usc football and tiger woods or stuff to read while waiting for the game to start

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i missed writing about a few big time sports stories this past month or so due to family stuff.  family issues are still around but not like they were.  and i’m afraid if i don’t pound this out i won’t ever get to it.  plus, i’m getting rusty and that’s only going to get worse as well if i don’t get at it.  one of the stories i’ve been sitting around waiting to see what was going to happen.  the other one just goes to show you that a once great football player doesn’t necessarily make for a good athletic director.

i predicted pete carroll would be leaving usc this year or maybe as late as next year in order to go back to the nfl.  yep, i sure did.  it was the week after the trojans lost to the washington huskies.  as yogi berra once said, you can look it up.  ok, i did.  actually i did say he might leave after the year was over.  that was back in october and close enough for blog work. coach pete is gone but let me also predict he will be back coaching again in the college ranks.  maybe even in five years or less.  he could also end up back at usc ala john robinson.  just saying. 

pro ball is completely different than college ball in any number of areas.  the prime one being most of the players are in their late 20’s and 30’s.  pete’s loosey goosey let’s have some fun while i pull a few inane pranks probably won’t go over any better than they did for him the first time around in the pros.  there is a huge difference between an 18 year old and a 30 year old.  at any rate, i wish him well.  but he’ll be back.  count on it.

the trojans went out and hired lane kiffen from tennessee.  a first year coach with a so so record.  however, a coach with ties to usc and pete carroll.  i’m sure he wasn’t their first choice.  there was no reason for him to even be considered other than he was an assistant coach at usc and his dad is actually a pretty good defensive co-ordinator.  dad is part of the package.

i guess the biggest part of the problem is the trojan AD, mike garrett. he was in a rush to hire someone.  and as it turns out almost anyone.  mike is also a guy, who in my opinion, should probably be fired and maybe keel hauled as well.  he has no business running an athletic program such as usc’s.  to hire kiffen was stupid at best.  after all, kiffen just signed a 12 year old kid to play for usc six or seven years down the road.  what sort of odd ball does something like that?  an odd ball who loves to say stupid stuff to the press and now he pulls off one of the biggest and dumbest deals ever in college football. 

what was or is mike garrett thinking?  he was on watch for the o. j. mayo basketball debacle and the reggie bush, ‘let’s score some money for mom and dad deal’.  plus some other seemingly minor/major ncaa football issues.  well, so was coach pete, but he bailed out of the flaming plane while he could.  a smart move on his part.

sad times loom for us trojan faithful with the new guy at the controls.  and it’s obviously time for mike garrett to find another job.  before he causes some more bad juju for the trojans.  go ruin some other college athletic program, please.

the other elephant in the room, at least for me, would be the tiger woods story.  long time readers know i love the game of golf.  i had a golf pro in the family along with a very fine amateur player as well.  i wasted many a day out on the golf course back when i should have been doing or making something better of my life.  not that i’m complaining.  things have turned out ok  for me, amazingly enough.

tiger woods was and still probably is the greatest golfer ever.  period.  no doubt.  his sexual escapades not with standing.  and as it turns out he was just doing what old dad, earl, was doing while tiger was growing up.  like father like son.  plus the groupie factor involved in sports and politics.  for example, see john edwards, bubba clinton, lbj, ike and the list goes on even back to good ol’ ben franklin and beyond. 

it is indeed a sad thing what tiger has done to his family.  and perhaps even to himself.  i’m not here to cast judgment on that aspect of his life.  it is after all, a private matter and none of our business.  though the tabloids make it seem like he is ruining our collective lives as well.  perhaps tiger has ruined his personal life along with his golfing life.  both of which remain to be seen.  though i have a theory on his golfing life.

there is nothing tiger woods wants more than to surpass king jack and his 18 major tourney wins.  an amazing feat in and of itself.  golf being the hardest game to master, hands down.  to win 18 major tournaments with the associated pressures involved with just trying to keep the ball in play while the golfing world watches is, to me, something akin to a walking earthly deity.  king jack is indeed one of them.

tiger was and still hopefully is one of them as well.  my theory about tiger?  things, golfing things, had been to easy for tiger.  after all, he’s already won 14 major tournaments at a relative young age.  in a year or two he would have easily passed king jack’s record.  that is had all things remained equal or barring any major injuries.

the deal is, i’m thinking tiger just went overboard with his bimbos and hookers with predetermined abandon.  cold calculating abandon.  of course, that is nothing his family wants to hear but bear with me.  golf was too easy.  not easy for you or me or the vast majority of tour players for that matter.  tiger just wanted to make things harder on himself and his golf game.

tiger needed to overcome some horrible life altering experience like ben hogan’s life altering fog shrouded texas highway traffic accident.  one that left ben for almost dead and crippled.  an accident and injuries he overcame to come limping back to win the los angeles open in a playoff.  an almost superhuman feat of true grit.  and several years later ben won three of the four major tournaments in one year.  all of that after ben’s doctors predicted he would never walk again, let alone play golf. 

see what I’m trying to say here?  that’s what tiger is trying to do.  he’s going to try to comeback from a horrible life altering accident or experience in order to make golf harder for himself.  much much harder when trying to win at least five more major tournaments.  thus placing him on top of golf’s leader board for perhaps eternity.

maybe tiger never consciously thought that out but i’ll lay odds he has or it’s some unconscious thought process he’s had or is having.  i mean he won his last us open on one good leg.  he came back after major reconstructive surgery on one knee to win 7 tournaments and the fedex cup last year.  he was probably thinking that was fairly easy, even with all things involved and considered. 

so now, he has an even bigger obstacle or hill to climb when he does comeback because he will comeback at some point this year.  pundits claim it will be for the masters.  maybe.  but the masters won’t be his first tournament.  not even tiger could comeback with only playing practice rounds and expect to win the pressure cooker masters.  for what?  the sixth or seventh time?   i’m guessing at least one but more likely two tournaments preceding it if he wants to really compete.  my guess, for his his return, he’ll opt for arnold palmer’s florida tournament a few weeks before the masters.

he and arnold are great friends and tiger has won that tourney a number of times.  he loves the course and he enjoys arnold’s company.  a perfect match for his comeback tour and his first steps back to begin again the climb for the crown of the golfing kingdom.
jmh

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