July 22, 2009

Charles Barkley Says Tiger's Career Better Than Jordan's

Basketball and frustrated golfer Sir Charles Barkley is never shy with an opinion, and quite often, Barkley has a refreshing candor that is somewhat of an endangered species in today's world of PR corporate-speak disguised as news. In an interview in AZCentral.com, we see exactly that:

Barkley on who's more impressive, Tiger or Michael Jordan:
"I think Tiger is more impressive. He has to play against 130 guys or more every week. He can't control what other people are doing. He can only do his thing. They're the two greatest athletes I've seen in my generation. For me, it's cool to have competed against Michael and watched Tiger in his prime."
It's very difficult to argue with that assessment, and while I never competed against any great athletes (save for trying to date the same woman as Terry Gannon in college) I have witnessed many of the modern greats: Hank Aaron, Jack Nicklaus, Barry Sanders, Jordan (in college too, he went to rival UNC) and too many others to mention. I would put Tiger at the top of the list I've witnessed in terms of what he has accomplished so far in his career. There's still the little matter of winning five more majors until he can claim the title of greatest-ever pro golfer, but at this point it still looks like a probability.

Barkley added this about Tiger's miss at last week's Open Championship, saying
"It bothers me right now that people make such a big deal out of that. He missed one other cut in a major, and that was after his dad died. So that doesn't really count. And to go 13 years and miss one cut in the majors has to be one of the most remakrable achievements out there. That's really impressive. And it shows you the stupidity of certain people who are questionging him. I'll bet every pro has missed 10 or more cuts. but it just shows you the double standard. Some of those guys have probably missed 25 cuts. This is really his first one, and when I talk to him, I'll tell him, 'Bro, you're probably down and have the red ass right now, but to go 13 years and only miss one cut, that's one of your major accomplishments. You're talking about the world's hardest golf courses, and to go 13 years and only miss one cut is remarkable."
I would say incredible, but that's just the semantics of choosing the right word to describe what has been one of the greatest runs in all of sports...ever.

What will be interesting is to see where Tiger Woods goes from here. One thing is clear this season is that Woods is not in tune as a golfer and that has leaked into his mental game as well. Never before have we seen the meltdowns from Tiger that we saw late last week, and it is clear that his frustration reached a boiling point -- filling his body with adrenaline, lots of androgenic hormones and body tension...the enemies of fine muscle control and therefore solid golf. In short, Tiger may have beaten himself the final nine of his second round in the Open.

My bet is that he'll come out and do pretty well in his next tournament. That's what he always does and it's as safe a bet as any to predict that for the future.


  1. Shouldn't the answer to that ridiculous question be "you can't really compare an individual sport with a team sport" ? Then again, I guess you don't get on TV giving the correct answer to dumb questions. :-)

  2. Yeah that was actually my first thought too...they're incomparable.

    Still if you had a gun to your head, had to choose or die kind of moment...

    I'd lean towards El Tigre too.


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