For starters, we all know who J.D. is. He’s a regular Joe (or John) with regular problems … Drinking problem. Uh huh. Gambling? You bet! Women issues? Yes ma’am. J.D. has been through more ups and downs than a 4th Dimension Roller Coaster! Yet, people love to see him out on Tour and if he is in contention, bonus!
Regardless of his sins, John Daly’s fan base is nothing short of loyal, like subjects to their king, unconditional in every sense!
Then there is Tiger. The comments about Tiger showed disdain and an utter lack of respect (for the most part anyway). Why?
One might say it’s a racial issue. I, however, would offer this: people do not like being played. I think many of us felt played when his indiscretions were made public on that famed Thanksgiving in 2009.
Tiger was touted as the golden child from the time we first met him on the Mike Douglas Show in 1978 all the way through his U.S. Junior Am Championships, through Stanford, through his U.S. Am Championships to his wide-eyed, wet-behind-the-ears “Hello World” announcement of turning pro.
As his professional wins mounted, we watched him do the impossible time and again. We were mesmerized by every holed clutch putt, chip in, and impossible flop shot. We crowded around the television, hoping to catch another glimpse of history. We watched as the Major tally climbed closer and closer to Jack’s. He broke down racial barriers. He inspired a growth to the game that had not been seen in years.
Then, the bomb dropped, and they kept coming!
You see, with J.D., we knew what we were getting. He was wild and crazy, a chain-smoking good ole’ boy. We identified with him because he was truly human.
Tiger, on the other hand, was built up to be perfect, almost God like. Remember when Earl told us, “Tiger will do more than any other man in history to change the course of humanity. … He is the Chosen One. He’ll have the power to impact nations. Not people. Nations.”
I am no psychologist, but I think in our collective psyche, the rules change with expectations. With J.D., we know who he is. With Tiger, what we thought we knew turned out to be the opposite, so we feel betrayed and no one likes betrayal.
We all see ourselves in J.D., but the human race needs something or someone like Tiger to set the bar higher. That is how we evolve, grow, and achieve the unachievable. We need his passion, tenacity, and magic back on Tour!
I mean seriously, how much do you miss historical moments like this:
Or clutch moments like this:
Love him or hate him, he brings an excitement to the game not seen since The Golden Bear dominated the Tour. As great as the players are today, no one has the intensity that Tiger delivered for us time and again. So maybe we should change our expectations and remember what it is we truly love/loved about Tiger …