5-at-10: Tiger Woods, Weekend runners-up and losers, Rushmore of best comeback stories in sports history

5-at-10: Tiger Woods, Weekend runners-up and losers, Rushmore of best comeback stories in sports history

April 15th, 2019 by Jay Greeson in Breaking News

Tennessee assistant coach Tee Martin talks with quarterback Jarrett Guarantano (2) and receiver Jauan Jennings during the Orange and White spring football game Saturday at Neyland Stadium. Martin, a former Vols quarterback, joined the staff in the offseason.

Photo by C.B. Schmelter /Times Free Press.

Weekend runner-ups

We have weekend winners every Monday. There has never been a more of a slam dunk choice than this morning. More on you know who in a moment.

Golf in general. The TV numbers will be through the roof, even with the 9 a.m. start. The tournament finished Sunday before the weather arrived. The drama, all of it. And know this: We had a baseball draft Sunday evening around 6:30 at the Signal Mountain Golf and Country Club. And the joint was overflowing with kids playing the game of golf. Seriously. And with all this buzz around Tiger and the game, the move of the PGA Championship to mid-May gives us another major in four weeks rather than two months like before.

Sports fans. Gang, not to overstate it, but Sunday from 9 a.m. to shortly before 3, was the very reason we watch sports. It provided the hope and the history, the storyline and the star power. It was everything we could have possibly wanted and better than we ever could have imagined.

Jarrett Guarantano. The UT quarterback was aces in Saturday's Orange and White game. Yes, I know the duality of spring game stats — great offense or terrible defense and both could apply — but knowing who your QB is on Tax Day is a one of the biggest accomplishments you can attain in the spring. Here's more from TFP UT ace Gene of Many Hats Henley. 

Luke Walton. Less than a week after agreeing to a separation with the Lakers, Walton landed a gig with Sacramento. And, considering the drama around the Lakers — LeBron, the Ball family, the Magic departure (and a new president and boss for the next coach — the Kings is a better job. Who would have thought that last summer that the Kings' gig is better than the Lakers' job?

Atlanta Hawks forward Taurean Prince drives toward the basket while guarded by Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons during the first half of Wednesday night's game in Atlanta.

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

Weekend losers

Tiger haters. Hey, there are legitimate reasons to not like Tiger Woods. And that's fine. Cheer for and against whomever you like. That's a huge part of what makes sports great. But this story — again more on it in a moment — just as a sports fan is dang cool. Bemoan the adultery all you want. It's a terrible act that can have awful effects on almost everyone involved.    

Whomever developed these Michigan State alternative unis. Hey we get the idea of giving college athletes uniform options. If they like I'm good with it, because hey, Big Ten football teams can certainly afford it. But man, these are hard on the eyes. 

Russell Westbrook. Dude is amazingly talented and charismatic and on the short list of most dynamic players in the league. But be better than the "Next question Next question Next question" rhetoric after Portland won Game 1 in your building.

The 76ers. Cell phones on the bench? Losing game 1 to the Nets with that much talent? The questions about Ben Simmons game are real, and then he tells booing 76ers fans to stay away. This team has too much talent to be this distracted, especially this time of year.

The Yankees have lost three straight home series for the first time in a 100 years. Sure, it's not the 'er' months, but gross.

Bonus pick: Tax payers. Hey, it's April 15. Tax day. I understand taxes. Doesn't mean I have to like them. Stupid taxes. 

Tiger Woods celebrates with his caddie, Joe LaCava, after winning the Masters on Sunday.

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

What did we just see?

I have said and written many times that we will never see 2001 Tiger Woods again.

That the dominance of Woods 18 years ago is unattainable, even for Woods.

And over the long haul, when he won 14 majors from the 1997 Masters to the 2008 U.S. Open — including four in a row in the amazing Tiger Slam at his apex — I still believe that.

But that's over six months, or more. Because for almost six hours on Sunday in a small town in east Georgia and on the biggest golf stage on the planet, Tiger was Tiger.

He was the Tiger these 20-somethings grew up watching and idolizing and emulating.

He was the Tiger that stared through the pressure that captivates and topples everyone else. (And gang, the discussion of the Tiger Effect that intimidated everyone else back in the day, sure looked back in action Sunday as four of the best players in the world — including owners of three of last years majors — faded like blue jeans during Tiger's back-nine march.)

He was the Tiger image — red Nike shirt, black hat and pants; striding with purpose and confidence; expecting perfection while everyone else was hoping for it — that we all remember and all doubted or wondered if we would ever see again.

Yet, it was still more than that. Way more.

Because those are the things golf fans remember. Tiger being Tiger, and yes, he just re-energized the "Can he catch Jack?" conversation with this win.

And he delivered.

But this was more than golf. Way more.

Not to get sappy over over-the-top, there were strong elements of redemption. There was an overflow of emotion that went beyond winning a major championship and sports glory.

Tiger has been famous since he was 3. He has been predetermined for superstardom long before he ever noticed the opposite sex.

He was LeBron before LeBron and even Zion before Zion and bigger than both.

Yes, his fall started by his own doing with his lies and adultery and there will be some that will never forgive him for that. And that's there prerogative and I will not argue that.

But his ride can not be explained to or even known by anyone else all things considered.

This is not apologizing or trying to explain away Tiger's mistakes at all.

But somewhere in the last decade as we wondered if Tiger could comeback — all the way back to major success — after the self-inflicted scars and all the surgical ones too, either he changed or we did.

Maybe both. He smiled more. He won less. Way less.

He laughed in news conferences and then he won at East Lake, and it allowed us all to wonder what was possible.

And then Sunday happened. And for golf fans it was huge and amazing and everything we thought it could be if not more.

But for sports fans and parents and kids and everyone with a pulse or a parent, Sunday was magic. And if you were not yelling for the ball to go in for an ace on 16, well, you were the only one.

It was the best sports moment of the year. It was the finish that his lifetime movie deserved. It was the hug that we all dream about with our kids after so much work and effort and doubt and sacrifice and everything else.

It was the reason we watched golf back then and sports in general all the time.

It was perfect.

 This and that

— Congrats to Brit S. who won an incredibly tight Masterfully Mastering the Masterpiece that is the Masters Challenge. Brit had Tiger, Mickelson, Koepka, Jason Day and Molinari. That's 1, 2, 5 and 5 for 13. There were two entries — Chuck H (Koepka, Molinari, Finau and Schauffele) and the Mrs. 5-at-10 (Koepka, DJ, Molinari and Day) — had 14 points with two 2s and two 5s. Chuck H's entry was especially strong considering his fifth was Justin Thomas, who tied for 12th. Thanks to everyone for playing. Brit, please email me at jgreeson@timesfreepress.com so I can get you your prize.

— Vegas. Sports books lost millions when Tiger returned to major victory. Fan Duel took a dual beating. The site promised to return all fantasy entry fees if Tiger won the Masters and it's growing sports book took a beating. Fan Duel lost millions in each direction.

— Perfect timing for Will Wade and LSU this weekend. Wade met with LSU and NCAA officials over the weekend and he was re-instated Sunday night. Man, with Tiger being Tiger at Augusta, if we had some splainin' to do about almost anything in the sports world, this would have been the weekend to do it. 

— Rest easy Bill Markham, the  longtime former WRCB Channel 3 news anchor. His daughter announced on social media that Markham died after his long battle with ALS.

— Kudos to Chris Davis, the Orioles first baseman who got off an 0-for-54 slide over the weekend with a couple of hits over the weekend.  

Today's question

Weekend runners-up and losers. Discuss.

As for the weekend's other stuff, well, we will crack some baseball and spring football and even the Game of Thrones' season premiere later in the week.

Deal? Deal.

As for today, beyond Tax Day, this is arguably the most important and impactful day in sports history. On this day in 1947, Jackie Robinson broke the MLB color barrier.

On this day in 1865, Abe Lincoln died. 

In 1912, the Titanic sank on this day.

On this day in 1955, Ray Kroc opened his first McDonald's.

On this day in 1990, In Living Color debuted.

On this day in 2013, the Boston Marathon bombing happened.

Man, lost of stuff on this day, right?  

Rushmore of all-time comeback stories in sports. 


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