Saturday, December 19, 2009

Woods NOT Athlete of the Decade

I wasn't going to comment on it since it was such a boneheaded decision, but since it is the off-season (no matter how short) and it feels as if I haven't been talking about tennis in awhile, I want to quickly address the Associated Press naming Tiger Woods as "Athlete of the Decade."


Even though I'm an unabashed fan of and therefore insanely biased for Roger Federer, how could they not give it to him or at least have results that were a bit more competitive? Woods ended up with 56 of the 142 votes cast. Lance Armstrong was second with 33 and Federer was only third with with 25. The funny/sad thing is if Federer was American, they would most likely have coronated him "Athlete of the Century" without hesitation. They'd probably throw him a frickin' parade.

The egregiousness of the whole thing is highlighted even more by looking at what they wrote in their article:

For 10 incomparable years, no one ruled a sport like Woods. He won 64 tournaments, including 12 major championships.

That's nice. Federer pretty much ruled tennis this decade, winning 61 tournaments, 15 of which were major championships, a record in his sport. Woods still needs a few to beat the comparable record in golf.

And I haven't even asked the question everyone is afraid to ask which would be is it really appropriate to pick a *golfer* as the *athlete* of the decade? I mean no knock on the entire sport of golf which takes great skill and definitely no disrespect for Woods who is amazingly fit, but tennis is just in a whole other level. It's just so physically grueling and uses so many facets of being a perfect athlete: speed, agility, strength, coordination, endurance, grace, and fortitude.

In summary, they made the wrong choice.



    Tell me how you really feel, hon.
    I totally agree with you. Tiger is certainly best in HIS field, but not the best overall for the decade.

  2. Haha. Thanks Diane. And I'm not even saying that Federer should necessarily get it. But Woods? I'd even take Lance Armstrong or Michael Phelps over Federer. Well not really, but I would've taken it a whole lot better I think.

  3. Gotta disagree here.

    You could make the argument that Tiger has transcended barriers that the others have not. Make your own joke. I'll wait.

    You can play the Race card on Tiger, and the One Nut card (and the whole Livestrong thing, too) on Lance. Federer dominates (something that I can attest to having seen him play live), just as much as the above, but he doesn't have the adversity that either of the others do. Your milage may vary on whether or not that should count for something, but it could explain it. (Let's get Phelps out of the discussion cuz while his acheivement was awesome, swimming, like Figure Skating and Gymnastics, is only relevant once every 4 years.)

    More importantly, Federer gets made to look silly more often than Tiger does, and when it happens to Federer, it's someone else that's making it happen ::cough::Nadal::cough:: as opposed to the weather or the course. If an opponent makes you look silly it's harder to see them as dominating.

    As for golf not requiring any athletic skill...yeah I got nothing. But it's an olympic sport now, so it's acknowledged as having such, even if I don't know what it is. So yeah, Federer would be a fine and valid choice, but not necessarily the only obvious one.

  4. "If an opponent makes you look silly it's harder to see them as dominating."

    But that's pretty much how tennis is right? I mean is there a way for an opponent to make you look silly in golf?

    "You could make the argument that Tiger has transcended barriers that the others have not."

    This is an argument I can buy and stomach much more than Woods' various tournament wins. But then we're getting into semantics here. If the award was called "Sports Figure of the Decade" then yeah, sure. But "Athlete" of the Decade?


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