Tiger Woods Seriously Considered Retiring To Become A Navy SEAL, According To Hank Haney

Could you imagine if he had done this during his prime?  The only historical equivalent I can think of is Ted Williams.  Pat Tillman was a very good player, but by no means the most dominant athlete in his sport.  From Golf Digest:

“Tiger was seriously considering becoming a Navy SEAL. I didn’t know how he’d go about it, but when he talked about it, it was clear he had a plan….I thought, Wow, here is Tiger Woods, greatest athlete on the planet, maybe the greatest athlete ever, right in the middle of his prime, basically ready to leave it all behind for a military life.”

Now THAT would have been a story.  Apparently the same bum knees that are preventing him from dominating golf again also curtailed his dream of being a SEAL.

[Golf Digest]


Good Morning Generation

I decided to tackle one of the two major stories from this past weekend yesterday with the Tebow article, so let’s go after the other one now.  I’m of course talking about the curious case of Steve Williams and Eldrick Woods.  If you hadn’t heard by now Williams was of course on the bag of Adam Scott after his win this weekend at Bridgestone and in a baffling move, declared that the win was the best of his long career.  He managed not only to dominate the golf headlines but somehow push his own employer out of the spotlight at the same time.  This of course begs the question of whether he was right or wrong to do it.  I’m not really interested in answering who’s right though.  I’m more interested in the why.  Why did Steve Williams choose to do this?  Why did he feel the need to publicly blast Woods in the press?  Why would anyone whose made 10% of Tiger’s winnings over the last decade really be contemplating a tell-all book deal?  We have ourselves a situation!

If you keep up with any form of golf media, you of course by now have consumed several columns blasting Williams for the stunt he pulled on Sunday with the Golf Channel’s David Feherty.  The golf media is perhaps the strangest of all modern day media outlets.  They’re still wildly protective of their stars and have become notorious over the years for their refusal to dig in and figure out their lives beyond the golf course.  And by stars I mean Tiger Woods.  How else to explain the instant backlash that Williams took by writers like CBS Sports’ Ray Ratto who went so far as to call Williams the Jose Canseco of the golf world.  This is something I find entirely fascinating.  Canseco, you might remember, is now famous as the first person to write a tell-all book on the steroid era in baseball and almost everything he ever wrote turned out to be true.  So what did the baseball media do to him?  Surely he was rewarded as a revolutionary, a man far beyond his time who should be remembered as being the first person brave enough to break the archaic baseball mentality…right??  Wrong.  Canseco is of course now touted as a pariah and a nut and someone who is not to be trusted.  He broke the unwritten “code” of baseball which states that whatever happened in the clubhouse stayed in the clubhouse!  How could you possibly trust a rat like that?!

I trust him.  Every single word.

Which is exactly what makes this feud between Tiger and Williams so fascinating.  There is no doubt that Steve Williams is sitting on dozens, if not hundreds of stories that will shed Tiger in an even further negative light.  He was widely seen as the first line of defense between Tiger and the world back in his prime and there’s no doubt he witnessed Eldrick taking home various women over the years, among many other transgressions.  But that’s not where the real nuclear bomb lies in this story.  The real nuclear bomb is something that Ratto hinted at without even knowing it in his Canseco comparison.

Is it possible that Steve Williams knows that Tiger Woods took PEDs?

I have no means of proving any of this of course, but let’s examine all of the circumstantial evidence.  All of the tell-tale signs of steroid use are there.  Does anyone remember when all of a sudden Tiger Woods was just boom! a noticeably musclier twenty-five pounds heavier?  He underwent a Captain America-like transformation that took him from that skinny lean dork at Stanford to an Adonis-looking god of sculpted heavy muscle.  This was of course attributed to an off-season lifting program, a program he apparently learned from Sammy Sosa.  He literally could do no wrong in that time and he was hitting the ball so far, he single-handedly changed the way golf was played, forcing courses to “Tiger-proof” their layouts so that others might have a chance to win.  Sound familiar to the way teams used to pitch to Barry Bonds?  He then (of course) battled serious knee issues, likely a result of having gained too much upper body weight which his legs were not ready to support.  Mark McGwire anyone?  This was amplified by the ridiculous amount of torque he produces when he swings a golf club.  And now we’re left with a guy who’s a shell of his former self and has no plausible explanation as to where his talent went.  Throw in a link to Dr. Anthony Galea and his PED operation advanced medicines practice and, well, you draw your own conclusions.

Again, this is all speculation on my part.

I do find it interesting though how noticeably irritated Williams has been by the split though, since it was made public.  He obviously was thrown under the bus by Woods in all of this, I’m just not sure what exactly he expected or how this could have been handled any better?  A breakup is a breakup.  You can say Woods should have been man enough to do it in person, but at the end of the day you’re still split up whether it was achieved through a telephone conversation or one in person.

As a sports fan, I think we all should have a rooting interest that Williams does in fact go through with the plan for a tell-all book though.  We need it because it’s time we got rid of the barrier that separates athletes from regular people once and for all.  The golf media’s lack of knowledge on Tiger over the years is shameless.  The mentality that writers should somehow work to protect athletes’ off the field personas is ridiculous and should have been outlawed back in the 1950s.  Get rid of the attitude that deifies athletes for their on-the-course achievements and then somehow asks you to forget all the rest of it, like the fact that Tiger has been a jerk to reporters for years and almost always refused to sign autographs for children after rounds.  It’s time we knew it all, for the benefit of the sport, the benefit of its fans, and the benefit of Tiger.

Maybe then he can finally get back to focusing on golf.

Generation Y, where I demand proof that teams besides the Yankees, Red Sox, and Phillies actually exist.  I’ve never seen them on TV.