Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Being a Tiger Fan

So I've always been an underdog sort of fan. Here's my favorites going back to childhood:

Montreal Expos- 1981 to present
California Angels- 1982 to 1986
Buffalo Bills- 1988 to 1997
Jimmy Carter- 1980

Alright, so they aren't all sports teams, but my point is that I HATE rooting for the favorite. I'm not sure why, but it's just not part of my genetic makeup. I HATE the Yankees. I HATE the Cowboys. I HATE Obama. I HATE the Patriots. I HATE the Lakers.

When my current favorite baseball player (Vladimir Guerrero) signed with the Angels, I was pretty excited. I lived 20 minutes from Angel Stadium. I grew up an Angels fan. But under current ownership, the Angels simply became the west coast Yankees. Sure it was nice to see them win, but I just wasn't excited about them. When my Expos were blown into oblivion by that prick Bud Selig and his cohorts (Loria, Sampson, I figured I'd adopt a new team. But I haven't- not with the same passion as I had for my Expos.

I didn't give up on the Bills just because they lost a Super Bowl or two, or three, or four. Anyway, I've always been a sucker for the lame bird- and maybe I'm glad that my new teams aren't the Royals and the Texans and the Grizzlies.

But for the first time in my life, I have been rooting for a favorite- Tiger Woods. Yeah I'm sure there are a billion blogs of people who might have a similar attitude as me, but Tiger Woods is just so perfect. A model citizen. Disciplined. No controversy. Oh yeah, and he's pretty good at golf. I got to see Tiger close up in Carlsbad, California about 10 years ago. My wife got free tickets to the match play tournament down the street from my office so me and my fellow dotcom sports geeks ditched work and walked around in the Tiger Woods hive. We camped out at a par 3 green and Tiger up close with his college roommate fill-in caddy. I don't know his name, but the caddy was actually best friends with one of my spectator buddies. But the tickets my wife got had some extra event on the Monday after the tourney- and it said that it was a Tiger clinic. We were a little confused, but we decided to show up to see what was up. And if you know Tiger, you know that it was an actual golf clinic hosted by Amex, Mike Turico, Tiger and about 70 fans at the driving range of the course. He was giving some basic driving tips on how to hit it low and then they opened it up to questions. A little kid asked if Tiger could hit it over the back fence of the range. Tiger said "over the back fence?... with my driver?..." The kid sheepishly answers yes and Tiger quietly says "how about with my 3?" He then proceeded to launch that badboy to Encinitas to thunderous applause. It was pretty cool.

So I've never met Tiger and I probably never will,but like so many others in the world, I'm excited to watch Tiger. And I want him to win. And I want him to dominate. Sure I was rooting for Rocco when we all knew he had no chance against Sergio earlier this year, so I think I'll always root for the underdog, but Tiger wasn't in that tournament so it's ok. The bandwagon has lots of room. And perhaps I'll buy myself a Tiger headcover so I can profess my love for the favorite.

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