It’s Over!

The mother of my son’s best friend is Italian. When he was a little boy and out of control she would scream at him, “Basta Lorenzo, Basta!” (Stop it Lorenzo, Enough) 

Please Tiger, retire!

Basta Tiger, Basta!

Someone needs to speak truth to power. Earl’s no longer with us. I don’t know Tiger but maybe someone without a hand in his pocket needs to take a stand.

Basta Tiger Basta!

Dude, you have nothing to prove. So what, Jack Nicklaus will have won more majors than you. Did Nicklaus ever win a major on a broken leg?

I can’t stand these talking heads that state, “If anyone can come back from these horrific injuries it’s Tiger.” The man doesn’t need any more pressure. Can’t we even wait for his condition to stabilize? Then I read a source close to the 45-year old athlete states, “He doesn’t want his career to end like this.” Who is this person? I hope the tail isn’t wagging the Tiger.

The Decline

Plans to end athletic careers are like plans for an aging parents’ care. A transition is inevitable but no one wants to make the plan. Tiger, you should have ended your professional golf career after your 2019 Masters victory if you had a plan. Now, it’s no longer your decision.

It would be unfair of me to callously view the loss associated with the end of a fabulous athletic career. I ran track professionally until I was thirty-one. I know the end is like the death of a child. 

Duct Tape and Gum

Injuries are usually the culprit. Mine was plantar fasciitis and bursitis. I could have tried for just one more season. I, however, knew I’d never be a contender with my wings clipped. On the other hand, Tiger won matches severely compromised. Think again about that broken leg.

Sadly, Tiger ignored the fact he could no longer string together phenomenal workouts day in and day out, week after week for months. He refused to accept fleeting sessions of brilliance are fools’ gold. They aren’t a sign of hope. They are mirages. Your former self would be appalled to think you entered tournaments so unprepared. 

Father Time is Undefeated

Tiger, you will not win another major. Championships are not won on hope as you inferred when Jim Nantz asked your status for the Masters two day before your accident. Majors are won after the work has been done.

The injuries have compounded. The body has worn down from wear and tear and surgeries. Father time is undefeated.

What’s the resistance, Tiger? Who could be better positioned to move on? You have fame, money and power. An almost completed Stanford degree may even open a few more doors for you.

There is life after golf. Tony Romo finished his stellar football career carted off the gridiron as the result of a grizzly back injury. Three years later he’s one of the NFL’s best color commentators. Twenty years from now more people will know him as an announcer than as a football player. Think of John Madden and Pat Summeral. 

The Canvas Was Complete

My former coach told me as my career wound down, “Don’t draw a mustache on that beautiful landscape you painted.” One comeback story may complement the horizon, five comebacks from back surgeries can destroy the whole scene. 

Has there ever been an honest discussion about the toll Tiger’s injuries have had on him and his career? The eleven year drought of a Major victory coincides with Tiger’s rash of injuries, surgeries and the accident with the fire hydrant.

The subsequent thirteen years have been nothing but fits and starts in tournaments coupled with rehab and incomplete recoveries from surgeries. The time has been painful. Physically painful. Emotionally painful. Yet, people want Tiger to come back and play. Can’t we just let him heal first?

A 2015 New York Times article casually notes, “Woods does not sleep well in the best circumstances.” Woods attributed his tough time/fatigue to the ninth year anniversary of his father’s death and his recent breakup with Lindsey Vonn. Physical pain is also a profound contributor to insomnia. Why hasn’t anyone listened?

It all came to a head five weeks after Tiger Woods’ fourth back surgery. On May 29, 2017, Tiger was arrested on a DUI. It was eventually reported he was under the influence of “THC, the active ingredient for marijuana; as well as the painkillers Vicodin and Dilaudid; the anxiety and sleep drug Xanax; and the anti-insomnia drug Ambien in his system when he was arrested.”  The man was in pain.

On the Treadmill

Nothing changed after this incident. Sure, Tiger went to rehab but three months later he was cleared by doctors to swing a club again. That club should have gone where the sun doesn’t shine.

The cycle continued. Fits and starts. Miraculously, the stars aligned and in April 2019 Tiger won the Masters in spite of a neck strain which forced him out of a tournament that March. Who knows what other injuries he played through in spite of the pain. The man won a Major with a broken leg. Oh yea, his ACL was also torn.

The events which led to Tiger’s near fatal accident on February 22nd will never be known. What is clear is that he was in familiar territory: Recovering from his fifth back surgery in December.. “Good morning heartbreak, you old gloomy sight.”

Eyes Wide Shut

It’s incredible no one is willing to say which famous celebrity Tiger most closely resembles. It’s Michael Jackson. The King of Pop was also an insomniac and in a great deal of physical and emotional pain. Remember, Jackson was preparing for his final tour right before he died. Many peoples’ livelihoods and millions of dollars depended on his ability to perform. The pressure broke him. It broke Prince too. It breaks many people whose names we don’t know.

Forget about golf Tiger. You’ve owned golf for a generation. Don’t let it use you anymore. It looked like you had the time of your life  caddying for your son Charlie as he won a junior tournament by five strokes. You can now put your golf career in the rearview mirror.  The game’s future may even live in your own house. It’s time to move on. Take joy in your children. Finally, enjoy life. You deserve it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *