Thank goodness Tiger Woods is still with us

File-This Dec. 19, 2020, file photo shows Tiger Woods watching his tee shot on the first hole during the first round of the PNC Championship golf tournament, in Orlando, Fla. Woods announced Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, he had a fifth back surgery and will miss tournaments in San Diego and Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)

Feb. 23, 2021 –
DAN MATHEWS
680 THE FAN, ATLANTA – The greatest words we heard on Tuesday afternoon was ‘non-life threatening’ injuries for Tiger Woods. 

Tiger Woods was called “lucky” to be alive by one of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputies on Tuesday, following the single car accident that sent him to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Southern California with leg injuries. The report of leg fractures and a broken ankle is much better than what we’ve seen happen over the last year. 

It is still hard to believe that Kobe Bryant left us over a year ago. It has hurt us locally to see legends like Hank Aaron, Phil Niekro and Don Sutton pass away. 

Athletes are the ticket to our youth in so many cases. We grow up watching and rooting for them. When they pass, in some cases it feels like a family member or a close friend has died. Thank goodness we didn’t have to grieve the loss of another legend we’ve come to watch over the years. 

A crane is used to lift a vehicle following a rollover accident involving golfer Tiger Woods, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, in the Rancho Palos Verdes suburb of Los Angeles. Woods suffered leg injuries in the one-car accident and was undergoing surgery, authorities and his manager said. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

The most important part of all following this accident? We can be very thankful that Tiger’s children, Charlie and Sam will get the chance to grow up with their father. I cannot even imagine how scared they must have been, when hearing what happened to their Dad. 

Tiger’s future on the course is way on the back burner right now. His recovery and rehabilitation is the foremost important focus for him. 

From a golf standpoint, let us be thankful for what he’s given us as fans over the years. The dominance that he held over golf’s highest level of play for the better part of a decade, is one accomplishment that comes to mind. 

Tiger has made golf “cool.” Before his arrival, it was an incredibly stiff sport. Players were mostly out of peak physical shape and in some cases wore goofy clothes on the course. Tiger changed all of this for the game. He showed that your ticket to dominating play, is to keep yourself in great physical condition. Also, you can dress and look like an athlete on the course when you play. 

Think of the people who have been brought to the game, because of Tiger’s influence? The Rory McIlroy’s, Jordan Spieth’s, Brooks Koepka’s and Justin Thomas’s of the game are here because of Tiger Woods. I love the game, because of Tiger Woods. 

We may never see Tiger Woods play a competitive round of golf at a high level ever again. Honestly? I’m good with that. He’s given us and the game more than we could have ever dreamed to see. 

Another thing that has been awesome to see over the years with Tiger, is his growth as a man. Gone are the days of on-course swearing tantrums and staring down members of the media for questions they asked following a round. He’s gained wisdom from his past mistakes, to frankly become more likable than ever. 

You cannot talk about the life of Tiger Woods, without mentioning the infidelities that came to light after Thanksgiving 2009. He made amends for the past mistakes in his personal life. He became Tiger Woods the human and not just Tiger Woods the golf god. Maybe we haven’t committed wrongdoings to this level, but chances are we’ve made huge mistakes in our past. Isn’t it great to learn from those mistakes and redeem yourself? I know I always enjoy getting that chance, after I’ve done something wrong. 

This very easily could have read today like an obituary for a sporting legend. After the events of 2020-21, thank goodness we can all take a deep sigh of relief. While broken bones are painful and need time to heal; a loss of life is the wound that never fully closes up.

DAN MATHEWS

Chuck Oliver Show – Anchor/Fill-In Host 
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