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Tiger WHO?
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 by Laramie Boyd
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       Do we really need to hear any more opinions or statistics about Eldrick Tont Woods? Like his name was legally changed to Tiger early on in his career. Or that he had a run-in with his ex-wife, Elin Nordegren, that involved a golf club and some blood, upon discovery that he was a "serial cheater." Then there was the time at a skiing awards ceremony for his girlfriend, Lindsey Vonn, when Tiger claimed he lost a tooth due to a media camera hitting him in the mouth, which was contradicted by several bystanders and race officials. Sports Illustrated writer Michael Bamberger wrote that it was here that Tiger remarked that there was a lack of "brown dudes at ski races," whatever that means. I wonder if he meant he'd like to have seen more Latinos skiing, or that he wasn't black, but brown, or what? Is he calling for more "brown dudes," whoever calls themselves that, to take up skiing. Or is it just another of his racist remarks to stir up his already sadly pathetic, turned around life?
       Going back to Tiger's early golfing days, in a press interview he stated that every time he went to a major tournament, he "sensed" that there was racism in the air, like "What are you doing here. You shouldn't be here." Has he now learned that to be treated with dignity and respect, you have to earn it, and not by just hitting a little round white ball into a hole. When asked about his influence on the game of golf, during the interview, and how he might compare with Jack Nicklaus, he said, "Since I'm black, I might even be bigger than him - to the blacks."
       Some who knew Earl Woods say he was a racist. Earl, Tiger's father, stood up at the 1995 U.S. Amateur that Tiger won and announced, "This is for you, Bobby Jones. I hope you're rolling over in your grave, that it's going to a black man's home for another year'" as he held Tiger's trophy high in the air. Mr. Bamberger, who witnessed the match, noticed how ungracious Tiger was, when he barely nodded at the man he had just defeated, and very unappreciative of the golf club where he played and to the United States Golf Association that sponsored the event. When Tiger was asked what one tournament he wanted to win most, he said, "The Masters, for the way the blacks have been treated there. If I win that tournament, that would be really great for us."
       And the 2015 Masters golf tournament is just around the corner. Tiger is not on his game. He is not winning, or even qualifying at times. He is not playing good golf, as his high scores indicate. He has even withdrawn from tournaments lately, for poor play and what he calls medical reasons, And he has said more than once that if he can't play golf at the highest tournament level, he will not play at all. That will not sadden many golf fans, and not because Tiger is black. Being respected is all about character, as Tiger may or may not be adjusting to.      
       Tiger has said he is working on his game. As a past winner of the Masters he has a standing invitation to play at Augusta, for the rest of his life. Sports writers are wondering if he will play this year or not, and some believe that he will never reach his desired level of play that he maintained when he was playing for a "greater cause," his "we showed 'em" attitude exemplified by his father. Now that he has "showed" us, and I gather has nothing more to prove, he is simply playing for himself, and that is a giant step down from playing for racial equality and opportunity at golf courses around the country.