Alarming News

December 16, 2009

That makes sense

In a world where Ben Bernanke is “Person of the Year”, obviously Tiger Woods, and not Lance Armstrong, would be Athlete of the Decade.

UPDATE: And the hits just keep on coming: Radioheads “Kid A” named “Album of the Decade”.  It’s always a good time to relink my post on why I hate Radiohead.

Posted by Karol at 12:59 PM |

Yeah, all the media outlets are coming out with their “best of the decade” lists.
They’re using the same fuzzy math that the Democrats always use—no surprise there.

I was always taught that a decade begins with “1″ and ends with “10.”

It doesn’t start with a zero.

The decade of the 2000s is not 2000-2009, rather it is 2001-2010.

Same thing with the end of the century.
The year 1999 was not the last year of the 20th century—2000 was.

I wonder if Time magazine will remember it honored Bernanke with this award after inflation hits.

Posted by: IAmTheWalrus at December 16, 2009 at 4:25 pm

Obama got the Nobel – all bets and basis for achievement are cancelled until further notice.

Posted by: elana at December 16, 2009 at 4:49 pm

You can not be an athlete in something that is, by definition, not a sport.

Posted by: Gerard at December 16, 2009 at 4:49 pm

That’s a reference to Woods, by the way, not Armstrong.

Posted by: Gerard at December 16, 2009 at 4:50 pm

I’m no Tiger Woods fan, but I think he is the athlete of the decade. Armstrong dominated in stage races but not so much the one day classics, which are an important part of pro cycling. Woods just dominated period.

Posted by: CraigP at December 16, 2009 at 4:53 pm

I don’t see what the issue is in giving Tiger athlete of the decade. The award is based on his achievement in the sport and should not necessarily be affected by his personal life.

If anything Lance Armstrong has a bigger cloud hanging over him with the doping accusations over the course of the decade.

Posted by: The Rooster at December 16, 2009 at 4:55 pm

Again, golf was never a sport. It’s akin to rhythmic gymnastics, or canasta.

Posted by: Gerard at December 16, 2009 at 5:09 pm

Gerard, whether golf is a sport is a separate debate. I think Karol’s point was relating to his personal life which should not have been a determinant in whether he received the award.

Posted by: The Rooster at December 16, 2009 at 5:17 pm

No, no, definitely unrelated to his personal life! Athlete of the year? For a golfer?! And when compared to the amazing Lance Armstrong? Come on.

Posted by: Karol at December 16, 2009 at 5:19 pm

Or Usain Bolt!

Posted by: Karol at December 16, 2009 at 6:06 pm

As an golfer, Tiger is one of the best

Posted by: Bankruptcy Attorney at December 16, 2009 at 7:52 pm

Poor, poor IAmTheWalrus. Nobody celebrated or marked the day of his birth.

Posted by: SoForgiving at December 16, 2009 at 8:30 pm

That’s akin to proclaiming someone the best table tennis player in the world.

Wow, you’re the best at ping pong on the planet. And???

Usain Bolt pwns anyone whose most strenuous activity is walking up a steep incline in golf cleats.

Posted by: Gerard at December 16, 2009 at 10:46 pm

I think we should wait for testimony from his various mistresses to learn just what kind of athlete Tiger Woods really is.

While Tiger dominated in golf, what Lance Armstrong did just cannot be topped.

I realize there are some people out there who scream, “doping !,” but Lance has never tested positive.
Also, Lance has endured various medical tests to measure his heart rate, lung capacity, oxygen levels in his blood, et al, and he tested “super-human”—that’s where his advantage comes from.

In addition, Lance already proved himself to be a stud as merely a teenager when he emerged as an awesome tri-athlete, often defeating older, stronger competitors.

To quote Chris Matthews, I always got a tingly feeling up my leg when Lance beat the Euros in all those Tours de France.

Posted by: IAmTheWalrus at December 17, 2009 at 3:56 am


1 a : a source of diversion : recreation b : sexual play c (1) : physical activity engaged in for pleasure (2) : a particular activity (as an athletic game) so engaged in

an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature, as racing, baseball, tennis, golf, bowling, wrestling, boxing, hunting, fishing, etc.

I’m not going to turn this into a lecture, but it’s a sore topic for me. I had a boss who argued that if golf is a sport, how come an 80-year-old man can play it? Sure, if you let him have as many drives as he needs to get to the green on a par 3, and letting him ten-putt. The same man could also “play basketball” if you don’t require him to dribble, allow him to stand on a chair near the basket, and don’t care how long he takes.

The game of golf doesn’t require much more than patience (e.g. biting your lip and not wrapping your club around a tree). To play golf competitively, i.e. as a sport, requires some doing. It’s no longer just a couple of Scotsmen hitting around a ball for fun, or precision when on the green. There were strong men before, like Gene Sarazen who made that legendary double eagle, and Arnold Palmer who needed muscle to make his unorthodox swing work. But they didn’t physically condition like pros today, who have indeed turned it into a real sport. Of course they won’t sweat like in soccer or boxing, but pros who want to keep their cards watch their nutrition, lift weights and do cardio. It shows in how many long drivers there are today compared to the days of Hogan, Snead, et al. John Daly, for example, seems to have turned himself around and got back in shape.

During my first golf lesson, the pro noticed that my left arm was weaker than my right, so he recommended…strengthening exercises. Why bother, if it’s just about hitting the ball around? Unfortunately in high school, I lifted weights the wrong way to keep my natural swing.

Even the walking can get tiring. Remember the guy who couldn’t walk very far, and made that absurd lawsuit under the Americans with Disabilities Act so he could use a cart?

Now, not all golfers are like Tiger, who can (or at least could) bench 300 pounds and was said to run five miles every morning. He wasn’t doing that for health or looks. He kept his body strong to keep his form consistent, and he’s immensely strong for his body volume. Still, all that bending and flexing of joints, the pulling of tendons, has taken its toll. It isn’t just regular course play, either, but spending a few hours in the evening with the same practice swing 300 times. He’s already had knee problems. In a few more years, like a lot of other pros, he’ll probably develop some back conditions.

It’s really too bad he couldn’t keep it in his pants. All he needs (needed?) was a few more years to shatter Nicklaus’ record of majors, which for anyone else today was unassailable. There are so many great golfers, in turn being advised by great coaches and physical trainers, that it’s amazing for someone to win so many times. Duval, Vijay, Mickelson, Retief, then the greats I grew up watching like Faldo, Norman, Kite, Watson (who showed the kids a thing or two!) — they had a greater share of victories than the average, but still nothing like Tiger.

As far as comparing him to Armstrong, it’s a hard question who’s a better athlete. Personally I prefer golf, and while Armstrong has raw endurance, Tiger has strength and form. Gerard, if you think that Tiger or other pros need only walk uphill to play at the level they do, I have to wonder if you ever picked up a club. No offense to you, K.

As far as their personal lives, I’d rather have philandering Tiger than “nice guy” Armstrong. Armstrong lobbied Bush for additional federal “support” for cancer — meaning more picking my pocket of my hard-earned money to be given to other people against my will. Tiger’s been a bad husband, but his actions never affected me.

If the poll had been taken next year, I’d have argued for Manny Pacquiao near the top and maybe #1 (just wait till he shuts up Mayweather Jr.). I’m always astonished to watch him train.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at December 17, 2009 at 12:38 pm

I have to wonder if you ever picked up a club.

Perry, I can’t even watch golf for more then fifteen seconds, and I’m being generous with that estimate.

As always, you make a very persuasive, compelling case. I’m not disputing that golf meets the dictionary definition of sport, or that Tiger is a physically gifted man. That being said, I think Mark Twain had it right,

Golf is a good walk spoiled.

Not to reiterate your statement, but this is a game invented by Scots. Scots, for goodness sake! Aside from Andy Murray, can you name one Scotsman whose name jumps off the tip of your tongue when you think about great athletes?

Note: That doesn’t not include Socts-Irish, or Scottish-Americans. They’re not part of this conversation.

Posted by: Gerard at December 17, 2009 at 4:22 pm

Perry, I can’t even watch golf for more then fifteen seconds, and I’m being generous with that estimate.

Ah, well, I’ve loved golf ever since my parents would bring me with them to their old country club.

Golf is a good walk spoiled.

Heh, I’d concede that was true, in Twain’s day. Back then it was just a game, and most people today play it as just a game. The pros compete with each other, though, and it all started when some guy started lifting and eating well to improve his muscle power and body shape.

Not to reiterate your statement, but this is a game invented by Scots. Scots, for goodness sake! Aside from Andy Murray,

I had to look him up, can you believe that? I rarely watch tennis.

can you name one Scotsman whose name jumps off the tip of your tongue when you think about great athletes?

I couldn’t even tell you any good Scottish golfers of recent years, but there’s one Scotsman not often remembered as an athlete: Sean Connery was a former Mr. Scotland. Of course, he didn’t look like modern bodybuilders, and in fact he looked about what a Western man today could look like with regular workouts. Nutritional and weightlifting science was nothing like today, and modern production has made home exercise equipment very much in reach of the average Joe.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at December 18, 2009 at 12:01 am

On a slight tangent, my vote for album of the decade is a five-way toss-up, namely the remasterings of (in no particular order):

Abbey Road
Sgt. Pepper
The White Album
Magical Mystery Tour

Is that fair to nominate them? :) But I’d rather listen to those great albums than most anything today.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at December 18, 2009 at 12:05 am

Eric Liddell, the Olympic champion whose story was documented in “Chariots of Fire,” was a great athletic Scotsman.
He was also an outstanding rugby player.

He essentially gave up the remainder of his track and rugby careers in order to do missionary work in China.

Posted by: IAmTheWalrus at December 18, 2009 at 12:10 am
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