Phil Mickelson: A True Champion

Phil
I've been what you would call a tad ticked off over the whole Tiger Woods story. While the man may be the most talented golfer in the world, he's not the best golfer in the world. There's a difference. If you say want to watch a robot hit a ball far and in the cup than that's up to you. I'd stop watching golf if that was the entirety of the sport. And at this stage, the people rooting for Tiger basically say they just want to see swinging motions and fist-pumps.

To me, the personalities matter. And that's why Sunday's win by Phil Mickeleon was so enthralling.

While you have the Tiger scandal going — as gross a cheating husband tale that’s ever been told — you have what the Mickelson family is going through. It is the exact opposite, a man winning the most prestigious tournament in golf while his wife is sick with cancer.

Now, some folks say sports shouldn’t focus on personal lives and even personalities. Really? I think that’s naive. Why do you hate or like Peyton Manning? Because if you just care about stats, the guy should be the most loved quarterback of his generation.

If it weren’t for his turns in funny ads or SNL you’d probably like him less. I know that’s the case for me.

My main beef is with the sports media’s coverage of Tiger’s return. They are purposely taking the stance of “it’s about the game nothing else,” it is one sided because their livelihoods depend on whether Tiger plays at all and boosts ratings. Even Mike & Mike on ESPN 1000 this morning were taking that approach, while I think most folks are like me and one e-mailer to the show saying their young kids were booing Tiger and that the wife now hates Tiger. If that hadn’t been mentioned I don’t think Greenberg would’ve even brought up the fact that his own wife has switched sides to anti-Tiger. Duh!

And what husband or father wouldn’t do the same?  

While many sports stars have cheated on their wives, there is something radical about how he did it that is still being under-reported. I guess today you need to arrange these things to filter out loonies who might tell all, but I guess all that added security didn’t help out in the end, did it?

That has been the main factor of my distaste for the whole thing.

There’s one other factor. There is a choice for fans. You don’t have to stick by Tiger because he’s the best. Clearly on Sunday he wasn’t and the best man did win.