I’m The Greatest — No, I’m The Greatest!!

I am the greatest athlete of this generation.

No, not me. There are 4 gentlemen who’d have a legitimate argument if they said that aloud, and 3 of them were in action Sunday. The 4th, is preparing to launch himself to an unprecedented level of greatness this coming Sunday….

1.) Roger Federer

2.) Tiger Woods

3.) Lebron James

4.) Tom Brady

Roger Federer

The accomplishments of Roger Federer, at 36 years, 173 days old, are like nothing we’ve seen before. After experiencing a Grand Slam title drought of 18, Federer has now won 3 of the past 5 (2 Australian Opens and 1 Wimbledon). That’s just flat out ridiculous.

Did I mention Federer is old?! 36, in men’s professional tennis, is ancient. In fact, upon winning the Australian Open, Federer became the 2nd oldest man to win a Grand Slam (Ken Rosewall – 1972 Australian Open). Still not impressed?! The only 2 sets Federer lost the entire tournament were against Marin Cilic on Sunday. Federer would drop the 2nd and 4th sets, forcing a sudden-death, 5th set for the Australian Open Title. Federer, steam rolled, winning 6-1. And with every Grand Slam victory, Federer continues to break his own record. He’s now won 20 Grand Slams.

The question isn’t if he’ll win #21, but when??

Tiger Woods

Woods_Cut_1120_Getty

Tiger Woods is back!! For real this time. Playing in his 1st PGA Tour event in a year, and just his 5th in 2-and-a-half years, Tiger Woods impressed. He didn’t win the tournament, nor will he win a tournament anytime soon, but he made the cut and played through the weekend.

He finished 23rd (-3), playing 4 consecutive rounds without injury (which should be Tiger Wood’s main focus). So, while he won’t compete with Jason Day and Alex Noren in Monday’s playoff of the Farmers Insurance Open, Tiger Woods should have a smile on his face.

He should also spend his free time at the driving range, because he hit a career low 17 of 56 fairways (30%), including 3 of 14 on Saturday. No, I can’t shoot 3-under over 4 consecutive rounds, but I can hit more than 3 fairways.

Lebron James

lebron yesterday

Lebron James went about his business Sunday:

25 points, 8 rebounds, 14 assists, and 1 steal in 38 minutes.

The Cleveland Cavaliers won 121-104 over the Detroit Pistons. As crazy as this sounds, the Cavaliers can use every win they can get. At 29-19 on the season, they are currently the 3-seed in the Eastern Conference, however, they’re closer to the 7-seed than the 2-seed. This also sounds crazy, but another NBA Championship would do Lebron James’ legacy wonders.

As talented and accomplished as he is, Lebron is chasing a ghost. And ghosts tend to be hard to catch. As with every all-time great, I will never doubt Lebron James. Not until the clock hits double-zero and his team is on the wrong side of history.

Tom Brady

Tom-Brady

Tom Brady doesn’t often land on the wrong side of history. I don’t foresee that changing this coming Sunday. As Nick Foles continues to figure out how he got here, Tom Brady sleeps soundly. Super Bowl Sunday has become as regular an occurrence for Tom Brady, as a trip to the food store is for you and I.

With his (12) stitches removed, Brady is set to capture his 6th Super Bowl Ring. And like Roger Federer, will look to break his own record. When 2nd place is so distant, I guess you become your only competition.

 

Who is the greatest athlete of this generation?? Tell me in the comment section below.

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Tigah Tigah Woods Y’all

After the fog lifted from Torrey Pines and Tiger Woods won for his 8th time there, has the fog finally lifted from Tiger Woods recent struggles?  Which Tiger Woods are we going to see in 2013?  Let’s see if we can shed some light on these valid questions.  Tiger Woods won his 75th PGA Tournament(2nd All-Time) on Monday and showed flashes of his former self in the process.  While he did shoot a pedestrian even par(72) in his final round, he comfortably won The Farmers Insurance Open by 4 strokes.  Come Tuesday morning there was definitely talk of how well Tiger played, and what we should expect to see out of him this season.  However, it didn’t seem like we were overloaded with the Tiger Talk we’ve grown accustomed to.  Now maybe it’s because we’re all gearing up for the Super Bowl or more likely it’s because 90% of “golf fans” don’t watch unless 1 of the 4 majors are on TV.  In that regard, golf is a sport like tennis.  It doesn’t really carry casual fans.  It’s not like Football where every game matters and you have instant action on every play.  It was also the first real tournament of a nearly 10 month season.  With that being said, Tiger Woods is usually the only reason people watch golf.  You can hate Tiger Woods the man, (like most of us do) but as a golfer we all root for him, let’s be honest.  I know I root for him when he’s on the golf course.  We want to watch history being made right in front of our eyes, and that’s OK.  Stop fighting yourself and just appreciate what Tiger Woods can still accomplish on a golf course.  By his own standards, yes Tiger had a down year in 2012, but let’s put this “down year” in perspective.  The guy still won 3 out of the 19 tournaments he played in.  By the way, how nice would it be to only have to work 19 weeks out of the year?  Poor Bastard.  Back to the point, there are amazing golfers out there that would give their left arm to win 3 professional golf tournaments in their LIFETIME.  That’s how difficult it is to win a golf tournament on the professional tour.  So yes compared to the Tiger of 2000 where he won 9 out of 20 tournaments and 3 majors, and was on his way to the “Tiger Slam”, Tiger had a down year in 2012.  But compared to the rest of us, he was still spectacular.  So what can we expect from Tiger this year?  A tough question that even I’m not completely sure of a confident answer yet.  I know that I want him to win a handful of tournaments and a major, and I definitely know that the networks and golf itself need him to play well.  People aren’t plopping themselves in front of the tube on a beautiful Sunday in June to watch Bubba Watson and Keegan Bradley battle it out.  Let me take time out your regularly scheduled program to give a quick shout-out to The Wheatley Hills Golf Club in East Williston, where I was raised.  This is one of the courses Keegan Bradley called home while attending St. Johns University since they didn’t have their own course on campus.  Now back to El Tigre(that’s spanish for The Tiger).  So, from a ratings standpoint and for the interest level of golf fans everywhere, we are pulling for you Tiger.  Tiger’s golf game though, like everybody’s is not perfect.  Here is a snapshot of Tigers troubles in 2012.  He stands to improve on his driving accuracy(where he ranked 55th) and his approach shots from between 75 and 150 yards.  I bet you’ll be surprised to learn that in 2012 he ranked a dismal 117th in Greens In Regulation between those distances.  That statistic is slightly deceiving considering in total Greens In Regulation, he ranked 29th.  Now Tiger always lived with his accuracy issues off the tee(in 2000 he ranked 54th and 2006 he ranked 139th).  Those are arguably the two best seasons of his career.  However, when he’s piling up wins and expanding the size of his trophy case, he’s got the putter working and mentally he’s got his head in the game.  Golf more than any other sport is a mental challenge.  It is the only sport where you are competing against yourself, so you become your biggest obstacle.  You know what the biggest difference is between the guy who heads into Sunday with the lead and crumbles(cough, Lee Westwood, cough), and Tiger Woods?  Mental toughness!  When things start to go awry on the course, you need to clear your head and move on to the next shot.  I’ve seen a lot of guys unravel right before my eyes because they let one errant shot turn into two and then it’s like rolling a snowball down a mountain.  I mean no disrespect to Lee Westwood by the way.  He is the #8 ranked golfer in the world, his career earnings are approximately 36 Million Dollars(insert Dr. Evil Voice here), you’ve probably heard of him, but he only has 2 PGA victories, and 0 majors.  Just as a reminder Tiger Woods has 75 tour victories and 14 majors.  What Tiger has also done better than any other golfer in the history of the sport, is intimidate his opponents.  Back in the day, other golfers used to fear him!  They would find themselves watching him win with the rest of us rather than believe they actually had a chance to defeat him.  If Tiger wants to get back to his old self, he’ll need to start doing these things once again.  I think that Tiger should focus mostly on the mental aspects of his game and his sheer intimidation over his peers.  This will be a recipe for success.  As we’ve seen in recent past in major tournaments, it’s not the guy making up ground that wins, it’s the guy who remains steady and keeps his head above water.  With this mentality, I believe that Tiger can cause his opponents to once again falter on Sundays in 2013 just the way he did in the beginning of his career.  Let me attach some numbers to my predictions.  I believe that if healthy for the entire year, Tiger Woods will win 4 tournaments and 1 major.  Of course he has the ability to win 3 majors and 9 tournaments again, I mean he still is Tiger Woods.  But, I don’t see a year worse than last year.  Even at his worst I still think he’s a top 10 golfer in the world.