Sunday, August 12, 2007

Tiger does it again

Tiger Woods just won the PGA Championship today. He has 13 major titles, just five behind the Golden Bear, Jack Nicklaus. Woods is barely 10 years in to his professional career, Nicklaus won 18 major titles over 25 years. With all due respect to Jack, his days of being known as the best are coming to an end.
I think Tiger is on a trajectory to become the greatest athlete of the modern era. For the sake of discussion, thinking about the past 10 years, who has been a better athlete than Tiger Woods? Lance Armstrong is surely worth noting. Roger Federer is no slouch. Do they touch Tiger? I don't think so. Who does?
What do you think?


Jeremy Morgan said...

I think Tiger is the best total package. Some others that would be on my honorable mention list are LaDainain Tomlinson and even though it will get boos and hisses from some... Chuck Liddell. That man is a machine and a consummate athlete.

AJF said...

Ah yes, Tomlinson. Definite contender. Still going.

Chuck Liddell scares me.

William Perry Guilkey said...

How about "Baseball's Reigning Homerun King" Barry Bonds? Just kidding.

M. Jay Bennett said...

Tiger is amazing.

Qayaq said...

Tiger and Lance are both great. They are both the best in their fields. They both have revolitionized their respective sports, bringing everyone else that plays the game up several notchs. No one will match their records for a long time.
I am a fan of both these athletes and sports as these are individual endeavors. You need more bloggs about these type sports.

Frontier Forest said...

Sure like to know where Tiger stands in his relationship with Christ? Anyone know? I have heard that Lance Armstrong is an atheist. And by some of his life style decisions, wouldn't doubt it.
Tiger has remained above reproach and even in his younger years, refused to let his fame go to his head. What an outstanding roll model for sure! When you see this class guy receive an award, you just can’t help but feel good about being an American!

rgmann said...

Jeremy, Chuck Liddell is no doubt a great athlete, but what about Randy Couture? He's 44 years old and the current heavyweight champ! At 42, that seems absolutely amazing to me. I’ve got him beating Gonzaga on the 25th too!

Golf and bicycling is something you do on a leisurely Saturday afternoon. Mixed Martial Arts…now that’s a real sport!

AJF said...

I'm sure Lidell or Couture could pound the crud out of Tiger, Lance, and the rest...

Man, I can't believe we're now in an era that views "mixed martial arts" (a.k.a- orderly street fighting with no weapons) as mainstream.

No doubt- those dudes are studs. I doubt any could stay on top for 10 years though.

jeremy morgan said...

I think MMA is more or less the bare essence of sport. The goal of sport is essentially to beat another individual or group of individuals through exhibiting superior athleticism. (which, by the way, is why NASCAR is NOT a sport) but anyway, the history of sport is largely about contests that replicate some sort of warrior qualities in a more sterile environment. Granted, that doesn't explain golf, but most team sports and track and field events would fit. If there's any truth to that definition then MMA is pretty close to pure sport, right? And yes rgmann, Couture is unbelievable. So is Royce Gracie. Regarding being on top, Ken Shamrock has been an animal since the early 90's and he only recently lost some shine against Tito Ortiz who was 10 years younger and who has also been fighting for over 10 years now and he's probably at the top of his game. I am suprised at how well these guys hold up over time. Unlike football, many of these guys don't hit their prime until their 30's. I think it has to do with their conditioning style. Most do body weight calisthenics and don't isolate muscle groups like many athletes do. This results in less injury and joint breakdown. They're all superb athletes though.

Qayaq said...

I don't think it is right to compare people of different sports with each other to see who is the best. They all perform different tasks. Lance can't play golf as well as Tiger, likewise, Tiger can't ride a bike fast and furiously over mountains and neither could probably fight their way out of a wet paper sack. Each requires a different set of skills and abilities. There is no way to say one person is the best overall athlete because they all have different emphasis'.
The IronMan triathlon was started for this very purpose, to see who was the best at swimming, running and biking, but even the person who wins this still could not race to a winning finish in the Pyrenes or beat Tiger at golf or be the best fighter. They are each the best in their respective fields.

GUNNY said...

I'll be the first to admit that golf does absolutely nothing for me.

In fact, it's about as exciting to me as hockey was to pre-1993 Gun or soccer was to pre-1998 Gun.

In other words, I have no bias in favor of a "golfer" as far as athletic domination.

That being said, Tiger's dominated in a way that can't be denied. What I wonder, however, is about the competition. I seem to recall back in the day hearing about Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Arnold Palmer, Sevie Ballasteros, and a bunch of other spares whose names golf people would probably recognize.

Now, it "seems" there is Tiger and a bunch of bench warmers.

If that's the case, it's not as hard to dominate when the competition is not as good.

For example, I'm one who argues that the 90s NBA did not have the quality of competitive teams that the 80s NBA did. As such, Magic Johnson winning 5 rings (while going to the finals 9 of his possible 12 years) is more impressive that Jordan going to the final 6 times in his career, though he won all 6.

(What I'd really like to do is put the greatness of this man in perspective.)

Jordan didn't have to face Bird, McHale, Parrish, DJ, and Ainge in their prime in the finals. Remember, Jordan didn't even make it to the finals until '91, for they couldn't beat the Pistons or Celtics prior.

I said all that to say this, I'm thinking either Tiger or Armstrong get the nod. I'm inclined to think Tiger, because in my ignorance I'm guess Tiger plays a lot more golf than Lance cycled. By that, I mean Lance is a stud because he won 7 races. But, Tiger won 13 biggies (out of how many possible?).

I don't know. Maybe I'm wrong. If Tiger's the best golfer on the planet, shouldn't he win more than just over 1 tournament per year? Doesn't he play in a few others as well? What percentage of the tournments he's in does he win? I think I might need more of that stat to support my assertion of Tiger being the primary dominator.

Also, though not athletes, was there some NASCAR dude who won a lot?

I watched Cars with my boy this weekend. The King (a likeness to Richard Petty, using his voice as well) had won the Piston Cup like 93 times. That's domination. Any resemblance to real life?

What about Triple H? He's been pretty dominant the past 10 years, including the time off due to injury.

malcolm said...

Since everyone seems to think that Tiger breaking Jack's record is a given, as do I, I would have to put Edwin Moses' name in the hat. His focus, discipline, athleticism and his total dominance for an extended period of time make him the most logial comparison. He just stopmped on everybody's neck. Woody, to your point, Tiger would probably be said to be a Bhudist since his mother is of Vietnamese and Cambodia descent. I have often thought what a great spokesman for Christ he would be with the world wide reach he has. Something to pray for.

AJF said...

For the record, Tiger wins close to 40% of the tournaments he enters. He ONLY wins 1-3 MAJORS a year, but several other tourneys each year.

This is a staggering winning percentage.