Tiger Woods, Figure Skating, et al: Sport or Show?

Though this blog is usually focused on church and ministry-related themes, I couldn't help myself.  There are a few sports stories out there today that I just demanded my attention.

  • Thomas Boswell, the excellent sports columnist for the Washington Post, critiques Tiger Woods' performance yesterday as a "10-course ego feast … [a] stop-the-world presidential-style non-news conference."  What I found most fascinating, however, was his theological analysis of Tiger's final lines:

    Woods's last words on Friday were vaguely troubling. "Finally, there are many people in this room, and many people at home, who believed in me," he said. "Today I want to ask for your help. I ask you to find room in your heart to one day believe in me again."

    Many, at that instant, expected to hear the words "forgive me." But the last phrase was Tiger's. I doubt I've ever heard an athlete ask the public to "believe in me." Isn't that more akin to theology?

    We keep learning, over and over, that some athletes (like all of us) prove over a lifetime that they are worth respecting, liking, admiring and cheering for. Others aren't. But "believe in me?"

    We don't need to believe in you, Tiger. Come down off the mountain. Once you figure out some things, we'd just like to meet you. For the first time.

  • Plushenko photo via ReutersEvgeni Plushenko, the Russian silver medalist in men's figure skating at the Vancouver games, blasted gold medalist Evan Lysacek of the United States for performing a less strenuous – but according to the judges, better – routine.  "Just doing nice transitions and being artistic is not enough because figure skating is a sport, not a show." 

    Really, Evgeni?  First, all sport is show.  And secondly, you have little credibility making that statement while wearing a shirt reminiscent of the 80's t-shirt tuxedo.  If a sequin tie and vest isn't for show, I don't know what is …

  • Pitchers and catchers have reported to Spring Training.  I am terribly excited for the start of baseball season.  The Phillies have made it to the World Series two seasons in a row, to the playoffs three in a row.  They're now a team that I would have hated a few years ago – flush with money and division titles.  But still … they're the Phillies.  I love them.
  • Yahoo! Fantasy Sports claims that they're going to have a workable mobile platform for Fantasy baseball this year.  I certainly hope so.  From their website: "Coming soon to a phone near you: Fantasy College Hoops Tournament, Fantasy MLB and Fantasy NBA."  Currently, there are no quality applications for checking your Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball team on a Blackberry.  If the folks at Yahoo! Sports are to believed, I'll be able to check my fantasy team while waiting in line at the grocery store … Yes, I admit, I have no life.

About Chris Duckworth

Spouse. Parent. Lutheran Pastor. National Guardsman. Political Junkie. Baseball Fan.
This entry was posted in Baseball, Society, Sports (not baseball). Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Tiger Woods, Figure Skating, et al: Sport or Show?

  1. Part of Tiger’s statement was good was in what was not said: he wasn’t making excuses, “If I offended anyone” apologies, nor was he claiming to be cured due to some instant almighty intervention ala that pastor from Colorado. But the only person that needs to believe in Tiger again is his wife. Some commentators seemed to think that it was bad that he showed anger because the media was following his children. I think that this needed to be said, even as we all know that he brought this on his family because of his disregard for his family.

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