Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate today showed what sports should be about. Tiger played through pain and with true grit as he fought and scratched his way to a memorable and probably his greatest Major victory. Rocco, also, played with true grit as he never quit to the best player in his sport. He, too, fought and scratched his way before he ceded the tourney to Tiger, after 91 holes. Rocco did not lose today. He won more than any one can even imagine. He played the way true competitors are supposed to play: Without quit. He competed and asked for no slack and gave no slack. Today we saw sports at its highest level and we, also, saw why we watch these games that are played by human beings.
Today's simple golf match will go down as one of the greatest sports events in sports history.
To put this into context and in no particular order here are twenty of the greatest sports moments that epitomize the glory and the magnificence that this golf match now has become part and parcel to:
- 1) USA beats the Soviets in the 1980 Olympics
- 2) Red Sox come back from being down three and oh in 2004, with one out left in their season to beat the Yankees. :(
- 3) Lou Gehrig's "The luckiest man in the world" speech.
- 4) Jimmy V speech
- 5) Villanova upsets Georgetown for the NCAA basketball crown in 1985.
- 6) Willis Reed limps on the court in 1970 to lead the Knicks to victory.
- 7) Jets beat Colts to win Super Bowl in 1969
- 8) Mets-Houston game 6 in 1986 NCLS.
- 9) Bucky (Bleeping) Dent, need I say more Red Sox fans? :)
- 10) And again in 1969 Mets win the World Series
- 11) Knute Rockne's "Win one for the Gipper" speech.
- 12) Kirk Gibson's limp around the bases as his HR beats Oakland.
- 13) Fisk waves ball fair.
- 14) Pirates beat Yankees for 1960 World Series :(
- 15) Giants ruin Patriots perfect season for Super Bowl. :)
- 16) 1975 Islanders come back from three and oh to win playoff series.
- 17) Flutie leads BC over Miami 1984
- 18) Bird vs Magic
- 19) Toronto comes back from three and oh to beat Detroit in hockey playoffs, 1942. First of only three times ever done.
- 20) 1958 Colts-Giants football championship game. Put football on the map.
This is where this simple golf match now belongs. These moments in this list are all testimonies to why we watch the games; why we care about sports. We dream to see the impossible. Sometimes we root for the underdog and sometimes the event itself just surpasses all expectations and sometimes it is the person himself that just tears our heart out with their simple but eloquent words.
So I congratulate Tiger on winning another major and the fact that he is creeping closer to Jack Nicklaus' all time total golf Major victories but I celebrate the competitive nature of Rocco Mediate against all odds and for the fact that he almost made it.