It appears that the world doesn't hate Tiger Woods as much as we thought. Well, people may dislike his behavior, but they love his performance. In spite of the recent controversy
, Tiger was selected as the athlete of the decade
in a vote by U.S. sports editors.
While this might surprise some, it would have been incredibly illogical to give the award to anyone else. Tiger's decade was simply unmatched by any golfer in the history of the world. In fact, Woods' 56 PGA tour victories during the past decade were more than the entire career win total
of every golfer in history, excluding the top four ever.
In other words, the man is a stud (pun intended).
The tremendous balance of the AP writers who voted is shown by the fact that more than half of the votes were cast after the Nov. 27 accident that led to the recent scandal. Woods had 56 votes to the 33 votes given to Lance Armstrong
, a cyclist who survived cancer to win the Tour de France six times. I was impressed that the writers didn't fall victim to any tendency to lean toward golden boys with blue eyes during Woods' time of weakness.
The big win in this poll won't release Woods from the bounds of declining popularity, though. According to a recent Gallup Poll,
Woods' popularity dropped from 85 percent down to a low of 33 percent after the scandal took place. The 85 percent approval rating was in 2005, the last time the poll was taken. This tremendous loss in popularity means that Woods may get respect as an athlete, but his ability to sell products has been shattered. Also, if Woods takes a year away from golf, his sponsors are going to keep running for the hills.
Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University and the founder of the Your Black World Coalition. To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.