Golf really needs to stop with all this excitement. It was revealed yesterday that Tiger Woods won that epic U.S. Open on a broken leg! This provides the Post with a sensational opportunity, telling us “His leg was BROKEN” on page one, with a photo of a grimacing Woods. Inside, the truck headline reads, “OUCHING TIGER: OUT FOR 8 MOS.” (The problem with playing on a broken tibia and torn ACL is that eventually you have to have surgery and recover.)
The Post places this news up front, with a feature on other incidents when athletes played through the pain to “win and bear it,” including Kerri Strug’s 1996 Olympic gymnastics moment of vaulting with a busted ankle and Red Sox Curt Schilling’s bloody sock in the 2004 ALCS. (And, to keep the Yanks-Sox rivalry going, the Post describes that moment as Schilling “allegedly pitching with sutures stitched into his right ankle to hold an injured tendon in place.” Keep up that conspiracy theory, guys!) There also is an article explaining that Tiger’s absence from the PGA tour spells disaster for sponsors. According to it, 40 percent of golf watchers turn off the match when Woods is not playing.
The Daily News relegates the information to the sports section, but includes an article on how experts say that playing on his knee may have made it worse. Mike Lupica compares Woods to basketball superstar Michael Jordan, as Woods “Doesn’t just give you the impossible on the course, he does it around the world by being as big as Michael Jordan once was.”
Will golf recover from this? Of course it will. It just may miss some of the bandwagon fans that like to watch Woods dominate on the course. At least the PGA can eagerly await the ratings bonanza of “Tiger’s comeback.”