Did Tiger Prepare the Way for Barack?

I started reading Chip Brown’s magnificent profile of Tiger Woods this morning and as I finished the first paragraph, I thought to myself of how in the 1950’s the only black men allowed at the country club outside of Cleveland my father belonged to were the caddies. And then it occurred to me that maybe Tiger Woods prepared the psychological path for Barack Obama’s presidency. Here’s how the article starts.

It’s hard to remember now the special frenzy at the beginning, when all the dreams that were projected onto Tiger Woods seemed part of his genius for the game. It was as if there were no divide between the things he could do and the fantasies he could elicit. He was a confluence of races with a sovereign smile and a killer name, and he arrived as if he had been born not just to win golf tournaments and out-earn everyone except Oprah on the Forbes list of highest-paid celebrities, but also to redeem the racist history of his sport and cure a thousand other ills as well. Over the top with pride, his father, Earl, was quoted calling him “the Chosen One” and prophesying that Tiger would “do more than any other man in history to change the course of humanity.”

It is of course hard to sustain a frenzy, but as Tiger has proven, with discipline all things are possible. Its hard to describe why Tiger’s role in golf was so different from say Jackie Robinson’s role in baseball, but when you realize that Augusta National, where the Masters is played didn’t have a Black member until 1991, you get the point.

Earl Wood’s paternal pride may have been “over the top”, but if America elects Barack Obama President, it will definitely change the course of humanity. And for that we may all have to thank Tiger Woods for blazing some sort of strange trail through the American psyche.

This entry was posted in Barack Obama, Games, Journalism, Politics, Sports and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Did Tiger Prepare the Way for Barack?

  1. Tennessee William Shakespeare says:

    Tiger Woods certainly put a stake in the heart of the notion of the superiority of racial purity.

  2. zestypete says:

    “If America elects Barack Obama President, it will definitely change the course of humanity” – really Jon? Please explain how.

  3. Morgan Warstler says:


    “if America elects Barack Obama President, it will definitely change the course of humanity.”

    I think you have a dim view of humanity. It will be great to have a black guy elected POTUS. But whether it happens in 2008, or in 2012, or 2020 – it WILL HAPPEN, and in the course of American history – it isn’t a new path, it is simply a period of upward change on a timeline.

    It is like the lightbulb, whether Joseph Swan or Thomas Edison invented it – it WOULD BE INVENTED – with each following day sooner than later.

    So, my words can’t continue to be mis-construed, this isn’t meant to demean Tiger Woods, who is much better at his sport than Obama is at his… it is simply to point out that which any sense of scale, the course of human history moves up and only up, and you should feel that in your bones, if you don’t – you are to close to the timeine.

  4. Tennessee William Shakespeare says:


  5. Rick Turner says:

    Don’t feed the trolls…

  6. Jon Taplin says:

    What I meant was that I believe The Declaration of Independance changed the course of humanity. But it is one thing to state “that all men are created equal” and it is another to fully prove out that creed. If it took us 232 years to transverse the trail of tears (slavery, Native America “removal”,etc) to fully embrace Jefferson’s creed, then that too would be a “change in the course of humanity”.

  7. Tennessee William Shakespeare says:

    Nice try, Jon, but you, Zhirem, et al, are just not up to the towering flights of intellect of the Mighty Voice of the People. Don’t waste your time. His meta powerful mind has hardened into aspic.

  8. Tennessee William Shakespeare says:

    He has made that clear.

  9. carthur says:

    Jon, I’ve been putting them together for a while, electing Barack would be the next great watershed for america, it’s Declaration of Independence from rich old white men!

  10. Tennessee William Shakespeare says:

    Watching John McCain droning his way through some boilerplate with a professional audience trying to sound like it cares. Obama goes in an hour. He’s got to bury McCain. Just by standing up and saying, “Thank you.” He has the moment. The momentous. He does the same thing to the rest of the world.

  11. Morgan Warstler says:

    And JH, if Obama doesn’t win, what the hell does that mean?

  12. Tennessee William Shakespeare says:

    Crime. That’s all.

  13. len says:

    “…as Tiger has proven, with discipline all things are possible.”

    Given the events of the week, the irony in this is delicious. Set up the icon; let it self-immolate. Next Golden Calf, please.

  14. JTMcPhee says:

    What — our president is involved in a dalliance, now?

Leave a Reply