Yesterday afternoon, most of the world roared as Tiger Woods cemented his status as the greatest pound-for-pound golfer of all-time by winning his 5th Masters.
Even I, a once-proud Tiger Hater, couldn’t help but cheer for the guy. This is for a couple of reasons:
1. Unless I’m compromised by a vested or personal interest, I always pull for the underdog in sports. It’s why I couldn’t stand Tiger back in the 2000s when he was dominating all who stood before him, and it’s why I pulled for him on Sunday as he clawed his way up the leaderboard. Tiger is the storybook sports protagonist hero. He rocketed to the top as prodigy, crashed and burned at the height of fame, and then overcame injuries, obstacles and personal demons to rise again. It’s a great circular journey that I’m sure will be the focus of multiple movies, series and 30 for 30 documentaries.
2. I love it when Regular Jim Traber is massively wrong.
For those who are lucky enough to have no clue what I’m talking about in regards to Regular Jim Traber, congratulations! I envy you, and wish you the best in the wars to come.
For those who sadly know what I’m talking about, you know the story…
Three or four years ago, when Tiger was dealing with possible career-ending injuries and struggling with his game, Regular Jim Traber made a very loud and public bet with Craig “New Math” Humphreys and Mark “Jell-O Shot” Rodgers that Tiger Woods would never win a major.
It was the type of bet you may make with friends while drinking at Buffalo Wild Wings and then forget about the next day, but not for Jim Traber. In his typical overkill fashion, he made sure we all remembered. Outside of complaining about Russell Westbrook taking a bad three pointer, there was nothing Jim loved more than to talk about Tiger’s failures. He’d gloat, brag and take odd delight in Tiger’s injuries, struggles, and deep fall from grace. Any time golf was mentioned on The Sports Animal – which I think is every 45-seconds – he would find a way to sneak it into conversation…
“Hey Trabes! How about Sergio yesterday?! He finally won a major. What do you think about that?”
“I think it’s great, but I’ll tell you Craig, know who’s not going to win a major? Tiger Woods. He’s done. That bet I made with you and Mark was the greatest bet of all time. The greatest!”
“But Trabes!!! Jack won the Masters at age 46!!! Tiger Woods can –”
“He’s done, Craig! Done! Now what did you think about that dismal performance by the Thunder last night? What Russell Westbrook is doing right now is pathetic!!! Sam Presti should…”
For Jim, the Tiger Bet was a contrived win-win and a great thing for him to amplify.
If Tiger never won another major, he’d get to give it up to himself everyday for being the ultimate sports mind – a man who tells the truth and knows sports and mouth-breathing better than anyone.
If he was wrong, big deal. He’d get a little Jimmy’s Egg on his face and be out $700 ($500 to Craig Humphreys, $200 to Mark Rodgers), and then get to enjoy a large burst of ratings as white men from all over the state who still listen to the radio tune-in to hear him eat crow, admit to failure, and be chided and trolled by a series of radio colleagues, callers and whichever minimum wage-earning producer they had working in studio that day.
The Sports Animal sales and promotions team seems to know this. They’ve been promoting it heavily since yesterday:
— The Sports Animal (@sportsanimal) April 14, 2019
— The Sports Animal (@sportsanimal) April 14, 2019
Will someone tell the intern who runs the Sports Animal Twitter account that algorithms are based on your own tweets and interests, and who you follow and interact with determines what you see as “trending” worldwide?
Anyway, the fact that Traber’s bet feels more like a contrived marketing stunt than a real-life wager makes me kind of want to boycott the station today at 2:00pm. Instead of tuning into Traber, I’d suggest you join me in switching over to the Franchise and listening to Kelly Gregg, Gabe Ikard and… well… nevermind. Maybe listening to Traber isn’t such a bad idea.
In fact, this is how I predict he’ll open the show today…
“Welcome, everyone, to the Afternoon Sports Beat. I’m Jim Traber and I’m here at Golf USA…”
Okay, let’s skip past the three minutes of radio remote advertising…
“As I’m sure you know, Tiger Woods won the Master’s yesterday and, well, I lost my bet. I’m sure that makes a lot of you pathetic listeners happy and want to call in and rip me, but before you do, I’ll just say this – I bow down to the guy. Tiger proved me wrong. And you know what, that’s the thing. I have no problem admitting I am wrong. Other people do. I don’t. If I think something is going to happen, I’ll say it. Because that’s what I do. I speak the truth. Anyway, we’ll talk more about The Masters and get to the phones in a bit, but before we do, let’s talk about this pathetic Thunder team. Gideon, what did you think about that dismal performance by the Thunder last night? What Russell Westbrook is doing right now is pathetic!!! Sam Presti should…”