WILMINGTON -- I witnessed something this past weekend that surprisingly caused a lot of debate. It was during the U.S Open golf tournament on Sunday.
By now you probably know that on the last hole Tiger Woods had to make this putt to force a play-off. Had he missed it, a veteran player, but a long-shot who has never won a major, would have pulled off a huge upset.
Moments later, that player, Rocco Mediate, made this statement:
"It's against my nature to root against someone. You just have to hope that he makes the putt," said Mediate.
Seems like a harmless statement. But the next day, on radio and on-line, sports pundits attacked this professional for not having the killer instinct.
I think that's garbage. In this modern age of sports, where trash talk is accepted, when athletes train on taking their opponents "out of their game" - this age of victory at all cost, there is something very refreshing about what this relatively unknown golfer had to say.
To be sure, Rocco Mediate wanted to win the US Open. It's probably been his dream since he was a child. He wanted to beat the best. He wanted to win it for himself - not win it based on Tiger's failure. Such an attitude is uncommon and refreshing. But it really ought to be par for the course.
Rocco Mediate lost the play-off and fell short of his dream. But you know what? He is already a champion in my book.