Fuck Max Kellerman.
First off, I will admit straight up that I didn’t read the article by Dan Lyons about some stupid shit ESPN’s Max Kellerman’s said during some podcast. I’m pretty sure Kellerman’s just using a Tiger sound bite to generate likes or listenes and to sound relevant enough for ESPN to keep paying him. Lyon is probably using the key words “Tiger Woods” as a click bait lure covered in juicy debatable sour cheese in order to drive his numbers up. I admit that I would probably do that too if I had numbers to drive up, but I don’t.
I read his title for the article and that just started me running downhill. I didn’t need to know more about Max or Don or the article to know that what I wanted Max to know was that he was a flea on an elephant’s ass and his thoughts about Tiger and Tiger’s status as an elite athlete matter to nobody but Max. (I assume the same goes for my opinion about Max. I’m more of a nobody than Max could ever be. He’s at least got a byline. Me, I’ve got a blog that a few hundred people a year look at and I’m pretty sure most of them are bots.)
Anyway, back to our theme. An article titled “Max Kellerman Argues Tiger Woods Is Not An ‘Elite Athlete’”
Tiger Woods is the only interesting thing that ever happens in golf.
Even with all of the new age super fit muscly twenty something kids raised in rich enclaves around the world matriculating from golf academies and now playing a “version” of Tiger Golf (but never reaching his level of intensity, success or domination), nothing fun, exciting or WATCHABLE ever happens in professional golf unless and until Tiger shows up.
Just look at his ratings if you doubt his importance. When he’s playing, they ratings always better. When he’s not, they are always worse. When he’s playing, people, mostly men, go to the driving range and the public courses in bigger numbers, buy more golf stuff and generally are more golffy. It’s a direct correlation. It’s like when the Women’s National Soccer Team wins another world cup, enrollment in girls soccer goes way way up and then over the next four years goes back down. It’s because they win. They’re exciting. They’re dominant. They’re historic and heroic. Frankly, they are watchable. Just like Tiger.
Note: In the above scenario, the Men’s National Soccer Team is Rory McIlroy – He’s a good looking kid and we all like him and we want him to do well and we can hope for good things for him, but time after time, it’s been a little disappointing and sooner or later we figure it’s just not going to happen and start to wonder how he get’s paid for that.
Why do you think Networks and sports companies and insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies around the world want to show a round of golf with Tiger playing and will pay extra when he’s there?. Because win lose or draw, there’s something about him that is so eminently watchable. Eyeballs get sticky when Tiger is on the screen.
I just googled the Top Ten Golfers in the World and got a “Who’s Who” of “Who’s that? “
Jordan Spieth is 45th for god’s sake and Brooks Koepka is like 58th. I’ve at least heard of them. No wonder I fall asleep when golf is on,.. well that and a full belly and comfy couch. But I stay awake for Tiger. I’m there for Tiger. To see him win. To see him fail. To see him rise or fall. I’m fuckin there.
My brother in law, I think is a Phil Michelson guy. I’m ok with Phil, but honestly, if it ain’t Tiger, I got other things to do.
Yeah, so I just read the article about the interview/comments (I felt like I should) and the argument he makes is essential that Tiger Woods isn’t a linebacker or an Olympic sprinter. His impression of an elite athlete is that of a very fast or very strong person that can crush a quarterback or a baseball or a world record time. I think the problem is that Kellerman doesn’t think of golf as an athletic event. The fat bellies he plays with and the duffers he’s known his entire life reinforce that concept. Golf is athletic, at the pro level, even if they’ve had guys named “the Walrus” playing the game. There are fat guys in lots of sports… sports in which being fat can be an advantage. Sports at which those “fat” guys are at the pinnacle; the elite level of success and historic longevity. Tiger Woods is not a football player or a hockey player or a baseball player or any of the brutish team sports for which we wear jerseys. He’s one of the best if not the actual best that has ever played a game that is a singular fight against a piece of designed ground while in the presence of a few dozen other men that are also in that one on one contest with the course. They are not a team against the course or fighting against each other. And if you’ve played golf seriously, you know that even more than playing against the course you are playing against yourself; your habits, your shortcomings, you weaknesses. Tiger has been at the pinnacle of that day to day fight many times and he is and ever will be in the circle of the best that every played.
So Max, you can say he’s not football player; in your mind not an elite athlete. You can say he’s never run the 40 in under 4 seconds. You can even say that his homerun numbers will never compete with even the lowliest grunt in the history of baseball. But, he is an elite athlete. He is a bright and shining STAR. Even after a near fatal car crash, near amputation and years of previous back surgery and hip work and knee work and shoulder work, and legal work physical therapy and, I’m sure, therapy for his father issues, he’s the single most competitive guy lacing up his Nikes and going out to do battle yet again. It matters to him.
He’s got the (wait for it)… Eye of the Tiger.