself without 24/7 inspection and intrusion from outside.
Here in Curmudgeon Central, I am very happy to know that Tiger Woods survived that crash. The last thing on my mind now is whether he will “be back” to play in major golf tournaments this year, next year or on the Twelfth of Never.
In addition, I hope the golf media finds a way to do a bit of introspection here. The amount of coverage for this single car crash with severe injuries and zero fatalities is only justified because of the hyper-attention focused on Tiger Woods for about the last 25 years. If you doubt that, compare the coverage here of a single car crash and no fatalities to:
- The Humboldt Broncos’ bush crash a few years ago that killed 16 people.
- The Swift Current Broncos’ bus crash about 30 years ago that killed 4 people.
- The air crash that killed 45 members of the Marshall football team 50 years ago.
- The air crash that killed 14 members of the Wichita State football team about a month before the Marshall air crash.
- The boating accident that killed two Cleveland Indians’ pitchers about 30 years ago.
There is good news here. That good news is that nowhere in this piece need I write the words, “Rest in peace, Tiger Woods”. My hope is that the golf media can find a way to express their sorrow for his pain and to wish him a speedy and full recovery – – and then to find someone else to focus on.
Get well, Tiger Woods…
Switching gears … Spring Training is under way; and while everyone gets ready for the 2021 season to start and everyone hopes that MLB can be as successful at playing a full regular season as was the NFL at the end of 2020, we should be prepared for an avalanche of “cookie cutter stories” emanating from the training camps:
- Grizzled vets have returned to Spring Training n the best shape of their lives hoping to hang on to a spot on the squad that heads North.
- Young players are thrilled to be here; it has been their dream since they were 7-years old; they are just going to give it everything they have got every day and then leave it to the baseball gods.
- Joe Flabeetz lost 15 pounds over the winter hoping to add some speed to his game.
- Sam Glotz gained 15 pounds over the winter hoping to increase his stamina over the course of the long season.
And in that tsunami of tripe, there is an interesting story that has already been reported – – but did not catch on. My suspicion is that it is too complicated – and potentially meaningful – to survive while the tsunami of tripe is going on.
Max Scherzer is more than a dominant pitcher who will have a bust in Cooperstown one of these days. He thinks about baseball and how to make baseball better. Recall that I said about a week ago that something MLB needed was for owners and players to find ways to improve the game for the fans; Max Scherzer has an idea that deserves consideration.
- Scherzer wants to scrap the wildcard games and the division series games and substitute a round-robin tournament in both leagues. The two survivors of the round-robin tournament would play in the World Series.
Scherzer asserts that a round-robin format would be a better way to identify the strongest teams in the playoffs instead of relying on the potential quirkiness of a three-game wild card series. He is probably right; and for me, having the two “best teams” square off in the 7-game World Series is a goal worthy of pursuit. The “problem” here is that a round-robin tournament would take more time than the current system allowing for travel days and the like. However, Scherzer says that there are ways to “trim the regular season” and/or to start earlier in the year to accommodate those couple of “extra days”.
I am not saying this suggestion is a panacea for baseball. However, it provides two things baseball needs desperately:
- New ideas to create more fan interest.
- Cooperation between players and owners on ways to make the games better.
Max Scherzer hits both of those points with his idea here; he should be lauded for it and folks should be scrambling to figure out what it might mean for scheduling and for the presentation of the playoffs to the public. It will be interesting to see if the idea gains any traction…
Finally, since I began today with an item related to golf, let me close with this comment about golf from three-time Masters’ Champion, Jimmy Demaret:
“Golf and sex are about the only things you can enjoy without being good at them.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………