Its Time to Quit

It’s time to leave them alone, we’re not in there shoes and haven’t lived the life that they have, so who are we to criticize? Have I done this before, you bet your sweet ass I have. I do it all the time, especially with a select few athletes. Sure its easy to sit behind a computer screen or a TV, and bitch about how players don’t do this or don’t do that, or how they handled a certain situation. What people need to do, not only in sports but in everyday life, is look at the positive things they do.

Was the way LeBron James handled his free agency departure from the Cavs wrong? In a way yes and no. People forget about the fact that he raised 2.5 million dollars for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Anytime this is brought up I am quick to respond with that fact. Being a huge LeBron fan this is always something that I love debating. Why? Because I am able to see both sides. I do not agree with how he handled it and it completely changed his game for a entire season. He could’ve handled the situation differently,  but in the end he raised a ton of money for a great organization.

The most talked about pro athlete in all of sports, a crazed trend is named after him and numerous rumors off the field criticizing his lifestyle. If you haven’t guessed who it is, it is none other than Timothy Richard Tebow. Do I think he is a great quarterback. Hell no. Do I think he is a great football player? Yes. The guy knows the game, he knows how to play it and he knows how to win football games. He is one of the best athletes to have as a role model. He puts his heart and soul into every down, every quarter, every game. Sure, he isn’t the best quarterback in the NFL and the stats prove it, however, the guy wins football games and is a tremendous human being. Just because the man states his religion and how he talks about God pisses people off but he should not draw criticism because of them. Everyone is entitled to the right guaranteed by the first amendment, free speech that is. Next time you want to criticize him or his lifestyle think about this, would you rather have a guy like Tebow on your team and the face of your franchise or a guy like Charles Rogers. I’m pretty sure everyone would take Tebow. Its not a great comparison, but it gets the point a crossed.

The situation that has pissed me off the most in recently in sports is really one that hits hard and brings out the ugliness that is still around in 2012. I’m a little late in response to the situation, but it goes hand in hand with this. When Joel Ward scored the game winning goal for the Capitals in game 7 against Boston, Twitter absolutely erupted with racial tweets directed at him. Ward being one of the select few African-American hockey players in the NHL, I think made that goal that much more special. I mean think about it, hockey is a sport predominately played by white athletes and only a handful of African-Americans. This is one of those situations where kids can look at Ward and think, “Hey, if he can play in the NHL. Why can’t I do it too”. The fact that Twitter erupted like that really made me realize that people are so accustomed the status quo, that one minor change can have a huge impact. Think about it, if a white player scored that goal, its just another game winning goal, but when a African-American scores, its like it’s the end of the world. There is no room for this in sports or the world. Period.

Finally, probably the most scrutinized athlete in recent years, Eldrick Tont “Tiger” Woods. By no means am I condoning what he did, but I mean come on, he made a mistake, and he admitted it. Now leave the man alone and let him get back to living a “normal” life. Everyone is quick to judge, especially when it comes to him. Sure, his golf game hasn’t been the same since the incident happened, but let me ask this: Have you ever played golf? Do you know what it takes to actually get out on the course and shoot what he shoots? I can tell you one thing, I sure as hell can’t. I love the game of golf and I root for Tiger in any tournament that he plays in, but I will never criticize anything he does on the course. Unless you are a swing coach or a golf pro, no one has any room to talk. He made a mistake, a big mistake, but he is human just like the rest of us. People forget that when looking at any celebrity or athlete. Also, if you are an avid golf fan and hate Tiger, think about this: Where would golf be without Tiger Woods? I can answer that for you, it sure as hell wouldn’t be as popular as it is today.

In closing, I will leave all you fantastic readers with one last thing. If you were in any athletes shoes, do you think that you would be able to handle all the baggage that comes along with it? If the answer is yes, well then I applaud you. If you are on the fence or say no, well then think about this the next time you criticize a professional athlete.

You stay classy……………..readers.

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Author: Zachary Tanton

What should we take away from Tiger’s win at Bay Hill?

Regardless of World Ranking, Tiger is currently the best golfer in the world – Tiger’s convincing win at Bay Hill catapulted him to #6 in the Official World Golf Rankings. Why don’t we take a look at whose ahead of him, eh?

  • #5, Steve Stricker – Mr. Consistency in the golf world, Stricker always seems to be in the top-30 on the leader-board on Saturdays and Sundays. Wait a minute, though…how many majors has he won? That’s right, a whopping ZERO.
    Comparison: Tiger >>> Stricker.
  • #4, Martin Kaymer – Hailing from Dusseldorf, this determined German came onto the golf scene strong in 2010, winning the PGA Championship and finishing top-10 in the U.S. and British Opens. However, since his big win at Whistling Straits, Kaymer has failed to get into the win column in a PGA Tour sanctioned event.
    Comparison: Tiger >> Kaymer.
  • #3, Lee Westwood – I’m just gonna get this off my chest right away – I HATE LEE WESTWOOD. However, I’ll do my best to ignore my biases and render a fair judgment of this doucher; he can sure play some golf. He’s in the same boat as Stricker, having never won a major championship. However, he’s come tantalizingly close to winning all four. Westwood is playing some good golf this year, and he’s had success at Augusta before. If you tell me that Tiger doesn’t win The Masters this year, I’ll put my money here.
    Comparison: Tiger ≥ Westwood.
  • #2, Rory McIlroy – I envy him, but it has nothing to do with his golf skills. I think maybe it has something more to do with Caroline Wozniacki being his current flame. I mean, come on, really??
    This guy:   is with
    this girl: 
    Either he’s got a lot of confidence in himself, or he’s packin’.  For the sake of speculation, I’ll assume it’s more the former. On a serious note, this kid has the chance to be a new generation’s Tiger by dominating golf for years to come, and he believes he can do it; I’m not sold yet. 
    Comparison
    : Tiger > McIlroy.
  •  #1, Luke Donald – Is anyone really impressed with this guy? Whenever I watch him play, I find myself wondering how the World Golf Rankings operate, considering they have this man ranked as the best golfer in the world. You show me Luke Donald, and I’ll show you the least intimidating top-20 golfer on tour.
    Comparison: Tiger >> Donald.

The switch to Sean Foley has finally paid off – Anyone else think that it’s ironic that Tiger’s first win on tour since that fateful day in November came on the release week of the book on his own downfall? The name of the book is “The Big Miss,” by former swing coach Hank Haney. I think “The Big Miss” is what Haney is feeling now that Woods demonstrated he is going to be successful in resuscitating his golf career. Tiger’s ball-striking consistency has improved under Foley’s tutelage; it just took him a while to get his putter working. Now he’s put it all together, and the golf world is taking notice. That offers a wonderful segue into the fact that….

Tiger is still intimidating on Sundays – Let’s not kid ourselves; Tiger’s play during the weekend at Bay Hill wasn’t exactly awe-inspiring. He shot a 1-under 71 on Saturday and 2-under 70 on Sunday, carding 5 bogeys in comparison to the whopping 1 bogey he had between Thursday and Friday. I think the more important observation to take away from the weekend is that golfers on tour are still very much intimidated when Tiger heads into Day 4 atop the leaderboard. What big names were in contention going into Sunday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational? How’d they score? Let’s take a look: Graeme McDowell (+2, 74), Ian Poulter (+2, 74), Bubba Watson (E, 72) and Ernie Els (+3, 75). That’s right, ladies and gentleman, the big name players all crumbled under the pressure that emanates from Eldrick’s aura. Tiger is back to stay, and the new odds-on favorite to win at Augusta in April. The rest of the players on tour better grow some cojones if they want to go head-to-head with him in a Sunday duel.

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Author: Joe Cook