Go behind the scenes with SI.com's Arash Markazi whoâs âOn The Scene,â writing a regular journal from anywhere and everywhere about anything and everything.
7/24/2006 02:23:00 AM
“Tour de Floyd” or “Royal Repeat”?
Tiger Woods basking in the glow of his second consecutive British Open win.
You already know what sports editors and producers think is the top sports story this morning. It’s clearly Tiger Woods winning his 11th major championship at the British Open, and his first title without his father, Earl, who succumbed to cancer two months ago. Nestled somewhere on the front page of sports pages and websites is “the other” big story of the day, Floyd Landis, overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds, to become only the third American to win the Tour de France. But what do you think is the bigger story?
On one hand you have Tiger Woods, who after clinching the British Open, cried uncontrollably as he embraced his caddie, Steve Williams, and later, his wife, Elin. It was a rare show of emotion for Woods, who a month after missing his first cut at a major, became the first golfer to win back-to-back British Opens in nearly 25 years. "After the last putt, I realized my dad's never going to see this again, and I wish he could have seen this one last time," said Woods at the trophy presentation. "He was out there today keeping me calm."
Floyd Landis toasting his first Tour De France win and the eighth straight for the U.S.
On the other hand you have Floyd Landis, who has an arthritic right hip that needs surgery, coming back to win the Tour de France after being in 11th place and over eight minutes behind the leader just three days earlier. Landis’ remarkable turnaround after falling so far behind, so late in the Tour was so impressive that race director Jean-Marie Leblanc, who has overseen the Tour de France for the past 18 years, called it "the best performance in the modern history of the Tour."
On most any given Sunday, Landis’ win in one of the most prestigious sporting events in the world would be the top story, but there was no way he was going to overcome the popularity of Tiger Woods and his emotional win some 400 miles away. It would have been like coming back from an over 8-hour deficit in the Alps. It just wasn’t happening. That being said, what did you think was the biggest sports story on Sunday?
agree w stan. hard to pickem. even though i play golf, and have no interest in the tour, somebody explained the feat landis performed to get back in the game, and it's impressive. although i may be a little more harsh than stan. I go for "Euro-Trashings"
Without a doubt, Floyd. His win in Stage 17 was so amazing, I can't think of any sporting performance that compares.
Landis rode the final 93 miles of the race solo. All the race contenders had the HUGE advantage of staying within the main pack, where drafting can halve your effort compared to solo riding, for all but the last 12 miles of the race. Despite arriving at the final climb having expended much less effort, only TWO of the world's best cyclists could gain any time on him at all before the finish.
It's like Shaun Alexander running for EVERY play of a football game and running for 200 in the FOURTH. Winning the Olympic marathon when your competitors took the bus for the middle 8 of the 26 miles. Beating the Miami Heat at home when you've played back-to-backs FOUR DAYS in a row and they're rested. Tiger Woods winning the British Open playing ALL 72 HOLES on the final day and everyone else gets to play them over four....................
Seriously, why are we even discussing this? It has to be Floyd. He comes back from a seemingly insurmountable deficit with an attack that that greats are in awe of and then take back even more time in the final TT to secure the win. All the while riding on a hip that makes Bo Jackson's look really good. Tiger? He won a freaking golf tournament for pete's sake, something he was expected to do.
While Landis' feat is amazing given the condition of his hip, I have to wonder what the Tour would have looked like with Ulrich and Basso in the field - 2 riders who were found guilty by association and were not tested positive. That is why, at least for me, Tiger's complete destruction of the field using nothing more than his will and good iron play is the bigger story. He managed all of his emotions; he managed the course beautifully; he handled all possible attacks; he proved why he is the best golfer (by far) in the world.
While both wins are impressive, we've seen Tiger win 10 previous majors and countless other titles.
Floyd Landis just won the "Super Bowl" of cycling. The drama of the Floyd's win was outstanding: an emotional and physical crack in the Alps that put him seemingly out of contention followed by a super-human dominance less than 24 hours later that put him right back in. His performace was incredible, even more so considering he rode the Tour with a painful hip that will likely need to be replaced.
Tiger will win again. Floyd's career could be over. Give Floyd the nod for earning the yellow jersey in Paris!
While Tiger's win was a significant accomplishment, and his show of emotion was touching, Floyd gets my vote. Tiger would have had to shoot something like 90 in round three and still win the Calret Jug to even come close to what Landis did to come back and win the Tour. Give 'em both the cover if you must, but Landis gets my props over Tiger.
Floyd! The drug scandal only enhances his win because it removes some of the doped up riders leaving the race to be contested among real humans, not scienifically enhanced cheaters. Had Floyd been beaten by Basso or Ullrich, so what - they are dopers. Without their drugs, who knows how mortal they would have been. And forget that stuff about guilt by association. Their blood was found at that Spanish doctor's office along with extensive records of thier involvement.
Nothing against Tiger, but Floyd is the man this week!
Tiger complains about camera shutters during his backswing...cries like a little girl. Landis rides up mountains most golfers can't walk up with people yelling, spitting and swearing at him just inches from his face. There is no comparison. Golf is a nice game, like pool or poker but not a sport.
Landis is the bigger story. Having led the Tour, collapsed to be down 8 minutes, the regained the lead in the fashion he did is incredible to me. Now if Woods had led after two rounds, been down by 8 strokes after three rounds, and won on Sunday, I'd have to rethink which story is bigger. But Floyd did it, not Tiger. It's time for the all-Tiger-all-the-time mentality to end.