Monday, April 11, 2011

Tiger's Second Career Doesn't Bode Well for MLS

Unlike Roger Federer, Tiger Woods is not finished.  Tiger showed at the most recent Masters that he will be able to hang around leader boards of Majors for at least another few years.  Hanging around enough will mean at least a couple more wins.

Prior to his documented downfall and divorce from late 2009 through 2010, it would have been inconceivable to imagine Woods becoming a more riveting sports figure than what he already had achieved by dominating with 14 Majors and doing it as one of the first minority figures in a homogenous sport.  Yet now, he has become more riveting.  His flirtations with Majors will be watched intensely until he wins one and he will command attention for years to come.  Golf has been saved, for the time being.

Any chance of MLS converting some casual golf sports fans has now become a little more difficult.

Tiger is not through winning.  If Tiger was never coming back, sports fans would figure it out, maybe tire some of golf and look for drama elsewhere.  Now, it seems that Tiger's second career will burn as profoundly as his first one did.

On the surface, Soccer offers a very different experience than golf for sports fans.  Its individual sport, versus a team sport; Its physical, action-oriented versus walking, non-contact.  But both depend on the same characteristic that runs rampant in sports fans, the need for an escape.

These two sports have locked in sports fans for generations by giving them moments of unforgettable drama to watch.  The difference is that American sports fans don't view Soccer as having the same amount of catharsis as Golf.

American sports fans don't favor Soccer anywhere close to the same degree as other sports spectators in other countries.  Golf in America, though, is rich in history, with endless household names making an impact, Palmer, Nicklaus, Floyd, Watson, just to name a few, and others join that list with their distinctive styles, such as Craig the Walrus Stadler, Payne Stewart and John Daly. 

For most American sports fans, MLS has had mainly lackluster play and no real breakthrough performances in its first 15 years.  This time-frame practically parallels Tiger's first career of innumerable great performances, beginning at the 1997 Masters, following his PGA Rookie of the Year in 1996.

Golf's storyline from 2011 onwards is Tiger's comeback and redemption.  Will MLS have anything to give sports fans during Tiger's second career? 

Its often been said that sports is the first and greatest reality tv show ever.  Golf gave quite a great performance at this past week's Masters and with Tiger's second career now in full tow, many great performances are on the horizon.

1 comment:

  1. To each his own when it comes to the sport. Though it's going to be better if there's a development to his career.