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06/11/2012

Unpopular poll: LeBron James vs. Tiger Woods

Act_lebron_jamesThis week the sport's world gives us two of its biggest annual events: The NBA Finals and the U.S. Open. Both feature one-named stars who were once at the peak of popularity only to see their individual reputations take an absolute beating in recent years.

The 112th U.S. Open begins this week in San Francisco with Tiger Woods going for his first title in this event since 2008.

Even though he has not been able to return to the other-wordly dominating form, he remains golf's biggest name, biggest draw, and most polorazing figure.

The NBA Finals begins Tuesday in Oklahoma City with LeBron James going for his first NBA title. He is arguably the best player in the sport, an enormous draw, and its most polorazing figure.

Both men have become the bad guys of their sport, and it's not a suit that seems to fit either of them very well. Bron killed his reputation by quitting on the Cavaliers in the playoffs a few years ago, leaving his team via an embarrassing Jim Gray interview, and celebrating nothing in Miami.

Tiger killed his reputation by acting like an arrogant brat. What you think of his personal life is your call, but it didn't help. 

While both men remain undeniably popular, and worth buh-zillions, neither are as beloved as they once were. 

300px-TigerWoodsOct2011It's not a totally atypical story arc of the pro jock. Stay on stage long enough, you are going to get kicked. Even Michael Jordan, now as the owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, is getting his turn.

Both Tiger and Bron do, however, make things more interesting. The chance to watch Tiger act like a baby after a bad shot is too enticing not to watch; it is worth the risk of watching him win a tournament and then dispense with a series of codescending answers.

The chance to watch Bron Bron gag on a fourth quarter free throw is worth the risk of watching him celebrate.

Arrogance, hubris and an impressive lack of self-awareness have helped in this "downfall" of BronBron and El Tigre. (Downfall requires quotation marks because I do believe most of the modern world would eagerly take either scenario.)

Both Tiger and LeBron may walk away from these repsective events with a trophy.

The question is, do you want them to?

 

@MacEngelProf
tengel@star-telegram.com
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Comments

bigeasy

The reason they are hated is because of skin color,nothing else.

Ryan

bigeasy, you could not be more wrong. I hope you are trolling. What LeBron did to Cleveland did not go unnoticed across the country and Tiger was one of the most loved American athletes before his infidelity scandal. THOSE are the reasons they are disliked.

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