The return of Tiger Woods to the Masters has given ESPN a massive ratings boost of 2.2 on the overnight ratings, which proves that he’s still got it and is able continue drawing a crowd. Can anyone remember when he first came on the scene? People were losing their minds to think that he was good enough to be competing with professional golfers that had been in the game their whole lives and yet couldn’t match him. His entrance sparked controversy among other players and even made some people uneasy for their own reasons. But try as some folks might, there was no denying that he was great and was there to stay.
And then came the moment when he bought into the hype. Those athletes that are naturally gifted are fun to watch since it seems to come so easy to them. Yet it also spawns a lot of jealousy and envy from other people that just can’t seem to hone their skill enough to be worthy of standing next to them let alone competing with them. Tiger was an absolute godsend on the golf course since almost every time he stepped on the fairway people believed that he was going to be magic. And for the most part he was, he did some things that people still talk about to this day, changing the game in ways that no one expected as he went on to win again and again. But the sad part is that despite earning endorsements and the acclaim that comes so naturally to gifted players he allowed it to start defining the way people saw him. In many ways this is what can kill the image of an athlete as they become too big too fast. Corporations and sponsors want to push their image as fast as they can since another talent might be coming up right behind them and they want the athlete to have their spot in the sun so that they can make bank on it. Unfortunately what tends to happen at times is that the athlete gets burned out and starts to mess up in various ways.
Woods’ missteps didn’t have a lot to do with the game but they did affect his life in negative ways. His infidelity and the subsequent loss of the fans for a time managed to erode his fan base in a way that nothing else could. But thankfully he’s still been on his game enough when it comes to golf to be reliable when he hits the course. His presence at the Masters has managed to pique a lot of people’s interest once again and his performance has started to build the fan base back to what it used to be. There’s no telling if he’s going to peak too early this time or if he’s going to stay reliable and just push forward as much as he can, but the people love seeing him and have made it known by the ratings spike.
He has a past, but so does everyone. It’s all a matter of how you keep moving forward that makes the real difference.
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