Tiger vs. Jack (style-wise)
Alas, another letter reminding us aging editors, that we're dinosaurs, believing, as the old coach said, that athletes ought to act "as if they've been there before." How about you? In reader Wickersham's list below, do you prefer column A or column B?
Dear Editor, >
In answer to W. MacKimmie's letter "Missing the Boat" in the November 9 edition, which bemoaned his impression that Tiger Woods lacked the style and professionalism of Jack Nicklaus, consider the following comparisons: Chad Ochocinco and Raymond Berry,>
Usain Bolt and Jesse Owens, Serena Williams and Althea Gibson, Manny Ramirez and Ted Musial, Kobe Bryant and Oscar Robertson, even Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. The newcomer always has to overcome the aura of those who came before him. With press coverage and unforgiving fans dogging them 24-7, living up to the reputations of >
those of a different era becomes impossible. For all we know, those stars from the past may not have been so revered had all their personal habits been made public.
Besides being deeply wounded that there are no Tigers, Lions or Red Wings on these lists (hey, how about Kaline, Schmidt and Howe?) I think the comparisons are a bit strained. Couldn't we put tougher a 2009 All-Gentleman or All-Gentlewoman team? In baseball, say, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Ryan Howard? Trade Venus for Serena. Substitute Hines Ward for Chad Ochocinco, and so on? Unlike reader Wickersham, I don't buy that it's a generational thing. There's a right way to play the game, no matter the era. Unlike reader MacKimmie, I think Tiger does a pretty good job. Athletes need not be role models. You'd just like them to be that on the field.