Monday, October 02, 2006

Tiger Woods, Bandwagon Fan?

Let me just get this out there up front, I am a Tiger Woods fan and will always be one, but, as a sports fan I question his sports "fandom." Recently, Tiger has been spotted supporting some high profile athletes and teams. He was seen in Roger Federer's tennis box at the U.S. Open, while Federer was battling American Andy Roddick. Tiger was also the personal guest of Andriy Shevchenko at a recent Chelsea soccer match. Both Chelsea and Federer are teams/athletes at the pinnacle of their respective sports. Federer has 9 of 12 grand slam events and Chelsea has won the last two Premiership titles. Frankly, I don't think Tiger is a big fan of tennis and certainly not soccer after his recent comments and being seen at these events opens him to criticism as bandwagon fan. Ultimately, I think Tiger's ability to be a sports fan is a result of his personal make-up and he may not be able to help it, but it is subject to criticism. (Although, I will allow that Tiger could say he has always been a fan but I would skeptical.) Let me explain.

First, Tiger is one of, if not the, greatest golfers of all time and one of the most talented athletes ever. If he is not already deserving, Tiger will soon be in the pantheon of all-time greats where his peers will be Jordan, Ali, Nicklaus and others. Because of this, Tiger might have difficulty being a fan of anybody who is not at the pinnacle of performance in their sports.

Second, during his career Tiger has proven himself to be the ultimate frontrunner. He always wins the majors with a 54-hole lead. In spite of, or maybe because of, this, he hasn't demonstrated the ability to come from behind to win any of these and he wins most of his other events by going into the final round with a share of the lead. Woods' outstanding abililty always puts him out front and he probably can't relate to teams/athletes that come from behind, he just doesn't do that.

Now, Tiger can support whomever he pleases but his "fandom" seems to be front-runners and established superstars/powers. I would bet good money that Tiger is a Yankees, Lakers, Heat, or any other perennial or current power in a sport. I can just see Tiger, two years ago, doffing a Red Sox cap and being a bandwagon fan so many despise. I'd just like to see Tiger select a rooting interest where winning or greatness is occasional and not the norm. Maybe he can't fight his tendencies but it would be easier to relate to him if he did.

16 comments:

Jon said...

Tiger's a Stanford fan. 0-5 and counting...

Bob Sherron said...

Federer is sponsored by Nike, so that one's easy.

Shevchenko used to sport Mizuno boots, but now wears Reebok as part of Chelsea's new dead with addidas. Recent reports have surfaced (http://www.footy-boots.com/shevchenko-in-new-football-boots/) that Andriy may be searching for a new boot sponsor. Perhaps that's why Tiger was at Stamford Bridge recently?

When in doubt, follow the $$$.

Anonymous said...

I remember when Tiger Woods was courtside at the Stanford basketball game when they were undefeated and number one in the country. Haven't seen him back since.

Anonymous said...

and I really promise I'm not saying this to be an ass (I so love it when other people start like that), but who really cares who or what Tiger roots for?

I care about Tiger because of what he does on the course, *that* is what is amazing about him. I understand folks are also generally interested in his personal life because of who he is, the possible GOAT, but still I can't see how that carries far enough for anyone to actually give a good galdarn whether he likes the Bucks or the Hornets...

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