Athlete of the Decade

So the Associated Press voted Tiger Woods Athlete of the Decade, ahead of Lance Armstrong and Roger Federer. In the Athletes who aren’t jerks thread, Mahaloth mentioned that he thought Federer should have won, and I agree: Golf and tennis are roughly similar sports in international importance (and both well ahead of cycling, sorry Lance), both players were similarly dominant, but Federer’s dominance was all within the last decade, while Tiger had two majors in the 90s.

The article mentioned that people voted Woods over the other two because of the cultural impact he made, in making golf more popular. I can’t help but think that as a standard this is unfairly biased towards Americans; if Woods had been Swiss and Federer American, I have little doubt that Federer would have gotten a lot more press, adulation, et cetera.

Anyway, thoughts? Other nominees?

I think when you subtract Tiger’s 2 90s major wins, he still has a ridiculous resume. And if we were to go with international popularity/dominance, it’d be Michael Shumaker.

Yeah, but then you get into the question of whether you can really consider a driver an athlete; I’d personally dock enough points there to push him below the (also awesome and dominant) performances by Woods and Federer.

Also, Federer holds the record for major championships in his sport; Woods is still a hair short of that mark.

Not sure about his international popularity myself. Good driver yes, but mister popular? Hmmm…

There are a host of worthy candidates. If I had a vote, I probably would have picked Roger Federer, But Tiger Woods strikes me as a perfectly fine selection, too.

And if the AP had picked Kobe Bryant, Ronaldo, Peyton Manning, Luis Pujols, Michael Phelps, or any number of other people, I can’t say I would have been outraged.

To me, if you don’t sweat, it is not a sport.

Golf is a skill, like billiards. How are these guys considered athletes?

I would have been happy to see Federer get this award because I think he still gets overlooked outside of his sport. But you could argue that Tiger dominated throughout the decade, while Federer’s been the best in his sport since 2004.

A guy I work with worked out in the same gym as Tiger Woods while he was in Melbourne last month. He said when he saw him, TW was doing 5 sets of about 100 crunches. So at least he’s as fit as an athlete.

As to the OP’s question - it’s kind of who cares who wins the vote. Someone gets the slot and the two competitors are arguably the best of all time at their respective sports. Call it a tie, maybe?

As an avid golfer, I was glad to see a golfer win the award. I truly think championship golfer are athletes. They don’t necessarily have to be in tip-top shape. I know people who run 10K and half-marathons, but they are no athletes as they are total klutzes.

That said, my vote would have gone to Federer.

Golf is a sport. I absolutely believe this. I think Tiger Woods is a great athlete.

For me, he’s the #2 athlete of the decade.

Roger has dominated his sport in an amazing way. He is better than Woods, so to speak. Either that, or they tie.

Roger Federer should have taken this award.

I think if Nadal hadn’t cut into Roger’s dominance at the end of the decade, he would have been a slam dunk.

I am not knocking Tiger’s talent, but I also don’t view golfers as athletes. Is Tiger athletic? Sure. But when Saggy Man Breasts (aka Phil Mickelson), John Daly, and a host of other guys can win on the tour, it cuts into the credibility of golfer=athlete.

Too soon for LeBron James? Howsabout Michael Phelps?

I don’t think you can possibly win athlete of the decade when nobody cares what you do except for one month out of every four years.

Either Woods or Federer would have ben a good choice. I wouldn’t have been outraged with either.

As to the “is golfing a sport?” issue, 1. Yes it is, and 2. Since the AP certainly treats golf as a sport the rest of the time, it would be sort of illogical to treat it as not being a sport when this votes comes up.