Tiger is great but NOT a hero!!
First of all, let me acknowledge Tiger Woods' great ability to dominate his sport and perform in the clutch. His ability to keep his cool, force a playoff and ultimately win was a sign of a great golfer. I refuse to use the term "athlete" in regards to golfers. Tiger may be a great physical specimen, but if my 90 year old grandpa can play decent golf then it really takes no athletic ability. Just talent and skill. But, that's a long conversation for another entry.
Now, after giving him props, let me tear down the over-hype machine known as the media and ignorant interviewers. I am referring to everyone being so amazed that Tiger played without his ACL. They have called him amazing, heroic, and just plain "tough". Why? I'm sure there was swelling in his knee. I'm sure there was pressure and it was sore. But he, in no way, risked further damage, his career, his knee in general, or do anything special except play through pain and discomfort. True, a lot of athletes crumble at the smallest hangnail, but the feat of playing without an ACL is nothing special.
I blew out my ACL in 2000. I continued to wait tables because without insurance (and absolutely no help from Medi-crap) I had to earn money for my surgery. I put up with the pain and discomfort of being on my feet for hours at a time for $50-60 bucks. I damn sure would have walked 18 holes for a mil! Where's my recognition? Why am I not a hero because I persevered through adversity to work. Let me repeat that word....WORK.....Waiting tables....not playing a game! "But John, that is Tiger's job." Did he need to play to pay for surgery? Did he really need to play to feed himself?
The doctor I saw did not have an ACL in either knee. He had blown them both out. He is/was one of the doctors for the men's and women's U.S. soccer teams. He would scrimmage with them and was an avid runner. All without an ACL in either knee! Holy shit! What an athlete! What a hero! How brave and tough is he?
A collegiate soccer player I know was doing very, very well. He was an All-American and All-Conference. He tweaked his knee and tested positive for an ACL tear. He had an MRI to confirm it but something was strange. He had a lot of scar tissue. The ACL had been gone for anywhere from 6 months to a year. This is an athlete who cut, ran, dodged, slid, pivoted, kicked, etc without an ACL! And he was one of the best! I think that's more impressive than swinging a golf club and walking around. His knee was in much more danger than Tiger's ever was. Therefore, if an ACL-less Tiger is such hot shit, this guy must be the greatest athlete ever!!!!
Once again, it's not Tiger's fault. It's the media. As an Athletic Trainer I'm amazed at the ignorance of these commentators. Who's checking their facts or providing info? While I'm sure Tiger experienced quite a bit of pain and discomfort, and played incredibly, he did nothing really special beyond what he does on any golf course. Swinging and walking. That's it. There are a lot of athletes and everyday people that do more and risk more with major injuries. So, again, congrats to him and his amazing abilities, but I can not give him any praise beyond that.