While Simon & Garfunkel bemoaned the loss of the American hero, those of us who are avid devotees of pro golf cannot give up on our fixation with Tiger Woods.  But, we need to ask ourselves, why is that?  While certainly the most talented and dramatic golfer of his generation, Tiger, off the course, has proven himself to be less than hero worthy…a lot less.  Yet, we salivate at the possibility that he will return to pre-eminence.

Oftentimes, it is the media that drives such obsessions since their business relies on exposure…good or bad.  But, with Tiger the fascination runs way deeper than that.  Maybe too deep for an ordinary lay person to decipher.

Interestingly, we have been told time and time again that America loves an underdog, yet, when the rubber hits the road,  who are the fan favorites?  The Yankees, the Red Sox, the Cowboys, Tiger Woods.  So, just maybe, we have turned into a nation that revers the rich and powerful who can buy or bully their way to success.

Living in Buffalo, NY, I know all about having an inferiority complex.  So, maybe, when an athlete dominates the way Tiger used to dominate, it may ameliorate our insecurities.  It makes us all feel like we can dominate; that it is possible to be the best at our chosen path.

People love being able to say that they were ‘there’ when a big event happened.  At one time, a long time ago, it was fashionable for anyone in their twenties to swear that they were in attendance at Woodstock.  So, while the actual number of poeple at Woodstock was around a half a million, give or take, the professed number of attendees was probably approaching five million or so.  In the world of pro golf and sports in general, Tiger offered all of his fans the opportunity to say, ‘I was there when Tiger was The Man; I was a witness to history.’

I’m sure there are as countless more reasons for Tiger-mania; some realistic and some as far-fetched as a man landing on the moon.  So, no matter what the reason. No matter whether we love or hate him, Tiger, at least for now and the foreseeable future, is still the ‘straw that stirs the drink.’