June 16 2008 01:18PM
As Eldrick “Tiger” Woods presumably marches on one leg to his 14th major championship today, those in the media assigned to cover the man often tremble in his wake and are quick to include him among the greatest athletes of all time. Rocco Mediate, the man set to compete against him in an 18-hole playoff today, can probably be counted amongst those who are intimidated by Woods, his solid gold putter, Swedish bikini model wife and army of rabid fans.
As a service to both Rocco Mediate and his dozens of fans world wide, we’ve taken time out on our first day back from vacation to show that Tiger really isn’t that awesome. In fact, there are plenty of athletes that eclipse Tiger Woods in most aspects of sports and athletic competition. And so we present the man that springs most quickly to mind: Eldon “Pokey” Reddick—one time Oilers backup goalie and one of the most feared sports competitors of all time.
Eldrick “Tiger” Woods: meet Eldon “Pokey” Reddick.
Advantage: Eldrick. It would seem that a career as the #1 pro golfer of all time is a lucrative business, whereas playing 22 games for the Fort Wayne Comets of the IHL in 1999 is not. While it’s certainly possible that Reddick gained some German endorsements while starting for the Frankfurt Lions from 1999–2002, it’s unlikely they match the size and scope of Woods’ endorsers—many of whom would likely fold if Woods were to quit as their spokesman. But money ain’t everything, as we shall see...
Advantage Eldon. If the measure of an athlete is ultimately how often they win, then it’s clear that Eldrick barely holds a candle to Eldon. Reddick destroys Woods with a stunning 301 wins—over three times the 86 wins Eldrick has been able to accumulate during his 12-year career. 86 wins in 12 years? You think that the coach of the Grand Rapids Griffins would have allowed that from his starting goalie in 1996? Hells no!
Mediate should take heart from these statistics and see that while perhaps a force on Tour, Tiger really isn’t that scary when you start comparing his career stats outside the PGA.
Advantage: Eldon. While Eldrick is one Nancy Kerrigan-type smasheroo to the knee away from spending his days going from A to B on a Segway, Eldon has two seemingly rock solid knees which come handy as he spends his days on his hands and knees cleaning his James Norris and Bud Poile Trophies (see below). Physical fitness aside, injury prone athletes are often less valued than those in peak physical condition, and this would lead us to value Eldon above Eldrick.
Advantage: Eldon. People (Lowetide) seem to think that “statistics,” “numbers” and “data” are a good way to analyze athletic performance. Well, your ol’ pal Wanye isn’t really one for readin’ and writin’ usually, but we were able to dig up this glaring statistical spread between the two athletes. Reddick sports a steady-but-not-showy career GAA of 3.74. We couldn’t even find any goals against statistics for Woods, if you can believe that.
- 1985-86 James Norris Memorial Trophy (IHL)
- 1993 N.R. "Bud" Poile Trophy (IHL)
- PGA Player of the Year nine times
- PGA Tour Money Leader eight times
- Vardon Trophy winner seven times
- Nine years number one ranked golfer in the world
Awards don’t mean squat—see Fernando being gypped out of the Masterton trophy as evidence. Woods can pile his awards and trophies up to the sky for all we care. We bet he’d trade it all for just half of Reddick’s career victories, or a night with his wife. You can win awards for pretty much anything these days, whereas wins are wins. You think Tiger wouldn’t kill to have won the Bud Poile Trophy as the most valuable player in the Turner Cup in the now defunct International Hockey League?? Ha! He wishes he had a Turner Cup Championship Trophy on his mantle.
Eldrick on Hockey
When asked his thoughts on the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals:
"I don’t really care. I don't think anyone really watches hockey anymore." —Tiger Woods, June 3, 2008.
Eldon on Golf
How dare you sir? How dare you defame the Stanley Cup finals! Golfing is what hockey players do to kill time while they wait for a new season to begin! We hardly think that you would hear Justin Leonard interviewed after a round:
Golf Talking Head: “So Justin, what are your plans until the new PGA season begins?”
Justin Leonard: “Well, like any player I guess I will just head over to the hockey rink and play as much as I can during the off-season.”
Considering the fact that the most tiring thing most PGA players do during a round is yell at their caddy to speed up while they trot down the fairway, it is classless for Tiger to take a run at a real sport. It’s really beyond us that Tiger would offer up such a douchebag response during a media conference in Michigan of all places, and it probably didn’t win him many fans in HockeyTown.
Fortunately, Eldrick dissing the NHL has about as much impact on the game as Eldon dissing the Buick Open—little to say the least. However because of the fact we were unable to find any Reddick quotes on, well, really anything, we will take it that he’s a classier man and award him the point.
Wow. Sweet putt Tiger.
So more career wins, a less injury prone body and a lower GAA to boot. Ipso facto: Eldon beats Eldrick. Science doesn’t lie, lambs.
So we don’t want to hear another word about “one of the top athletes of all time” from you ESPN folk. Nor do we want to hear any “you da man”-ing from the gallery today at the US Open.
Take heart, Rocco Mediate. Tiger Woods ain’t all that and a bag of chips. We think it’s pretty clear that he’s not “the man,” and that Eldrick can barely stand up to close scrutiny outside his lush fairways, monster drives, and luxury cars so fast they make your eyes bleed.
Nonetheless, we’re cheering for him in the playoff today.