RUSH: Ann in Eugene, Oregon, welcome to the EIB Network.
CALLER: Thank you. Good morning, Rush! I love you bunches.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER. For years, you have helped me in my morning nine to 12 grunt work with my three kids listening to you, and you’ve really helped me, you know, be positive and feel good about my conservative views in South Eugene, Oregon, which is not easy, believe me. But anyway, I’m a golf fanatic.
CALLER: I love golf. I’m not playing right now because I don’t have time, but I liked what you said about golf last week, and I always enjoy it when you talk about it. But I followed the PGA this weekend, and I am totally anti-Tiger Woods and totally pro-Phil Mickelson. So I just can’t stand him. But after yesterday —
RUSH: Wait a second, now.
CALLER: Now, now, now.
RUSH: You gotta tell me why you’re so anti-Tiger.
CALLER: I don’t know. I don’t have a good reason.
RUSH: I’ll tell you why.
CALLER: After yesterday, I will maybe be thinking this through a little bit more, because he always wins. He always makes six-foot putts. He always does it, and I just love Phil. I don’t know why.
RUSH: Wait, Wait, Tiger didn’t make those putts at the British. He didn’t make ’em at the Masters. He didn’t make ’em at the US Open.
CALLER: But —
RUSH: He doesn’t always make those putts. I’m going to tell you why you don’t like Tiger.
CALLER: Okay, tell me.
RUSH: I’m guessing. My guess is you’re so sick and tired of watching a televised golf tournament where Tiger is playing —
RUSH: — and Tiger drives the ball two fairways to the right and the announcers will say, ‘That’s a great strategy.’
CALLER: You’re probably right.
RUSH: He’s trying to make the field think he’s out of the tournament or doesn’t have his game today.
CALLER: Right, right.
RUSH: And when Tiger misses a three-feet putt, it’s on purpose or a spite mark.
RUSH: You probably just get sick of that. It’s like people hated the New York Yankees back when there was one televised baseball game a week because they were always on.
CALLER: Yeah. You could be right. I will take that into consideration, but yesterday I gotta tell you, I had a couple observations. I just wanted to ask you. That had to be one of the best wins he has ever had in his life, because: 110 degrees; tough, tough, tough course; hanging in, and the guy just got married. Getting married is not easy, especially the first year —
RUSH: No, no, no.
CALLER: — and now he’s got the little baby in arms. No time, no sleep, no sex, no nothing. This guy’s coming with a real deficit.
RUSH: Don’t believe any of that.
CALLER: No, that’s true.
RUSH: Don’t believe it.
CALLER: I really do.
RUSH: Don’t believe anything. I don’t know about the sex, but don’t believe this no sleep business.
CALLER: Weeeell, whatever, but the no sex, that’s part of why you get married.
RUSH: Look, his wife was a nanny.
CALLER: Well, whatever she was, I don’t know.
RUSH: By profession!
CALLER: It is hard to be married early on. It’s hard to have kids.
RUSH: Nicklaus did it!
CALLER: Well, fine.
RUSH: Come on. Everybody has kids and everybody works and they have these things.
CALLER: Oh, but he need does not excel like he does in a sport that is so tough.
RUSH: Yeah, and I… You know what? I’m going to keep you on the phone because I gotta go to a commercial break. I’m going to tell you —
CALLER: Oh, Rush! (giggles)
CALLER: That’s great. Go ahead. I’d love to hear anything you have to say.
RUSH: I’m going to put Tiger Woods in perspective. I can’t believe you only learned about these far-above-average abilities of his yesterday.
CALLER: No. Well, no. I’ve known about him, I just didn’t like him. I don’t like his parents. I didn’t like two-year-old shots of him swinging on the Johnny Carson show. I just didn’t like him.
RUSH: You were just reacting.
RUSH: You just didn’t want to be part of conventional wisdom that was sopping up all this stuff. Your dislike for Tiger was media-driven because… We’ll conclude this right after the break.
RUSH: Don’t hang up.
RUSH: All right, we’re back with Ann in Eugene, Oregon. Here’s what I think you have to know about Tiger Woods. By the way, I’m probably going to make you hate him even more here.
CALLER: (giggles) No, you’re not.
RUSH: Well, if you already don’t like him because of —
CALLER: No, I like him more now because he’s more normal.
RUSH: Yeah, but… (groans)
CALLER: Okay, go ahead. I need to hear what you need to say.
RUSH: More normal? Now, see, that’s what it is. See, my team’s the Pittsburgh Steelers —
RUSH: — and in the seventies, they were unbeatable, and people outside of Pittsburgh and outside of the Steelers fan base hated them because they were like a machine, they were so good.
CALLER: Mmm-hmm. Mmm-hmm.
RUSH: You just said, ‘Finally, he’s human.’
RUSH: Because he’s got a wife and a baby.
RUSH: You think even though the baby is crying all night and he’s up change the diapers, he can still win a golf tournament. That’s a very female attitude to have about this —
RUSH: — and it’s worthwhile but I’ll tell you the reason he’s able to do that — which, by the way, every guy that’s been a success at anything and has kids has had to do that. It’s not that special. What makes Tiger special is what’s between the ears.
RUSH: When you get to his level —
CALLER: Absolutely right. I agree with that.
RUSH: — they all can hit it. They all can chip and putt. He’s better at it consistently than most, but —
CALLER: Right. Focused.
CALLER: He’s totally focused.
RUSH: Yeah, but I think it’s more than that. I think people who have not played the game, even people who do, I don’t think have the slightest idea what it is like to have that kind of performance pressure.
RUSH: To put it out of your mind and to not have it affect you.
CALLER: Mmm-hmm. Mmm-hmm.
RUSH: He’s got the biggest galleries every tournament he plays in.
RUSH: He is so mentally tough and focused and motivated. That’s the marvel to me. He’s just smart.
CALLER: Mmm-hmm. Mmm-hmm.
RUSH: I don’t know him —
CALLER: He’s still all of that and —
RUSH: — but he’s brilliant.
CALLER: — now he’s more and going to be more because he is married and because he does have a child, and that’s not to say you have to be married and have a child. That’s not what my emphasis is.
RUSH: Well, you’d better be, because I wouldn’t be what I am if I were married now!
CALLER: (Laughing.) Well, anyway, I just thought, you know, I didn’t know how you felt. How do you feel about him? What do you think about him?
CALLER: Yeah. Do you like him?
RUSH: Oh, I’ve only met him one time.
RUSH: But I think he’s brilliant.
RUSH: I think he’s just the epitome of a class act.
CALLER: Yes, he is.
RUSH: I think he is. Even though you don’t like his parents, I think he’s a great example of being raised well.
RUSH: I think that he’s just —
CALLER: Gives a lot. He gives so much. Yeah, there’s a lot to admire and a lot to see there. It just hit me yesterday. Somehow, just my focus changed.
RUSH: Well, whatever it takes. If he’s been humanized to you now —
RUSH: — because now he’s got a wife and baby and can still do this, that’s fine.
RUSH: If that works for you, then that works for you. I’m having a tough time describing my impact because the one time I met him was on the putting green at the AT&T Tournament at Spyglass, and nobody would approach him. Butch Harmon was the swing coach then and his caddy was Steve Williams, but nobody would approach him. I said, ‘I may never see this guy again,’ so I walked up there, and I asked if I could bother him. He kind of looked like, ‘Yeah?’ I introduced myself. I said, ‘I just want to tell you one thing,’ and this is 2001 and he had that great year in 2000. I said, ‘I just have to tell you how impressed and amazed I am at how you deal with the performance pressure and the expectations that you have of yourself and you know what everybody else’s are.’ That year, 2000, that’s seven years ago. It was a stunning year, and the PGA that year I think was with Bob May. Out of nowhere, never heard of this guy outside the PGA Tour, and that playoff, some of those shots he hit back then —
CALLER: Unbelievable, yeah.
RUSH: They were. Far more impressive than yesterday. Yesterday was impressive, too, because he was challenged for the first time in a long time, but —
CALLER: He was challenged. But he had a lot of other challenging things. That’s my thing. That’s just sort of my emphasis and, you know, I had the wrong attitude — probably the wrong. I just thought he’s been coddled by his parents.
RUSH: Well, you know what? Here’s the thing. If he’d have lost yesterday — if Woody Austin, who I also played with and who is a real character. He wanted to throw my driver out of my bag, I was hitting it so bad one year at the AT&T, after he threw his own putter away. This is a guy that hit himself on his head with his putter and broke it. But he’s a character. He’s out of Kansas. But if Tiger had lost yesterday, if Woody Austin or Ernie Els had caught him, then you’d have had people saying, ‘Ah, you know what? The kid was crying last night.’ Somebody would have come up with that. None of it would have been true. None of it would have been true. I’m going to tell you what. This is the kind of situation where 30, 50 years from now people are going to be writing books on it. There will be movies and stories. The Legend of Tiger Woods is going to be every bit as big as Bobby Jones and Jack Nicklaus, and the people alive now watching it don’t have nearly the appreciation of it because we’re living our lives at the same time, and it’s just part of the fabric. Sometimes we don’t have the ability to stop and appreciate what real unique greatness is when it’s amongst us, and I think that’s him.