On Monday, everyone wanted to talk about Tom Watson. Some folks who don't know a birdie from a bunker watched more golf on Sunday than they had in years as Watson vied to become the oldest player ever to win a major championship at the British Open.
Only bloggers and talk-show hosts felt the need to question golf's status as a real sport if a 59-year-old could compete for one of its most storied titles. While the game doesn't offer obvious challenges of physical strength or stamina, its test of confidence and concentration was evident as Watson left a championship-clinching putt tragically and unforgivably short.
Though he folded in the subsequent four-hole playoff, Watson won the admiration of fans who'd never seen him jousting with Jack Nicklaus at the height of his career in the '70s. Watson's position at the top of the leader board prompted history lessons from sports writers and ABC's broadcasters, enriching his story for those whose memory doesn't extend beyond the Tiger Woods era.
As charismatic and deserving as champion Stewart Cink seems to be, I've yet to encounter anyone around here who wasn't rooting hard for the old guy.
Earlier this week, an NFL.com columnist reported that Brett Favre will announce his plans to play for the Minnesota Vikings by Friday. Favre, whose own story has reached folk-tale proportions, apparently seeks the same kind of twilight championship run as Watson. But there are plenty of fans who are ready to see this particular old guy fade away.