Before I launch into my diatribe, let me disclose the following.
I am a fan — check that, a HUGE fan — of ESPN.com's "The Undefeated". It's refreshing to read sports stories told from a point of view that is relatable to people who look like me. I often call it "Black Grantland", after the former popular feature on ESPN.com — which I still miss, by the way (bring back Bill Simmons, dammit!).
One of my favorite subjects on "The Undefeated" is the top 50 black athletes of all time. There is one big problem.
No mention of Tiger Woods.
That's right folks, the most dominate golfer of all time is nowhere to be found on the aforementioned list. Hell, I could EASILY make a case for Tiger to be ranked #1 on that list.
Tiger made the pro golfers SO MUCH money thanks to his dominance. Purses now easily approach $10 million in each of the major tournaments. Golfers now make more money off the course in endorsements.
And we would ask the same question we would ask before every tournament. Are you taking Tiger, or THE FIELD?
The other athletes I could make the same case for are track stars Usain Bolt, Carl Lewis, and the late Florence Griffin-Joyner. But as dominant as they were, they weren't as iconic as Tiger in terms of influence and endorsement $$$.
Keep in mind that Nike made golf equipment/apparel on the back of Tiger.
Also, Tiger did what most fans once seemed unlikely: he made black boys and men pick up some golf clubs and play leisurely. So folks can miss me with the "why Tiger should be excluded from the list" talk.
Now, I would be remiss if I didn't mention why I think Tiger may have been excluded.
After all, this was a dude who once went out of his way to say he wasn't black. Remember when he said he was "Cablinasian"? Of course, when his ass was arrested for DUI, guess what box was checked?
So I get it if the folks at "The Undefeated" didn't allow Tiger on that list. They probably were like, "well get your ass on then!"
But the brothers and sisters at "The Undefeated" can't allow their pettiness to get in the way. They should have included Tiger in the top 50 black athletes of all time.
In fact, make his ass #1…