Talking Points: Worship of Tiger

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What's the buzz from the world of sports? Here are some items that will have people talking:

1

Is he a good guy? That's debatable.

Is he a role model for kids? Uh, not so much.

But is there any question that Tiger Woods contending for a major championship remains one of the most exciting spectacles in sports? No.

Woods' public image will never reach the zenith it did last decade when he was arguably the most marketable athlete in history — perhaps even more so than Michael Jordan. But while fans certainly don't condone his off-the-course endeavors, they continue to celebrate his prowess on the links, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

The days of worshiping athletes for anything more than their talent are waning, but Tiger's ability is inimitable and is worthy of onlookers' attention. He may not be the man we hoped he was, but it seems that he still is the golfer.

2

Unless you're a die-hard football fan, which, granted, most of the country is — it's hard to argue that this isn't generally one of the best sports weeks in history.

It began with the crowning of a Stanley Cup champion, continued with the NBA Finals, and is topped off with the U.S. Open. Pretty tough to beat that.

There are other big-time multi-sport weeks — such as the crossing of the Australian Open and the Super Bowl, along with the Final Four warming up the crowd for the Masters.

But three big-time championships all in a seven-day span? Pretty nice way to start the summer.

3

We think the NBA actually likes people thinking it cheats. You know, the conspiracy theory thing.

Why else does the NBA put itself in such strange situations?

The conspiracists say the NBA wants a long series between the Heat and the Thunder. So, naturally, the NBA sends referee Dan Crawford to Game 2. The Heat are now 15-3 in playoff games since 2004 with Crawford as a ref. That's a winning percentage of .833.

Yes, Dan Crawford was on the floor when Dwyane Wade went to the foul line 87 times (number might be exaggerated) in Game 6 of the 2006 Finals.

The team's overall playoff percentage since 2004 is .592.

We're not saying that Crawford favors the Heat. We're just wondering why the NBA would put itself in the position to be second-guessed by having an official with that kind of a record work a "Heat-must-win-to-ensures-a-longer-series" conspiracy angle.

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