Tiger Woods: The Man We Can’t Stop Rooting For

Four months ago, the golf world dealt with yet another sad Tiger Woods comeback attempt. Woods withdrew from the Dubai Desert Classic due to back spasms after shooting a 77 in the first round. This was after missing the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open the week before. Tiger had not won a single tournament since his huge comeback year in 2013, and he decided to skip the Masters for the third time in four years. Two weeks later, Tiger underwent his fourth back surgery since 2014, basically counting him out for the rest of 2017. Was this the end for Tiger?

A week ago, the answer would have been no. In a post on his own blog, Tiger wrote that he hasn’t felt this good in years, and he wants to make a comeback to golf eventually. He said that he is focusing on his rehab. Obviously not the most promising statement, considering rehab could take a very long time, but that was good enough for golf fans around the world. A chance that Tiger might wear red on Sunday again is all they need to get their hopes up.

However, a whole lot can happen in one week, and now, one quote from that post seems to stick out more than the rest:

“As for returning to competitive golf, the long-term prognosis is positive. My surgeon and physiotherapist say the operation was successful. It’s just a matter of not screwing up and letting it fuse. 

His back may be fine, but Tiger’s legacy is in jeopardy once again. Woods was arrested on a DUI charge early Monday morning in Jupiter, FL. On top of that, his mugshot looks BRUTAL. If you haven’t seen it all over social media and news sources, here it is:

All I have to say is, yikes. That looks rough. There’s a chance people didn’t believe the story at first, but, after seeing this, everyone assumed this man was guilty. After this, some rumors came out, including an absurd report that Tiger successfully recited the National Anthem backwards. This report did come from Daily Mail, though, an absolute joke of a news source whose employees wouldn’t have jobs if the Kardashians weren’t famous. Just look at their Snapchat Discover page at any time of any day. Total joke.

Anyway, the rumors came and went, but one thing was left to stay: the video of Tiger’s sobriety tests, which was released last night. Here is the 20-minute-long video of the brutally failed test (If you don’t want to watch it I’ll describe it down below, but it’s worth the watch):

So, Tiger starts off with an L right from the bat by saying he is driving from LA when he is in Florida. On top of that, the officer claims to smell something coming from Woods. That’s a rough start, but it only gets worse.

Once Woods is out of the car, his left shoe is untied, so the officer asks him to tie his shoe. So what does Tiger do? He picks up the wrong foot. Then, when the officer tells him, he switches to his left, but he is unable to tie his own shoe. Someone didn’t watch the loop, swoop and pull episode of SpongeBob with his kids.

The officer lets Tiger take off his shoes and put them aside, letting him complete the test barefoot. First, he fails to follow a light which the officer tells him to follow. Basically, Woods fails multiple times, and the officer gives up and moves on to test two.

Next, he is asked to walk heel-to-toe along the white line on the side of the highway. He goes 0-for-8 in the heel to toe and catches himself falling a couple times.

Then, the cop asks him to balance on one foot, even though he just saw the guy losing balance on two feet, so that’s another fail for Woods. On top of that, he can’t even put his feet together like the officer asks.

The typical finger-to-nose test is after that, and, you guessed it, Tiger failed. He could touch his nose, but the part where he had to bring his hand back down to his side is where he lost it.

Now, this is where it gets really interesting. The officer asks Tiger to slowly say the alphabet, not sing it. When he asks Woods to repeat the instructions, Woods says, “To say the National Anthem backwards.” This is probably where Daily Mail got their idea for their article, but there’s a huge difference between stating the wrong instructions and performing a ridiculous task. Fake news!

Tiger successfully completes the alphabet, although his speech is slow and slurred. The officers put him in handcuffs and begin to search him, and his eyes are not open at this point. Now comes the saddest part of the video: the officer asks Tiger if he has any sharp objects on him, and what does Tiger reply?

“I have three screws in my body.”

Just sad. One of the greatest athletes ever to walk this earth being exposed like that is tough to watch.

As a 20-year-old, Tiger Woods has been the most dominant athlete I have ever seen. This guy literally ran the golf world. In 1997, he became the youngest player to ever win the Masters, and he did it with a record score of -18 (which Jordan Spieth tied in 2015). He is the only golfer ever to hold all four major championship trophies at the same time. The next guy to ever do that, they’ll literally say, “*Insert name here* completed the Tiger Slam.” What other golfer can say that? No one.

This guy had his own video game. Tiger Woods PGA Tour was one of my favorite games growing up. As far as I know, this game made the first “Be A Pro” mode in the history of sports games. You could create your own guy and put him on the tour, playing in all the tournaments and climbing up the rankings, decking your guy out with your lucky shirt and pants combo and everything. On top of all that, these games had the best soundtracks ever. Really, let me know any other game that had you jamming out to DMX in the intro screen. I’ll wait.

Tiger had his own brand of Nike golf apparel, he appeared in countless commercials, and, most impressive of all, he had his own Gatorade. Remember Gatorade Tiger?

 

 

I mean, that’s just crazy. There are plenty of athletes out there with their own shoes, their own cereals and whatever else anyone can think of, but Tiger Woods is the only man who had his own line of Gatorade. I loved Gatorade Tiger, man. I drank that stuff like it was my job. Every little league game, at my school lunch, and almost any time I was thirsty, you could catch me drinking Gatorade Tiger. Awesome stuff.

He was on top of the world. Number one golfer, AT&T, Gatorade, Nike, EA Sports, this guy was (and still is) the richest athlete since Michael Jordan. And then, the whole marriage bombshell happened.

Tiger took a lot of heat for this, but he never denied his actions. Sure, he kept it quiet for a while, but he handled it pretty well, he accepted the consequences, took a quick break from golf and then decided to come back when it was all good.

Everyone forgets that Tiger actually did make a great comeback. He made it back to number one in the world in 2013. He won The Players Championship, which is basically the fifth major in golf. He may not have won any majors after his unforgettable performance at the 2008 U.S. Open, but he was still the best in the world in 2013. That’s huge compared to his position three years prior.

After that year, though, he wasn’t the same. His back problems came up, and he hasn’t won a single event since 2013 to this day. He hasn’t even completed a tournament in the past two years. And now, this.

I really hope the reports about Tiger blowing a .000 into the breathalyzer are true. But, true or false, it doesn’t matter. His mugshot is everywhere. The video is everywhere. His DUI has been a running joke on Twitter since Memorial Day, and it’s ridiculous. The social media age has taken away facts and replaced them with stories.

Most people probably had no idea Tiger passed his breath test. All people care about are headlines, and most news sources buried his test results deep in their stories. Why? Because that’s not what the people want. That’s not click-bait.

Whether these test results are true or not, Tiger’s reputation is still in jeopardy. That’s sad, because the man could’ve just had a bad reaction to prescribed medication, but the world can’t un-see the videos and photos. They will always peg him as the guy who was once the greatest athlete in the world, and now he’s going out with a really bad look.

That is the number one reason why I hope Tiger bounces back from this. His career could’ve ended after the whole marriage situation, but he bounced back. He did it once, and he can do it again. Let’s just pray it happens; if it doesn’t, this arrest will be the last thing people remember him for, and that would be tragic.

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