Tiger’s back. My apologies to the field.

Tiger wins the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill...and there was much rejoicing.

Tiger’s back, baby. And I’m darn happy about it.

I imagine there are still those out there who still despise Tiger for the womanizing bastard that he is/was. There will always be people who will forever fart in his general direction and will never ever cheer for Tiger Woods to succeed at anything ever again. There will be those people.

But I think there is an immense number of fans, dare I say a majority of us, that want the old Tiger back. Golf fans want to see Tiger being Tiger, winning tournaments with ease, making miraculous shots and continuing to add green to his wardrobe. We want the victory red to spell out victory.

We have, unfortunately, lost that for the past few years. And to be honest, golf has stunk. I like watching Rory McIlroy and Zach Johnson as much as the next guy, but the golf community wants Tiger.

In his prime, Tiger was always a threat no matter where he was on the leaderboard. Sundays were never a breeze for the front of the pack. There was always the here-comes-Tiger moment viewers had waiting for him to ascend to the top once again.

Even if he didn’t win, having Woods in the pack was better than not. Golf without Tiger Woods is like Tennis without Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal. There are fun players to watch (Novak Djokovic sure is something), but none of them will ever equal the best.

I think the golf community wants Tiger back. I do. I don’t care about the endorsements, the home life, whatever. I want Tiger in the pack every Sunday. “He should go back to the pills and the broads,” said my father on the issue.

It seems that after his win at Bay Hill this weekend we may be a bit closer to the good ol’ days.

It may be time to say: Tiger’s back. (Our apologies to the field.)

This post was inspired by a piece about Tiger on Grantland by Rembert Browne.

In anticipation of the Master’s, bring on Tiger.

Peace be with you,

–BP

Yes, I wrote yesterday

Posting this story I wrote yesterday about Ohio’s chances against North Carolina seems unnecessary, but I wanted you to know I wrote.

Go ‘Cats,

–BP

Give to Tebow What Belongs to Tebow

Do we have to enter this frenzy again? Are people going to be subject to Tebowmania for the rest of the foreseeable future?

Can the over-coverage please stop? I cringe each time I turn on a sports channel, ESPN in particular, and see Tim Tebow on the screen.

Listen, I’m not anti-Tebow. I like him. I think he has a great story just like everyone else. But I’m tired of Tebow being the hog of media coverage through no fault of his own.

It’s going to be torture to try to watch or listen to sports programming for the next several months because I’ll have to hear about how Tebow is progressing as Mark Sanchez’s backup in New York.

Trust me, I would like to hear how Tebow is doing with his new team…occasionally. But give me news for 32 teams and 1696 active players along with all the other sports I care about.

What I don’t want to see is all five tabs of ESPN’s rundown in some way shape or form mentioning Tebow. Don’t blow this story out of proportion. Give to Tebow what belongs to Tebow.

Don’t bog down my ears with too much Tebow. I listened to talk radio at work today and had to turn it off because I was tired of all the Tebow. Like I said, I enjoy his story, but no quarterback doesn’t deserve this much coverage. Spread it out.

Peace be with you,

–BP

Election 2012: Voting Strategy

In an election report by Peter Alexander on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, Alexander noted that Mitt Romney attacked President Obama 12 times by name in a matter of 18 minutes during a campaign speech.

Here lies one of the problems with the upcoming election and many of the past few elections. Attacking the opponent tells the voters nothing about the candidate. All voters hear is what the other person did or did not do rather than what the candidate did, is doing and will do.

James Madison warned against an uneducated public from his early days in Washington. With candidates taking shots back and forth, focusing on the failures of their opponents, what is left with the voters? Rather than knowing and understanding the successes and achievements of the candidates, voters are left scratching their heads at the candidates’ failures.

Voters are left to decide on which candidate they dislike the least rather than who they can relate to the most. Candidates are playing not to lose instead of playing to win.

Another issue is the perpetuation of the two-party system. Again, relating back to history, George Washington warned that the two-party system would be the ruin of American government.

Tying into the uneducated public, people are voting simply for an “R” or a “D” instead of the candidate to whom they best relate. There isn’t an election report to be found that does not begin with the word “republican” or “democrat” in the first five words outside the reporter’s introduction. As long as political parties are shoved down peoples’ throats, the United States will not have a true democracy. People don’t vote for what or who they agree with, but for the party with which they identify.

Americans will see current problems continue if they do not know who or what they are voting for. It takes an educated public with a filter for political parties and their agendas to yield positive election results. Americans being active in their government and understanding how it works will dig the United States out of this hole. An educated and unbiased public will prevail.

I haven’t jumped on the political train since high school. I wrote about politics for my school paper, but entered a state of political apathy for the past few years.

Now, in an election year, I have decided to take initiative and become more involved in government. I want to know what’s going on. I haven’t voted once since I earned the right and that’s a shame.

Therefore, I’m developing this new political strategy, as you just read, that ties back to some of my favorite tenants of American government that I learned in my AP US History class senior year. I’m going to get involved.

People want to say that they don’t have a voice in American government. Turns out we do, but we’re just not using it right. Let’s change that together.

Peace be with you,

–BP

Becoming a Part of the Madness

I am still a believer in live sporting events. People sometimes say, “Why go to the game when you can enjoy it from the comfort of your home?” I remembered last night why I dislike that saying. There is truly nothing like being there.

March Madness is arguably the most exciting two four weeks in sports. Even those who did not watch a single minute of college basketball all season long tune in to see the chaos. It’s exciting to see so many great stories unfold within mere minutes of each other. March Madness is great.

I have forever enjoyed the NCAA Tournament on television, but I have never experienced such joy in watching basketball than Sunday night when I saw my school bust into the Sweet Sixteen against all odds. There is truly nothing like being there.

It ties back to the piece I wrote this week about the Cinderella stories. When you’re there you become invested in the stories and the games. Bracket challenges fade into the abstract. The games become more enjoyable.

Go experience March Madness in person. It may not be this year or next year or the year after that, but take one year and go. Grab a friend or friends and go. Find your favorite team, stand up and cheer (for old Ohio if it tickles your fancy). At the game you don’t just witness history, you become a part of it.

Spontaneous trips are the best. I’ll be in St. Louis Friday to watch Ohio take a shot at North Carolina. Gotta see it live.

Peace be with you,

–BP

Abandoning my writer’s chair for the student section

Today, I am an Ohio Bobcats fan. Opportunities like this come along every once in a blue moon for people working in the sports journalism, to be a fan.

The one chance I get to be a fan and support my school, I’ll be watching them take a shot at the Sweet Sixteen to most likely face off with the North Carolina Tar Heels. This is nuts.

It’s fun to watch Cinderella teams make runs through the tournament much like George Mason a few years ago, Butler the past two years and Virginia Commonwealth last year.

To be a part of that experience is unreal. Ohio has only won one game thus far, but the potential to make a tournament run is enthralling.

It may not be a wise financial investment, detrimental to my sleep schedule or a decision made in false hopes, but the small chance there is to say, “I was there,” outweighs everything.

So I will stand up and cheer for old Ohio today as I abandon my writer’s chair for the student section.

Peace be with you and go ‘Cats,

–BP

If the slipper fits

Norfolk State head coach Anthony Evans

Norfolk State upset not only Missouri, but millions of people nationwide Friday evening. The Tigers have plenty of reason to be upset, of course. Their tournament dreams and a possible championship were crushed this season and they will live with the haunting memory of a game they were three points away from winning. They should be disappointed.

The millions, however, could be upset for all the wrong reasons. True, there are many Mizzou faithful out there that are probably not exactly feeling on top of the world right now. Their second-seeded Tigers just got dismantled by the 15th-seeded Spartans that nobody knows. But the other millions who are upset about Missouri’s loss ruining their bracket have no good reason to feel the way they do.

What is often lost in a crazy March Madness upset like many witnessed Friday in Omaha (or more likely in front of their televisions) is the team who did the upsetting and its fans. Part of the plague of filling out a bracket is unnecessary cursing of teams for simply winning, all because they ruined someone’s chance at 50 bucks.

Yeah, Norfolk State made for plenty of Sharpie marks on my bracket – I had Missouri going to the championship game. Although this game does not help my shot at a boost to my bank account, I’m happy for Norfolk State and their fans. Heck, I had only heard of Norfolk State because Kris Kross wore backwards NSU sweatsuits in my elementary school music textbook.

Now I have a reason to remember the Spartans other than for those ancient adolescent rappers (as oxymoronic as that sounds). Think of how exciting it is for those players, fans and students of Norfolk State. Be happy for them. This is the often forgotten beauty of the Cinderella.

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