By Bob Cooney

 

There are many times when you are about to witness a sporting event that you prepare yourself for an outcome. If the team you root for is a heavy favorite for a game, at least if you’re a Philadelphia fan, you prepare yourself for some kind of a letdown. If the underdog is the role that your team is playing, you know – again, at least here in Philadelphia – not to gear yourself for the chance of the upset.

But do you ever get a feeling while watching sports that you’ve surprised even yourself with the reaction that has overcome you? It happened to me this past weekend, and it didn’t even involve a local team.

Like many, I was a dedicated watcher of The Open Championship this past weekend, taking in all that surrounded Cameron Smith’s win at Royal St. Andrews. It was a great tournament and if you’re a golf fan, it didn’t disappoint in the least. But I came away from the tournament wondering about my reaction to something.

Friday afternoon, Tiger Woods, after a horrendous two days of golf, made his way up the 18th fairway and crossed over the famous Swilcan Bridge, to finish out what may have been his last competitive hole at the Old Course. And while the television announcers overplayed the sentimental aspect of it all as the world’s most well-known golfer approached his second shot, and as Tiger wiped tears from underneath of his Nike hat, I felt nothing.

Now I’ve been a Woods fan since he broke onto the golf scene. I’m like many others in that when he plays, it’s must watch TV. So when the swarm of fans were on their feet in the stands at 18 in Scotland, I just didn’t get it.

Is it because I don’t believe Woods is done being competitive? Perhaps. Is it due to the fact that while he limped up that 18th fairway I’m disappointed that his body has failed him so much during his career? Maybe. I honestly don’t know why my reaction was as stoic as it was. But that’s the great thing about sports, in my mind, and that’s the reaction, or lack thereof, that they elicit.