Saturday, December 12, 2009

An open letter to Phil Mickelson

Please allow me divert from the adoption topic for another moment, as I have something to say to Phil Mickelson and this seems like as good of a medium to use as any other.

Dear Phil,

I am sorry. I have been openly rooting against you since Tiger Woods came on the scene in 1996. In light of everything that has surfaced regarding Tiger over the past week, I have found myself reflecting on what it is about you that I disliked so much. I have come to the conclusion that things that I disliked and considered superficial about you were the very things that I should have respected and admired.

For those that know me, they know that I have been Tiger Woods biggest fan for a long time. I enjoy nothing more than watching Tiger play golf. I was the person at golf tournaments that would stand right on top of one of his errant drives so that he would have to ask me to move out of the way, and then I would report to anyone that would listen that I talked to Tiger Woods. I was the person that vowed never to wash my right hand after Tiger gave a buddy and I a high five after he made an eagle at a tournament in Chicago. I am the guy that was elated by the fact that I think I made Tiger laugh at The Memorial about 10 years ago (ask my sister, he laughed).

I was standing on the driving range during the 1998 Masters, and you, as you always do, walked up to the ropes to sign autographs. I handed you my yardage book hoping that you would sign the back cover, as I had these false hopes if you signed the back, maybe Tiger would walk by and sign the front. Of course, Tiger just walked by all of the adoring fans without so much as a wave. To my chagrin, you turned the book over and signed the front. My brother and I have even had thoughts of wearing "Anyone But Phil" shirts to any one of the many major championships we have attended over the past decade. There was just something about you that was bothersome, not any longer.

I am sorry for amusingly watching as you crumbled down the stretch at a couple different majors. I should not have done that. I should have been rooting for you all along. You, by all accounts, are a good guy. You are a devoted family man. You are many of the things that it turns out that Tiger is not.

Keep up the good work. Keep doing what you do, engaging fans, enjoying the limelight with your family, and you can even continue to give that sheepish grin that you so often do (maybe just not as often).

As a matter of full disclosure, I will continue to root for Tiger, as it is hard to ignore the fact that he is on track to be the greatest golfer ever and I feel fortunate to be able to watch his assult on the record books, but at the same time I will root for you, as you demonstrate the qualities, on and off the course, that I would like to emulate.

Please accept my apology, and best of luck to you during the upcoming year. In case you did not already know, Tiger just announced he is taking a break from golf, so here is your chance to rack up a couple more majors.

Your newest fan,

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