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NBC Sports: Passing the "Torch" to Rory McIlroy?

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With all the coronation of Rory McIlroy, as "The Man" on the PGA Tour these days, I think people like Brandel Shameblee and organizations like NBC Sports, need to take a deep breath from their tireless blatant attempts at trying to diminish everything that Tiger, has accomplished while rushing to "replace" him as the face of golf on the PGA Tour.

The facts can't be changed and neither can history.  Rory, went Pro in 2007.  This is now 2012.  In just about five (5) years, this young man has won 6 times, including 2 Major Championships.  That's 1.2 PGA Tour wins per year and 0.4 Major wins per year.  Rory, has a total of 9 wins as a professional golfer.  Based on this performance, NBC Sports has declared today that Rory McIlroy, is now "The best player on the PGA Tour, [u]by far[/u]."  NBC Sports, has declared that now, Rory McIlroy, is "The Man," on the PGA Tour.  Essentially, NBC Sports has "passed the torch" to Rory, and set him up as the best player on the planet - for all practical purposes.

I've watched NBC Sports and CBS Sports try to do the same thing with Phil Michelson, several years ago and for several years running.  I've watched NBC Sports and CBS Sports attempt to the same thing with Bubba Watson last season with his Major victory.  I've seen this same theme happen before in relation to Tiger Woods, but I've never seen it so blatant than with NBC & CBS Sports respectively, than after Tiger's personal affairs were made public some two years ago.

You also see it in the PGA Tour's Public Relations Marketing on television.  The slogan "These Guys Are Good," prior to Tiger's personal live becoming public, has now given way to "It's Their Time Now," messages where they put up anybody that ever won a golf tournament, no matter what their historical record as a PGA Tour Player might look like.  It has now become a sloganeering campaign of "It's Anybodies Game Now" as if to say that everybody on tour has the same level of skill, same level of talent and has achieved the same level of accomplishment.

So, I am not surprised at all, that after 6 total wins on Tour in 5 years, including 2 Major Championships, that Rory McIlroy, is not the best thing that ever happened to the game and the sport of golf.

The fact that Tiger, at the exact same age and [b]in half the time[/b] had already become:

- Wins the Masters by the widest stroke victory in the history of the Championship

- Becomes the youngest Masters Champion in the history of the Championship

- Reaches Number #1 World Ranking less than 42 weeks after turning pro.

- Wins PGA Player of the year and Athlete of the Year, 2 out of 3 years

- Makes the cut in more than 95% of the tournaments played for three years in a row

- Wins the PGA Championship by one stroke over Sergio Garcia

- PGA Tour leading money winner for three years in a row

- Wins a total of eight (8) PGA Tournaments from 1997 through 1999

In three (3) years, Tiger Woods, accomplished more than [b]twice as much[/b] as Rory McIlroy, yet Rory, is now being handed the torch from Tiger.

I DO NOT condone the use of drugs.  However, having said that, "if" I were a drug user, then I would absolutely, positively want to smoke the exact same thing that the guys over at NBC Sport, CBS Sports and what Brandel Shameblee, have been smoking for the past two years.  One has to be as high as a kite, to conclude that the torch is ready to be passed.

I think they all need to wake up and realize just how amazing Tiger's accomplishments are and how incredibly difficult it will be for anyone to come along and take the torch from him while he's still on the PGA Tour.  Now, do I believe that Rory, has the potential to truly rival Tiger's achievements?  Yes.  He's the ONLY player that I have witnessed in 15 - 17 years, that *might* have the potential to do something similar to what Tiger has done.  However, Rory, is already more than 50% [b]behind[/b] Tiger, at the exact same age, in terms of overall performance and accomplishment (by age 23).

I said three (3) years ago on the Golf Channel Forum, that the only player that I saw who was capable of giving Tiger, a run for his money - was Rory McIlroy.  So, I've always appreciated his talent and his desire to want to win tournaments.

Rory, is proving that he has good talent.  But, he's got a very long way to go before he will have proven himself to have great talent and that is what separates Tiger, from the rest of the PGA Tour.  Labeling Rory, "The Man" today was a far too premature.  How many times did Phil, get labeled the "The Next One," and then failed to follow through.

After Rory, has won his 8th WGC Championship, earned his 4th Vardon Trophy, his 3rd Nelson Award, retained the Number #1 World Ranking for several years straight, reaches $50,000,000.00 in total winnings AND closes the deal on his 10th Major Championship - THEN, I will entertain the notion that Rory, might be ready to challenge Tiger, for the torch.  But, until such time that Rory, achieves even HALF of what Tiger, has achieved - I think it is far too premature to be tossing around language like "This Guy Is Simply The Best There Is..." - Johnny Miller, NBC Sports.

Personally, I have always loved it would somebody challenges Tiger, on the golf course.  Maybe, Rory, is the one to do that going forward.  But, to coronate him as "dominant" over the PGA Tour, is a bit malformed at best at this point and it slaps people like Vjay and Michelson, right in their face - given all of their work and accomplishment on tour.  Calling Rory, "dominant" at this stage, is like calling Phil, Chopped Liver and that is just as insane, IMO.

You may not like Tiger.  You may even think you know that Rory, is a "good guy" (code for Tiger is [u]not[/u] a good guy), but no one will ever be able to re-write history and take from Tiger, what his hard work and amazing talent has net him in the profession of golf.

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I'd agree with most of what you have said about Tiger's record, and I think you'd need to have had a full lobotomy to attempt to denigrate Tiger's contribution to golf.  However, I think that in attempting to protect Tiger's legacy that you might do the Rory what you are accusing NBC of doing to Tiger.   I can never understand the need to run someone down in order to build someone else up.  Surely it is far mor honourable to be beaten by a potential great than by a player who's here today, gone tomorrow.

You're comparing Rory's record in his first 5 years on tour with Tiger's, ignoring the fact that Tiger was very much a finished article, and far more mature physically, when he went out on Tour.  Tiger used his College career to develop and learn as a golfer, Rory went out on Tour.  Both strategies were deemed by the players and their advisers to be the best way for them as individuals, but to suggest that you can compare their respective records from the start of their professional golf careers is ridiculous.  You're also ignoring the fact that Rory has had only two full years on the US Tour, and that he has a number of professional wins worldwide,  I think Woods record speaks for itself, but I don't think you can ignore the fact that Rory is undoubtedly the best player in the world at this moment in time, and has the potential to be the best for the next decade.

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Rory is easily the best in 2012, but Tiger has 3 wins, though none were majors.  I think Rory is a tremendous golfer, but what made Tiger stand out from everyone else is he won year after year.  Let's see if Rory can maintain it over 10+ years.

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I think you are overreacting. This is all about marketing and promotion for the TV Networks. They would be stupid not to promote the heck out of McIlroy right now. He's currently the best player in the world and the closest we have to the new Tiger. He's 23, has a gorgeous swing and is hot as hell at the moment. All they are doing is jumping on his back for a ride. To complain about hyperbole on network TV is akin to complaining about a company marketing their products with flowery prose.

They certainly are not denigrating or diminishing anything Tiger Woods has done.

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I don't get the need to compare everyone's careers. They unfold in different ways, until someone can point me in the direction of two players who had exactly the same career whats the point in comparing if Y did this X should have done this by now?

On Rory having the torch, the networks will end up in the same place they were with Tiger. IE one star who they promote above all others and if that player gets hurt/takes a sabbatical they've got nothing. 8 months of when will Tiger be back did my head - talk about the golf thats happening not whats not going on.

They should have a pre-eminant head (Tiger) and then 10-15 other top players who they have talked about and can fall back on and fans have some sort of buy into.

This second tier should be established stars and young players coming through that have proved their worth and not just worn Orange on a Sunday.

I hate to think how much panic would have gone in the networks (and the rest of golf) if Tiger's knee injury had been career ending.

Rory is playing the best golf in the world right now, this could all change (probably will) giving Tiger a winter to work on his swing without health issues.

Tiger's consistency over years is what made him so special - it will be pretty much unrepeatable - I don't see the point bashing Rory because he hasn't had the same consistency as Tiger - bash the networks.

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Originally Posted by newtogolf

I think Rory is a tremendous golfer, but what made Tiger stand out from everyone else is he won year after year.  Let's see if Rory can maintain it over 10+ years.

That is the key.  Remember when the big rival to Tiger was David Duvall?  They even did a 1 on 1 match on primetime TV.  After that Vijay, Phil....  Yeah Rory is amazing but to begin to consider him in the same category as Tiger he will have to win at least 10 majors, which is better than Hogan, Player, Snead, Watson, Trevino, Palmer, and countless others.

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The issue I have with all of these sports affiliates "labeling" everyone is the fact that it's done in such a "bandwagon" type fashion.  They just want to be the first network to be able to say "we said it here first."  If Rory is the next big thing, all of the networks want to have the bragging rights of being the first to have made the statement.  It was the same with Phil, Bubba, Rickie, etc....and when that labeled player has an off season or a string of bad tournaments, they just hop off on to the next player's wagon. That is why they are so quick to label these guys as being the next Tiger or whatever.  Rory obviously has a ton of talent.  But allow that talent to mature and see where he goes from here.  Stop labeling all of these players.  I just enjoy watching the level of golf that we are experiencing at the moment...and throughout Tiger's career.  I don't need every network to ram down my throat that this is the next "Tiger Woods."  I understand that the networks would be stupid not to talk about and promote whatever golfer is on top at the moment...but you can over do anything.

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Originally Posted by Wansteadimp

...the Networks will over do anything.

FIFY

No doubt and not disagreeing there.

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I agree with you but you're dealing with the media.  The media has billions of dollars invested in their PGA contract and they need to make sure they can sell commercials.  They need to generate hype for Rory as Tiger's heir so they can keep people interested in the sport once Tiger rides off into the sunset.

Originally Posted by TN94z

The issue I have with all of these sports affiliates "labeling" everyone is the fact that it's done in such a "bandwagon" type fashion.  They just want to be the first network to be able to say "we said it here first."  If Rory is the next big thing, all of the networks want to have the bragging rights of being the first to have made the statement.  It was the same with Phil, Bubba, Rickie, etc....and when that labeled player has an off season or a string of bad tournaments, they just hop off on to the next player's wagon. That is why they are so quick to label these guys as being the next Tiger or whatever.  Rory obviously has a ton of talent.  But allow that talent to mature and see where he goes from here.  Stop labeling all of these players.  I just enjoy watching the level of golf that we are experiencing at the moment...and throughout Tiger's career.  I don't need every network to ram down my throat that this is the next "Tiger Woods."  I understand that the networks would be stupid not to talk about and promote whatever golfer is on top at the moment...but you can over do anything.

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Lest we forget that, as Rory, or Phil, or Dustin, or Keegan, et al, have all taken their turns as the media favorite 'next' contender, there's one guy that - save for about an 18-month period where his life FELL APART - has also been there the entire time: Tiger.  I mean, through all this, after everything that's happened - the affairs, the injuries, the coach change, the swing overhaul - Tiger is NUMBER 2 in the FedEx Cup, behind the currently coronated 'next,' with a bunch of wins this year, very good play in the majors (yes, with un-Tiger-like weekends, but contending in every one) and now just a single step away from taking the Fed Ex cup.  Even if he doesn't win it, to have yet ANOTHER year like this, winning tournaments, being in contention, missing a cut less often than Kevin Stadler misses a meal....Tiger is still the man on the PGA Tour.

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People can whine about the media propping up Rory at Tiger's expense, but in reality, 3 meaningful wins in the past 4 weeks sort of speaks for itself.

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Originally Posted by newtogolf

I agree with you but you're dealing with the media.  The media has billions of dollars invested in their PGA contract and they need to make sure they can sell commercials.  They need to generate hype for Rory as Tiger's heir so they can keep people interested in the sport once Tiger rides off into the sunset.


Agreed.  I know it's what they have to do. That was just my .02 as a viewer.

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Rory has been beyond impressive. Even Tiger is a fanboy and is impressed with Rory (bromance). I will never understand why Tiger always needs backup from his internet friends.....

The real question is......if Tiger wins in two weeks at east lake, will that be enough to pull back player of the year from the young phenom?

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I would say no, Rory won a major and by most peoples thoughts, that trumps an extra non-major win. Tiger gets Comeback player of the year imo.

Originally Posted by Royal

Rory has been beyond impressive. Even Tiger is a fanboy and is impressed with Rory (bromance). I will never understand why Tiger always needs backup from his internet friends.....

The real question is......if Tiger wins in two weeks at east lake, will that be enough to pull back player of the year from the young phenom?

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Note: This thread is 2666 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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