By Ken Reed
I’ve never been a Tiger Woods fan. I’m more of a Phil Mickelson guy.
Mickelson is one of the most fan-friendly athletes in recent times and seems to be a class act and great family man. Tiger has been none of those things. In fact, for a good portion of his life he’s been a jerk and treated people poorly, including family members and friends.
For most of Tiger’s career, while I’ve enjoyed watching his amazing skill on a golf course, I’ve rooted against him.
That is until this past year. I’ve rooted for him to become relevant again because sports in general, and golf in particular, is better when he’s a factor. His comeback from multiple back surgeries, knee surgeries, a host of public personal problems and old age (for a golfer) to win the PGA Tour Championship is simply an all-time great sports story; one of great perseverance and overcoming the odds.
Undoubtedly, Woods is one of the most charismatic athletes in history. But a year ago, from a golfing perspective, he was given up for dead. However, in 2018, he comes from out of nowhere to almost win a couple majors, and then finishes the year with his stunning Tour Championship victory (while also falling but a stroke short of winning the FedEx Cup). His round this past Sunday was sports theater at its finest.
I recently finished the biography “Tiger Woods” by Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian. It’s a good read, in the mold of “Open,” Andre Agassi’s compelling autobiography. After reading the book, it’s clear that Woods’ unconventional upbringing helped make him both a golfing robot par excellence and seriously flawed human being.
All indications are that Tiger has worked hard the last couple years to become not only a great golfer again but a better person as well. While I suspect the game of life will remain a bigger challenge for Tiger Woods than the game of golf, here’s hoping his character and personal life has improved right along with his golf game.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #26 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Fix Youth Sports? – John O’Sullivan is Founder and CEO of Changing the Game Project and author of “Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes and Giving Youth Sports Back to Our Kids.” We discuss overzealous adults in youth sports, the dangers of sport specialization, youth sports entrepreneurs and the profit-at-all-costs mindset, and the growing socio-economic gap in youth sports.
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Episode #25 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Physical Education Should Be a Critical Component of K-12 School Design – Michael Horn is co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation.
Episode #24 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Mental Health and Athletes: Ending the Stigma – Nathan Braaten and Taylor Ricci are the founders of Dam Worth It, a non-profit created to end the stigma around mental health at colleges and universities through sport, storytelling, and community creation.
Episode #23 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Olympian Benita Fitzgerald Mosley Talks Title IX, Youth Sports and the Olympics.
Episode #22 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Rethinking Sports Fandom with Author Craig Calcaterra – We discuss Calcaterra’s new book “Rethinking Fandom: How to Beat the Sports-Industrial Complex at Its Own Game” and explore new ways to be a fan.
Episode #21 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Chatting About a Broken Game With Baseball Writer Pedro Moura – Moura is a national baseball writer for Fox Sports. We discuss how and why the game of baseball is broken, what factors caused it, and offer a few thoughts on how to “fix” a great game.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- League of Fans Sports Policy Director Ken Reed quoted in Washington Post column titled "What happened to P.E.? It’s losing ground in our push for academic improvement," by Jay Mathews
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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