A little Tiger, a little Pistons and a little Bob Huggins make up this week's People's Voice.
As a reminder, if you want your email to be considered for publication, include your full name, hometown and state. Also, while I read all of the emails I get, there are way too many to respond individually. Sorry.
As always, my responses are in italics. Now on to The People's Voice. …
TIGER WOODS ("No bite left in Tiger" June 20, 2004)
Do you even play golf? Four bogeys on Sunday at Shinnecock Hills, under those conditions, was pretty darn good if you ask me. This isn't the Buick or the International; it's the U.S. Open. It's supposed to be hard, and everyone WILL make bogeys. The scoring average was roughly 79, and no player broke par … that's a first since 1963. Don't piss on the man's leg; he WON the U.S. Open. It's not a birdie barrage. It's a survival test.
Harker Heights, Texas
I said congratulations to Goosen, but the image of Mickelson kicking away a share of the lead with a three-putt double bogey from five feet is hardly a stirring memory of golf at its finest.
After finishing my round of golf on Sunday, I joined a crowd of 50 or 60 people in the clubhouse watching the last four holes of the U.S. Open on TV. Everyone lived and died on every roll of the ball. The fans that only turn on the TV to see if Woods is winning aren't golf fans, and golfers don't care if they watch or not. Neither do golf companies. Golfers want to see the best at their best. The room would have been no more crowded if Woods had been in the final pairing.
Wichita Falls, Texas
So golf doesn't want more fans?
Excellent. You could have come down on him like a ton of bricks, but you took the very clever way of telling him to "Get Real." You are to be held high because today's columnists are overrated and tend to be critical just to be mean. Tiger is too good an athlete to be a weekly status quo … you knocked him down (quite easily). Now let us all sit back and see if he can get back up to where he belongs.
Are you aware that Jack Nicklaus once went 12 majors without winning one and then came back?
Michael J. Kelly
The Jack Nicklaus 0-for-12 majors drought must be posted as talking points for the Tiger Woods' fan club to use. About 20 people emailed with the same point. Why?
I never mentioned Jack. What does this have to do with Jack? And I never said Tiger wouldn't win again; in fact, I can't wait until he does. All I know is this isn't the same guy who I enjoyed watching three years ago. He now has bad commercials, bad clothes and bad clubs. By his old standards, his play is pretty bad too.
I am 67 years old. Anyone who says that [Tiger] is the best golfer who's ever been absolutely never saw Slammin' Sam Snead … Mr. Harvey Penick (the world's best golf instructor) said he was the best.
[Tiger] has a long way to go to win 81 PGA Tour tournaments like SAM, and that's not counting all those personal tournaments he had at the Greenbrier and the Homestead where he shot three scores of 59.
I thought your commentary on Tiger Woods was dead-on correct. He needs to read some of this stuff and wake up. The good news for Tiger is that he probably hasn't even hit his prime yet.
New York, N.Y.
After Michael Jordan made the video (with Michael Jackson), he went on to win a couple more championships. Tiger Woods will win a few more majors as well. By suggesting he should dominate each major he plays in, you're showing considerable disrespect to the number of enormously skilled and competitive players on the tour. And by the way, Tiger talks to the head cover for his driver, not a puppet. Lighten up, man.
Ruidoso Downs, N.M.
Head cover, towel, whatever – it is a puppet. And for a guy who once portrayed himself as the macho badass of golf, it is embarrassing. One day Tiger will wake up, realize this and fire his marketing director.
Great column about Tiger Woods, was hilarious. Tiger has lost it. He has gone from a gracious winner to a petulant child. Tiger never complained about how unfair the golf courses were when he was winning; why complain now? And Tiger criticizes his former coach Butch Harmon for saying publicly that he has problems with his swing … well excuse me, but you would have to be an idiot not to notice that there is something wrong with your swing.
Mr. Harmon didn't say anything derogatory about Tiger and just stated the obvious, yet this somehow bothered Tiger. I think, in the end, the world will realize that Tiger has become (if he wasn't already) another pampered egotistical prima donna star athlete.
You had me laughing the whole time while I was reading. Maybe Tiger needs the puppet to be his caddy also. Who knows; if they paid Tiger enough, you may see the puppet on the PGA Tour.
As I recall Penny Hardaway once did a commercial with a puppet (Li'l Penny) and hasn't been heard from since. Coincidence?
BOB HUGGINS ("Standing at a crossroads" June 12, 2004)
As an alumnus of UC and a big Bearcat/Bob Huggins fan, I want to commend you on your "crossroads" column. It was fair and right on the money. I've had the pleasure of being around Huggs a couple of times on the golf course, and you are right: He is a cool, funny, unassuming guy. He has a lot of critics in this town, and I often wish that those people would get a chance to actually meet him.
As a University of Cincinnati alum, I am disappointed with Coach Huggins' recent legal issues. I also have had the opportunity to watch and read much news coverage of this situation. Your column was probably the first piece that has presented such a fair and balanced approach to Coach Huggins.
I have been lucky enough to meet the coach when I attended Cincinnati and also know others close to him. He is a genuinely decent man who has placed loyalty to his players above any image concerns. I applaud you for not condoning his behavior but expressing his beliefs and background. Also, for stating much of the erroneous press that seems to hover above the University of Cincinnati program.
Brian J. Miller
NBA FINALS ("The right way" June 15, 2004)
Congrats to the Pistons on their conquest of the mighty Los Angeles Lakers. We can only hope that the same fate awaits the Yankees who, like the Lakers, are systematically allowed to bend the rules more than the other teams in order to have their annual run at the championship of their respective leagues.
San Diego, Calif.
I don't believe the Yankees violate any rules in baseball because there are no rules in baseball.
I was born and raised in the Detroit area, lived in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, for 14 years and recently returned to the Motor City. During all this time I remained loyal to Michigan sports teams. One thing I find most disturbing are the constant references to [them] as "blue-collar" teams. The announcers nationwide have really given us a bad rap.
The Detroit area is a highly diversified metropolitan area that covers all working classes. I think it is time to acknowledge our area in a fair and unbiased way.
I think the Pistons earned their reputation as a "blue collar" kind of team. Plus they're marketed that way. When the star-studded Red Wings were winning, they were not considered a "blue collar" team, although all hockey teams have blue collars. …
As for Detroit, I agree. People around the country think Metro Detroit is poor. In fact, it is extremely wealthy; eighty years of auto profits have wound up there.
Can someone please admit the real NBA finals were the Pacers vs. Pistons? All the so-called experts should have to eat their words. The East is Least? Yeah right. Offense (and big name players) sells tickets; defense wins championships.
I find it very satisfying that the Lakers lost the finals. Not that I like the Pistons, but I just don't like the Lakers. There are two pieces of the loss that are most satisfying of all. One, the Lakers now know how it feels to have the refs' calls go AGAINST rather than FOR their team. …
The second reason the Lakers' loss is so satisfying to me is because I got to see the look on their faces when they lost, and the two biggest sellouts in the NBA still did not get the elusive NBA title they so dearly desired.
Danny Ainge knew what he was doing after all! Ainge received a lot of heat for trading to get Chucky Atkins and taking on that salary. But any self-respecting Celtics fan knows that the next best thing to having the Celtics win a championship is to see the Lakers fail.
The trade for Rasheed Wallace would never have gone through without Ainge stepping in to broker the deal between Atlanta and Detroit. Since he knew that the Celtics were never going to be able to win a championship this year, he did the next best thing: He got Wallace to Detroit to ensure the Lakers wouldn't win one either! Way to go, Danny!
- TIGER WOODS