Tiger Wood a SEAL?
Tweet David Whitley AOL FanHouse Columnist Tweet Davids Archive E-Mail David Subscribe to RSS Text size A A A He could tell you, but he would have to kill you.
Thats the stance G.I. Eldrick is taking over the latest breech of national security. Former coach Hank Haney says Tiger Woods seriously considered junking his golf career to become a Navy SEAL.
All together now:
Theres an asterisk for a reason. Michael Jordan playing baseball or Shaquille ONeal cutting rap albums was funny enough. But a golfer becoming a SEAL would be the most deluded vanity trip ever, right?
His chances of getting through SEAL training were like everybody elses, Don Shipley said. They suck.
He would know. Shipley was a SEAL for 24 years, has a chest full of medals and now runs Extreme SEAL Experience, which is sort of like a fantasy camp for guys who want to see what its like to be super-cool warriors.More golf from SI.com
I thought Shipley would laugh at Tigers little fantasy, and he pretty much did. But he pointed out one thing worth remembering through all the guffawing.
When youre playing in a big tournament, and everybody is watching you, and the cameras are rolling, its hero or zero, Shipley said. You either do it or you dont.
Tiger was the epitome of that.
Making a putt to win the U.S. Open is not the same as rappelling out of chopper and killing Osama bin Laden before he has time to hide his porn stash. But Shipley noted the one thing that made Woods the baddest dude to ever rappel onto the PGA Tour.
His mentality. That is why an asterisk is in order here.
Before Tiger, most golfers were content to settle for a nice paycheck instead of first place. They didnt expect to win the minute they hit the tour. And getting in shape meant cutting back to one pack of Marlboros or sharing dessert.Tiger Woods mindset altered the game of golf. (AP Photo)
Now golf is overrun by young guns that head to the fitness trailer after their rounds. The days of guys being nicknamed The Walrus are dwindling. Even John Daly is skinny.
Tigers SEAL mentality has revolutionized how pros approach the game. Just dont ask him to confirm it.
Woods got all huffy this week when asked about Haneys upcoming book, specifically the part about his SEAL fantasy. Mission secrecy was always crucial to Tiger, even before his mission involved Rachel Uchitel & Friends.
Woods wouldnt address Haneys contention that he trained with SEALS and thought he might join up. Heres where the snickering sets in.
The SEALS dont take anyone over 28, though Tiger supposedly said theyd make an exception for him. But would the U.S. Navy really want a 30-year-old with a bum knee?
And did he really know what he would be getting into? One thousand pushups a day? The entire PGA Tour didnt do that many from 1960-1990. And if Tiger thought Carnoustie was rough, wait til he got to Hell Week.
That comes a few weeks into the six-month training program. Over five days, SEAL candidates run, swim, freeze, sweat, paddle and get approximately four hours sleep total. About 80 to 90 percent of SEAL candidates give up by this point.
Demi Moore pulled it off in G.I. Jane, but could G.I. Tiger have taken orders from a 20-year-old who didnt even own a set of used clubs? And golf is so individualistic. Could Mr. Loner be part of a team?
Its the Big Boys Club, Shipley said. If youre messing things up, we dont care about your publicist. We expect you to get out the door and work.
And do it for about $48,000 a year. With no Nike bonus.
You can see why Haney told Tiger he needed to stick to playing the Navy SEAL video game. He was more worried than impressed when Tiger came huffing in one day and proclaimed hed just beaten his best time for a four-mile run in combat boots.
It was extreme, but thats what defines pioneers. They have visions that people think are crazy. They surge on and do things that have never been done, like win the Masters at 21.
Thinking the impossible is what made Tiger Woods Tiger Woods. And golf is much better off because of his mentality. Though Ill grant you, his GI Eldrick fantasy was really crazy.
Id rather leave that work to guys such as Shipley. If nothing else, they wouldnt lose focus if they were taking a beach and saw a hot lifeguard.
So go ahead and laugh at Tiger for acting like a SEAL.
Just remember, before he came along golfers wouldnt have even dreamed of such a thing.
They only looked like seals.