Is Rick Reilly Only a Tiger Fan?

Rick Reilly posted a video on Sports Illustrated yesterday that discussed how the throne in golf is wide open for the taking at the moment.  He ran through all of the viable contenders that could theoretically take up the throne that Tiger has vacated.  Guess what his conclusion was?  You guessed it, the only person able to take the throne back is Tiger himself.

Golf has never had someone dominate it the way Tiger has and no one can knows if we will see a dominating force like him again.  The same thing can be said for the NBA and Michael Jordan.  When Jordan left the NBA the throne was wide open and guess what?  No one took the throne the way Jordan did.  Yes, great players have come along like Kobe and company, but none are quite Jordan.  This is the same thing that is going on with Tiger.  If Tiger walked away from golf tomorrow the game would not crumble like some have suggested.  It would simply mean the end of an era.  Just like the Jordan Era ended the Tiger Era would come to a close.  Just like the Hogan Era, Palmer/Nicklaus Era and so on.

No one wants to see that happen, but Reilly quickly discounts the promise and ability of a lot of quality golfers.  I understand that Reilly is making a bold statement that the only person that can be the next Tiger is Tiger, but that is a very narrow view of the game of golf.  He is basically saying that everyone who has accomplished anything on the PGA Tour this year isn’t that great because they aren’t dominating like Tiger dominated.  How were golfers measured before we knew what Tiger dominance looked like?  Don’t you think it looked a little bit different?  We, as viewers and fans, might need to take a step back and re-evaluate how we view success in golf in the new post Tiger Era.

I for one have enjoyed the revolving door of winners this season on the PGA Tour.  It reminds me that golf is a sport that gives hundreds of players a chance to win every weekend.  Not many other sports can say that.  It also makes me tune in to see who is going to step up on any given weekend.  I won’t deny that Tiger brings something special to a weekend, especially when he is in contention.  On the flip side, Tiger is not the end all be all of golf and I don’t understand why people like Rick Reilly don’t embrace the changing of the guard more.  He is a fan of the game, yet he sounds like the world of golf was boring before Tiger got here and will be boring after he leaves.  Tiger is amazing and what he did we may never see again, but a true fan of golf would still appreciate the accomplishments of those out on the Tour winning right now.

I am a fan of Golf not just a fan of Golf with Tiger.  I think many people need to make that distinction for themselves as well.

If you want to watch Reilly’s video you can check it out here.  Golf’s Empty Throne

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