Monday, August 04, 2008
No Tiger, No Viewers
I couldn't find a great story to write about today (I'm still holding off on writing about Brett Favre for a little while), so as I was looking for a topic I saw an article about Kerry Wood coming off the DL. This reminded me of Tiger Woods and how little golf I've watched since the U.S. Open. This is just crazy coming from such a huge golf fan as myself. And the simple explanation is...well, simple. Tiger Woods isn't playing. Tiger just has some presence around him that makes you want to watch him. Whether it's his 320 plus yard drives, pin seeking pitching wedge shots, or his great-looking wife, people want to watch Tiger! The guy is so mentally focused on every single shot, yet it's as if he was laying on his couch at home. Always relaxed, yet retains extreme concentration. I am one of those people who usually hate when a single player in a sport gets all the attention, but it's just not the same with Woods. Anyone who says Tiger gets too much time on air during tournaments doesn't understand how great of a player they're actually watching. Plain and simple: Tiger dominates the sport of golf. No one currently on the PGA Tour can come close to the success he's had. He seems to be in the top 5 of every tournament. And considering each tournament starts with dozens of players, it's tough not to have an off-day. Golf suffers without Tiger. Whether you see him as a hero or a villain, regardless, people want to watch. Either to see the hero reign or to watch the villain fall. Since Tiger had his season-ending knee surgery to repair his torn ACL, television ratings have plummeted in the events he usually appears in. According to the LA Times, final round viewers at the Buick Open, AT&T National, and British Open dropped 12%, 48%, and 14.6% respectively from last year. Even the story book tale of Greg Norman wasn't enough to save the Open. You can expect viewing to drop as well for the upcoming PGA Championship and Ryder Cup events. Without Tiger, watching golf is just....boring. All we can do is pray he returns from surgery well rested and ready to go for 2009. Hopefully we'll have another 20 or so good years out of him on the PGA Tour...by then little Sam Alexis will be 21 and probably playing with the guys (following Wie's footsteps..for at least part of the way) and Tiger can begin his mastery of the Senior's Tour.