Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Why weren't fans rooting for Rocco?

As sports fans, we're trained to love the underdog. We adore the David vs. Goliath match-up. We crave the upset. We root against dynasties and traditional powerhouses because of it.

With one exception: Tiger Woods. We love Tiger Woods.

We, admittedly, are not golf fans and know little about the game, so when we watched the captivating playoff round of yesterday's U.S. Open (by far the most golf we've ever watched in one sitting), we were puzzled to see the crowd at Torrey Pines so behind Tiger when his competitor, Rocco Mediate, was the classic underdog: a low-ranked 45-year-old no-name who had never won much of anything and seemed like the nicest guy in the world.

We had our David vs. Goliath story. The upset was in the making. It would be the perfect ending to a great tournament. But, as an ESPN.com poll proved, nearly 66% of voters were rooting for Tiger.

If Tiger is the Yankees or Patriots of golf, why the support? Why the love? Why is his fandom so universal? Why does he trump our most practiced principle in sport: root for the underdog?

Help us understand. Please!

11 comments:

rstiles said...

When are you going to learn Zach....cuz he's

DA MAN!!

Anonymous said...

Tiger is a very personable individual that a lot of people can relate to. Very few can relate to Nicklaus. With that said, people, like me, want to see Tiger break all Fat Jack's records.

Anonymous said...

Tiger is personable???? What rock did you crawl out from?

Mickelson is personable..Rocco is personable.......

Its because of Tiger's boorish on-the-course behavior that makes me not root for him.........

Talking to friends who love him - its because he's tremendous and they want to root for someone who is heads and shoulders betetr than anyone else...To me, I root against him..........

I hope he finds this 14th major win satisfying as medical experts are saying alot of things, none of them positive, about his medical condition (see arthritis) as the medical community is saying that he should have been playing pain-free golf in 8 weeks from the medical procedure he had done - and played against doctor's orders....Typical egomaniac.....

Anonymous said...

I despise Tiger with his club throwing and whining and cursing if a camera clicks. Did you notice how when he was behind he would groan in pain and grab his knee but when he was ahead there was no noticeable reaction.

I think people are afraid to cheer against him for fear of being called a racist in these politically correct times. I don't dislike him because of his race, I dislike him because he's an ass.

Anonymous said...

I think people were rooting for both Tiger and Rocco throughout the afternoon.

Either way, fans win. You either get to see the greatest of alltime take another step towards immortality, or you get to see one of the nicest guys ever pull off one of the biggest upsets ever.

You have to understand people who would like to see history. Our generation isn't really old enough to appreciate what Nicklaus did. And let's face it: Tiger does things on the course and pulls off shots that NO ONE else can.

I don't root for Mickelson because I think he's an idiot. With all the talent he has, his biggest problem is the 6 inches between his ears. Case in point: that par 5-13th hole on Saturday when he had three of his silly little flop shots roll right back down the hill at his feet. Any other golfer would have taken their medicine after the first shot and just put something on the middle of the green. But not Phil. Oh no!!! I can make that shot...watch me!!!! Talk about egomaniacal??????

I don't mind Tiger throwing a club now and then. If he's not throwing it at someone or making some grand display, what's the problem with showing some aggravation??? We all get frustrated with that game, even the best players. And as for the camera clicks, let's see any of you play under the conditions that Tiger plays under on a constant basis. Most of us would gack a drive if more than our own foursome was watching.

And as for not following doctor's orders?? Puh-leeze it's the U.S. friggin' Open!!! Guys would roll around in wheelchairs if that's the only way they could play. I will say the conspiracy theory about the pain being more pronounced when he wasn't doing so well has some merit, but none of us are his knee and we'll probably never know the full truth.

David Morgan Jr said...

I've often wondered this, especially when I find myself in the same boat. I think it's because there is not the mentality of a "home team" in golf. There isn't a rivalry that would spur you to root against anyone really. It's the player vs. the course. So a lot of us get caught up in just how good he is.

http://www.youtube.com/v/UTuk5Uloyjg

The Big Picture said...

Great points, fellas. Thanks for the insight. We get all confused when it comes to golf.

NFL Adam said...

Rocco had a lot of fans out there. But you have to remember that Tiger is from here, so he is going to have a lot of fans when he plays in Southern California.

Mickelson is personable? Hahaha. He's the most hated guy on tour. Tiger is very personable with his fellow golfers. But he got burned by that a-hole from GQ some years ago so he won't open up to the media. Not that you can blame him.

Anonymous said...

@ nfl adam.....Mickelson might be disliked by his fellow tour players but to the fans, he is personable.......Im not a pro so I cant speak to the fact about what his fellow pros think about him........Nor do I care.......

Anonymous said...

Tiger played that entire tournament on a damaged ACL and needs to end his season now til 09.....thats why you gotta love the guy

Anonymous said...

I was there Sunday and Monday, and let me tell you that Rocco was feelin the love. After every tee shot and every approach to the green there were Rocco chants. The atmosphere was electric.