Forgive and forget: Go Tiger!

By Scott Halasz

I’m not exactly what you would call an efficient sports prognosticator.

I picked the Cubs to win the World Series every year since I was about 7-years-old and have been right just once. I said Ohio State would make the playoffs last year based on a stronger schedule than Alabama, despite the pile of poop the Buckeyes left on the field at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa.

And I picked Virginia to win the NCAA title this year over Gonzaga. We all know how that turned out.

But one I made in 1996 is still haunting me. In a space similar to this in the Beavercreek News-Current, I opined that Tiger Woods was not ready to go pro after he announced such intentions. I thought I had written a solid column, using data and his past performances in events.

Boy was I wrong.

Boy was I really, really wrong.

And popular radio talk show host Kent Voss let me know about it. I think I was even the Idiot of the Week on his show.

And while I ate a big piece of humble pie in a follow-up column, to this day I have not been a Tiger fan because of it.

I am one to hold grudges, unfortunately.

I haven’t forgiven Danny Ainge for his coast-to-coast layup against Notre Dame in the 1981 NCAA Tournament, a tournament in which the Irish had a solid chance of making the Final Four.

I haven’t forgiven Steve Garvey for his role in dismantling the Cubs in the 1984 NLCS.

I haven’t forgotten what Will Clark did to the Cubs in the 1989 NLCS.

I’m still ticked over the phantom foul referee Hugh Hollins called on Scottie Pippen in the 1994 Eastern Conference Semifinals, a call that would help the Knicks take a 3-2 series lead and ultimately eliminate the Jordan-less Bulls.

And I still remember how Marlins pitcher Josh Beckett tortured the Cubs in the 2003 NLCS.

But it’s time for me to address Tiger.

It’s way past time actually.

And I figure Master’s week is the appropriate forum for me to let the Tiger thing go. I need to admit publicly what I knew for many years.

Tiger is one hell of a golfer. One of the best ever. He makes shots others can only dream of making.

And he appears to have mellowed in his middle age. No more temper tantrums. No more throwing clubs.

He’s a guy for whom I can root. His and my personal issues aside.

I mean after all, I can’t be right and millions of people can’t be wrong. This isn’t considered jumping on a bandwagon either. I had no reason to dislike Tiger. He didn’t do anything to me or my favorite teams, other than prove me wrong.

And if I needed anything else to push me over the top, my personal favorite — Phil Mickelson — spoke very highly of Tiger recently after an impromptu practice round at Augusta National.

There is now a mutual respect and admiration between the two once-fierce rivals.

If Phil can let it go, so can I.

And I have.

Go get ‘em this week, Tiger. Only if Phil can’t win, of course.

Insert wry smile here.

By Scott Halasz

Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.

Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.