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 #29 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Honorable Tom McMillen Visits League of Fans’ Sports Forum – McMillen is a former All-American basketball player, Olympian, Rhodes Scholar and U.S. Congressman, and has a long involvement with the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sport (now called the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition). We discuss the state of college athletics today, given the pressures of NIL, the transfer portal, sports gambling and huge media contracts. McMillen then provides great perspective on the poor state of physical fitness our young people are experiencing today.
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Episode #28 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Chat With Mano Watsa, a Leading Basketball and Life Educator – Watsa is President of PGC Basketball, the largest education basketball camp in the world. We discuss problems in youth sports today.
Episode #27 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Kids’ Sports: How We Can Take Back the Game and Restore Quality Family Time In the Process – Linda Flanagan is author of “Take Back the Game: How Money and Mania Are Ruining Kids’ Sports and Why It Matters.” We discuss how commercialized and professionalized youth sports are hurting kids and their families.
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.”
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.
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.
- Reed Appears on Ralph Nader Radio Hour League of Fans’ sports policy director, Ken Reed, Ralph Nader and the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner discussed a variety of sports issues on Nader’s radio show as well as Reed’s updated book, How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan. Reed's book was released in paperback in February, and has a new introduction and several updated sections.
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.
Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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