Sports

Mixed Reviews on the Road for UCSD

The UCSD men’s and women’s basketball teams completed a weekend set of games against CSU Bakersfield and CSU Stanislaus. On Friday evening, the women’s team took the court first, taking on CSUB. The Roadrunners took an early lead at 13-8, but the Tritons battled their way to a 34-30 advantage by halftime. Throughout the second half, UCSD hung on to its lead, overtaking the Roadrunners by 18 points, making the score 54-36. Bakersfield fought back to cut the deficit to two points, 64-62, with less than two minutes remaining, but that was the closest it could get to the Tritons again. Ashley led UCSD in scoring and rebounds with 18 points and nine boards, shooting 8-10 from the field. Following the women’s game, the UCSD men’s team took its turn against the Roadrunners. The Tritons trailed throughout the first half, but came as close as one point at 26-25. CSUB took a 37-29 lead into halftime and held off the Tritons the rest of the way. Sam Higgins led all scorers with 22 points and shot 7-8 from the field. Hoping to complete the weekend with two wins, the UCSD women went up against CSU Stanislaus. In the first half it looked as though the Tritons were on their way to a win, building a 39-31 halftime lead. UCSD used the perimeter shooting of guard Maya Fok, who hit four three-pointers. However, CSU Stanislaus came out strong in the second half, outscoring UCSD 42-22 for the half. With the loss the Tritons fell to 7-4 overall, and 3-3 in CCAA. In the following game, the UCSD men fell to CSU Stanislaus, 73-64. CSU Stanislaus used eight consecutive free throws in the final minute to complete the victory. Higgins again had a strong performance for UCSD (2-9, 1-5) and led the team in scoring with 21 points. The UCSD men’s assistant coach Dave Dillon praised Higgins play over the two games. “”He did a wonderful job over the weekend and shot the ball very well,”” Dillon said. The next two games, both away, for the UCSD men will be against CSU San Bernadino and Cal Poly Pomona. Although both teams are ranked in the top 25, Dillon said that the Tritons “”will try their best”” to win on the road. ...

Michael Vick is Not the Answer

The NFL playoffs may be in high gear with two rounds yet to be fought, but for the San Diego Chargers and their fans, the season was mercifully put out of its misery a few weeks ago. After tying the league’s record for futility in a 16-game season with a pitiful 1-15 record, the Chargers are obviously looking for answers. It seems as though I write a column about this time every year condemning the Chargers and their management for the decisions they made, but this year’s column is actually quite different. I think that this squad, which has fallen from AFC Champions to the league’s doormat in no time flat, has actually made a few correct choices, and with one more wise choice, may be on the way back up. First of all, the signing of John Butler as General Manager will only help matters. The guy is a proven winner. Butler’s first move, the signing of former Washington Redskins’ head coach Norv Turner as offensive coordinator, was also wise. With these two links in place, the Chargers go into the draft with a brain trust far mightier then they have had in previous years. But these two positive moves will all be for naught if they make a crucial mistake on draft day. A few days ago, The San Diego Union-Tribune ran a column on the front page of their sports section pleading with Chargers’ management to draft Virginia Tech quarterback Michael Vick with the number one pick. The article cited the tremendous upsides of Vick’s game — his run threat, pure athleticism and almost supernatural ability to avoid being sacked — as reasons for the choice being so important. From my point of view, the Chargers could not make a worse choice than drafting Vick. Assuming Vick leaves Virginia Tech early, and all indications are that he will, he will be a very hot commodity, and many teams will pursue the Chargers looking to trade into their No. 1 slot in the draft. I believe that the Chargers should take the best of these offers and trade the rights to the No. 1 pick for as many high draft choices as possible. They could then trade what they received for Vick to get even more, slightly lower, draft picks. Why go for quantity over quality? Simple. Even if Vick were Johnny Unitas’ grandson or Joe Montana’s illegitimate child, he still would not be enough to turn the Chargers around. Football is a team sport and even with God’s gift to football out at quarterback, the team would get shelled week in and week out without a good running back, linemen and wide receivers. The Chargers have none of these things. They need as many draft choices as possible to try to turn around the mess that they have built over the last four years. Vick simply isn’t the quarterback that the Chargers need. He can run like the wind but his arm is not outstanding, and his accuracy has been called into question many times. At best, the Chargers are looking at another Steve McNair, a good player, but not enough to warrant not trading down for the treasures that will no doubt be offered lower in the draft. Finally, the Chargers’ fans and management have made it dreadfully clear that they are not willing to wait for a promising quarterback to develop. We have seen this time and time again in the Ryan Leaf saga. The fans in San Diego constantly berate Leaf, but they forget that he has barely a year of experience when you factor in all the time he spent injured. No quarterback is ready for stardom after a year. John Elway wasn’t, Montana wasn’t, and more recently, Peyton Manning struggled his first year before launching to the heights he has now achieved. If San Diego personnel and fans cannot show the patience necessary to develop a young, raw talent, they should trade the pick and sign a veteran quarterback, possibly Mark Brunell of Jacksonville. The fact that Vick will probably be in this draft, along with the fact that his prowess for escaping onrushing defensive players was displayed last year in the national championship game against Florida State, makes the pick the Chargers hold very valuable. To maximize this value, the team needs to realize that one player is not going to get them out of the hole they have dug for themselves. ...

Volleyball to Face New Challenge

Returning from a Division III National Championship season to discover that not only have you lost a few key players, but must also now wage war in the split Division I and II playoffs in postseason play, would daunt even the most fearless of teams. Men’s volleyball coach Ron Larsen and his troops, however, are ready to meet the challenge. “”We’re better now than we were at the end of last season, when we won the Division III championships and beat San Diego State,”” Larsen said. “”Obviously we play in a very difficult league, with all the Division I scholarship schools like UCLA, USC and Stanford, but we are a good team and we are going to be able to compete.”” The Division III championship team of a year ago now has a completely different look to it. Gone are Ernie Young, last year’s starting middle; Matt Holve, who is abroad; and Ben Vernon, who chose to focus more on his academics. Replacing these players are two key recruits who will be impact players this coming season. Sophomore Brian Foott will add height at 6 feet 6 inches tall, and hold down the middle, while Orange Coast College transfer student Griffin Cogorno, who also checks in at 6 feet 6 inches, will contribute as an outside hitter. These two players are looked upon by Larsen and his staff to be an integral part of the Triton attack. Returning stalwarts such as Zach Hite, Jordan Hove and Donald Chen will be asked to step their game up and take the team to the next level. Hite, in particular, looks to ratchet his game up a notch. “”Zach was a very good player for us last year,”” Larsen said. “”Now, entering his senior year, he looks even more determined and should contribute even more for us this year.”” Chris Mortimer is another player who will be crucial to the Tritons’ success. “”Last year Chris was a starter for us and performed well, but this year he has come back a lot stronger and will play an increased role for us this season,”” Larsen commented. With the return of these seasoned veterans and the addition of new personnel, UCSD looks to be solid on the hardwood. Larsen feels that balanced play over the duration of the season will be integral to the team’s success. “”Our ability to compete in every match with a high level of intensity will be very important for us,”” he said. “”At this level of play, we cannot afford a letdown at any time, because all of these teams are so good that they will make us pay for it. We need to serve well and side out at a high level to be successful. Most important, though, is making sure that we continue to play with a high degree of competitive excellence and stay consistent.”” The Tritons embark on their 2000-2001 campaign this Friday in smog-choked Riverside, where they will battle with California Baptist University. Larsen sees this as an advantageous way to open the season. “”This weekend will show us where we are at this point and what we have accomplished so far,”” he said. “”Cal Baptist has a good program, with scholarship players, but we should be able to do well against them. More important will be to keep up our level of competitiveness in the next few matches.”” Those next few matches will be the team’s initial Mountain Pacific Sports Federation games, where the Tritons will face off against their in-league nemeses. First up amongst them is their Saturday night matchup with UC Santa Barbara, in the team’s home opener at RIMAC Arena. This matchup with the Gauchos will be the team’s first true test of how far it has come since last season. Hopefully its progress has been steadfast, because in the following weeks it will come up against such scholarship-dangling powerhouses programs as CSU Long Beach, USC and Stanford, for which the Tritons will need to be at the height of their game to be successful and notch a few in the win column. The hard work and progression accomplished over the course of preseason practice and the added experience gained during last year’s championship run will undoubtedly facilitate the Tritons’ play this season. Coupled with the addition of the two big men, who will undoubtedly be integral in the team’s success, and the on court maturation of the players returning from the D-III championship squad, the Blue and Gold should be able to realize their preseason goals. Head on over to our very own state of the art RIMAC arena on Saturday night at 7 p.m. to see it all go down. ...

She's Simply the Best

The ending to Cindy Dostalek’s last game couldn’t have been more appropriate if it had been scripted by the most sentimental Hollywood hack. With 15 seconds left, fellow senior Christy Abizaid fed Dostalek the ball and she put it in the net to give the women’s soccer team the victory and its first-ever Division II national championship. Courtesy of UCSD Athletics However, that wasn’t the end of Dostalek’s fairy tale. The Triton star was recently named NCAA Division II’s Women’s Soccer Player of the Year by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and Adidas. “”[The award was] very, very unexpected,”” Dostalek said. “”I didn’t even expect to be All-American. To be player of the year is pretty unbelievable.”” Her coach, Brian McManus, wasn’t as surprised. Courtesy of UCSD Athletics “”She really deserved it,”” McManus said. “”She’s been a virtual starter since freshman year and she gives a hundred percent every time she steps on the field. Seeing the two of them [Dostalek and Abizaid, the only two seniors on the team] after the goal was incredible, as was the look on their faces when they came off the field.”” For Dostalek, the long road began four years ago when she was recruited by McManus to play for UCSD. “”She sent me a letter,”” McManus said. “”And from her letter I could see her desire.”” He began to recruit Dostalek after that, and she decided to come to San Diego — although not without some reservations. “”I heard they were national champions and I was very intimated,”” Dostalek said. “”I just wanted to play soccer because I liked the sport and it was fun.”” In fact, Dostalek wasn’t even sure if she would make the team, so she set a furious pace on the field, one that hasn’t slowed in four years. “”Nothing is done at walking pace,”” McManus praised. “”Everything is a hundred miles per hour and flat out.”” In his opinion, it is the amount of effort and desire Dostalek possesses that sets her apart from other players. “”There’s very few players that have that kind of pace in any division,”” he said. “”The way she attacks everything — she makes everyone else play at a hundred percent.”” But perhaps the most telling characteristic of all is her pragmatic view of her soccer career. “”I’ve never loved playing the sport as much as I have the last four years,”” Dostalek said. “”Coming as far as I have, it’s really unbelievable to me. I never thought I’d be a part of three national championships.”” She attributes her success largely to her teammates, with whom she closely identifies, and especially to McManus. “”I don’t think I would have gotten anywhere if it wasn’t for Brian,”” Dostalek commented. “”He’s more than just a coach, he’s a friend too. He’s always there.”” Now Dostalek is faced with the difficult task of coming to terms with the end of her career. “”I think the hardest obstacle is finding a way to give it all up now and finding a way to move on,”” she said. “”[Soccer] became a part of my life. Everything I do and the people I’ve met are associated with the sport.”” Dostalek, who is ending her career ranked eighth on the all-time career scoring list, has no plans to play after college. She is currently working on finishing her major in political science and minor in communication. “”It’s hard to enjoy doing something if you don’t have such a great coach, and if you don’t have a team you enjoy playing with [like I did],”” she said. “”I’m going out with a really good memory. There comes a time when you’ve got to give it all up, and I’m just dealing with it.”” Considering the way Cindy Dostalek has handled adversity in the past, the present hurdle shouldn’t pose a problem. ...

The Various Faces of Football

The world of football has two distinct branches: one is that of the NFL and the other is of its little brother, college football. The state of each is on vastly different sides of the scale. The NFL seems to being doing a lot right. It has diversity amongst the teams. This year’s playoffs feature a number of clubs that, had their names been considered for the playoffs before the season started, the ones making the predictions would have been labeled insane or on heavy amounts of drugs. The Saints and the Eagles both miraculously turned things around and made it to the postseason. Amazing. Even better yet, the Saints did it without their starting quarterback and running back for a large portion of the year. They had a couple of unknowns lead their team on offense, winning the Western Division. Who would have thought that either of those teams would make it to the respectability, let alone make it to the postseason? The same goes for the AFC. Baltimore, of all teams, is in the postseason. It didn’t even have a team a couple of years ago. Trent Dilfer has seemingly come back from the dead, playing just enough to let the Baltimore defense win games. The other surprise is the Oakland Raiders. The dreaded silver and black were preparing to explode, but their run this year is still impressive. The college game is a little different. The college football bowl season came to a stunning halt last week when Oklahoma University defeated Florida State University 13-2 to win the Orange Bowl and the Bowl Championship Series National Championship. College football lucked out. If the Seminoles had won that game, all hell would have broken out. Miami defeated Florida handily in the Sugar Bowl the day before. It would have had one loss, just like FSU. The only difference is that Florida State’s loss came against Miami. Even more, the University of Washington also had one loss, and its victory list included a conquest of Miami. The question of which was the best team in the country would have been anyone’s guess. Luckily, the Sooners won and all was well. Oklahoma was clearly the best team of the year, going 13-0. But should it have been Florida State in the title game instead of either Miami or Washington? That is still up for argument. The system still stinks, though, and needs to be changed. The pro game seems to have accomplished what it has been trying to do: Give every team, every city and every fan a chance at glory. The college game, on the other hand, is wallowing in confusion, running the risk of not having a clear champion. ...

Twice as Sweet

Division II? Piece of cake as far as the UCSD women’s soccer team is concerned. David Pilz Guardian Last month, the Tritons captured the 2000 Division II championship by defeating Northern Kentucky University 2-1 at Barry University in Miami Shores. With the score tied at 1-1, Triton senior Christy Abizaid passed the ball to teammate and fellow senior Cindy Dostalek. Dostalek took the ball and scored the winning goal with only 15 seconds remaining in regulation for the title. “”I saw Kristin (Jones) coming down the line and I said ‘this is it’,”” Dostalek said. “”The ball came across from Christy, and I just followed it through. After the goal, I looked up at the clock and it said 15 seconds and I could not believe it.”” The Tritons dominated the second half, attempting six corner kicks in five minutes. UCSD almost gave up the winning goal as the Norse’s Becky Schnieder launched a shot with 43 seconds left. Triton goalkeeper Kami Poma came up big with her second save of the day and set off the events that led to the winning goal. The first half was scoreless but not without championship-caliber excitement. UCSD almost took a 1-0 lead, but Laura Dooly’s header came just short, striking the crossbar. Northern Kentucky goalkeeper Lauren Piening was busy all day, making six saves. The second half looked frightening as the Norse took a 1-0 advantage at the 51:31 mark. Northern Kentucky’s Betsy Moore dribbled the ball up the field and passed the ball to teammate Tricia Ruark. Ruark passed it to Denise Kunz, who introduced the ball to the net. “”I felt we needed a goal against us to wake us up,”” said Triton head coach Brian McManus. “”I think today we deserved it. We’ve had games at times that we thought we may have stolen, but we deserved this one. We outplayed them.”” The Tritons quickly answered Northern Kentucky’s goal. At 66:15, Christine Wensel launched a corner kick to the far post. Dooly was there to greet the ball and rocked it into the net, tying the game at 1-1. Northern Kentucky was very impressed with UCSD. “”UC San Diego has a great team,”” said Northern Kentucky head coach Bob Sheehan. “”We were pleased with our effort, but a little disappointed with how we played. When you give up 16 corner kicks it’s tough to win. They just kept serving the ball into the box and taking their shots.”” The Tritons are no strangers to championships, having captured five trophies at the Division III level. This title was even more impressive, considering that this was the first year for UCSD at the Division II level. Accolades went all around for the Tritons. Dostalek earned the tournament’s Outstanding Offensive Player award and Kara Morris was named the Outstanding Defensive Player. Also making the all-tournament team were Elizabeth Hughes, Julia Cuder and Erika Alfredson. The road to the final was not an easy path. UCSD had to get by defending national champion Franklin Pierce of New Hampshire. The Tritons did just that, winning in overtime 2-1. Northern Kentucky knocked off host school and previously undefeated Barry University to reach the final. The Tritons finish the year with a 21-2 record. They have also won 17 straight matches, with their last lost coming back on Sept. 22 against California State Dominguez Hills. “”You can’t go out better than this,”” Abizaid said. “”The first half was the most fun I’ve had playing soccer. I really appreciate the chance my teammates gave me to go out this way.”” ...

In Two Directions

It was the best of breaks, it was the worst of breaks. The month of December saw a tale of two different basketball squads for UCSD. The men’s and women’s teams seem to be headed in separate directions. The women’s record now stands at 7-3 while the men now sport a 2-8 record. The highlight for the women was the 21st annual UCSD Doubletree Invitational. The Tritons knocked off Savannah 71-67 to earn a trip to the final. In the final, UCSD outplayed the University of Findlay, narrowly winning the 70-68 overtime tilt. Maya Fok was on fire for UCSD in the final game, scoring 22 points. Ashley Kokjohn contributed with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Fok made the All-Tournament team and was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Kokjohn also was named to the All-Tournament team. The men had a rough month but did have a couple of highlights. The Tritons made mincemeat of San Francisco State 96-77 in the middle of last month for their first win of the season. Nick Christensen led the way with a career-high 26 points. Christensen was hot from downtown, hitting four of five three-pointers. He also had nine rebounds. Cole Miller scored 17 points for UCSD and Ryan Swed chipped in with 12. UCSD was up 44-36 at half-time and cruised from there. A second Triton win came on the road at La Verne, with UCSD winning 77-63. Miller scored 19 points and had eight rebounds. Swed scored 18 and Mike Martin contributed with 10. Both the men and women travel for games against Cal Poly Pomona on Friday. The women play at 5:45 p.m. and the men play at 7:45 p.m. ...

Big Upset Wonderful Parting Gift For UCSD

With an unprecedented 9-8 victory over the University of Southern California in the NCAA men’s water polo semifinals, the Tritons advanced to the championship game at Pepperdine University last month, only to be devastated by seven-time champions UCLA in an 11-2 loss. David Pilz Guardian Despite suffering such a great defeat in the finals, the Tritons can be proud of their underdog overthrow of second-seed USC in the semifinals. Despite being seeded ninth in the nation coming into the tournament, the Tritons defied history to make not only their first appearance in the final game, but the first appearance by any Western Water Polo Association school. Also, they defeated USC for the first time in 32 meetings between the two schools. In doing so, they became the 10th team to join an elite group of schools that have competed in the NCAA title game, entering a group of perennial elites that includes UCLA, Stanford, UC Berkeley and Pepperdine. The game against USC on Dec. 2 proved to be a nail-biter to the end. While the Tritons pulled ahead in the first quarter to lead 2-1 going into the second, USC responded to the Tritons’ third goal with two of their own as the second quarter came to a close, leaving the game tied 3-3 at halftime. UCSD and USC traded goals throughout the third quarter. While USC briefly took the lead 6-5 with 2:09 left in the third on Ivan Babic’s third goal, the Tritons quickly battled back. By the end of the third quarter, the Tritons had tied the game with a goal by Justin Wylie, then taken the lead with a four-meter penalty shot by Jason Boettner. However, USC refused to go down without a fight, and the fourth quarter continued the back-and-forth drama that characterized the match’s first three quarters. USC tied the game 7-7 with a goal early in the fourth, but UCSD took a decisive 9-7 lead with a goal by Brent Allan with about three minutes left to play. Seconds later though, USC’s Steven O’Rourke lobbed a shot into the goal to bring USC within one. The Tritons managed to hold onto the lead through the end of the game, with a breathtaking save by goalie Glenn Busch and by regaining possession of the ball with 11 seconds left, allowing them to run down the clock and capture a berth in the final game. The most notable performance in the USC game, which Triton coach Denny Harper described as “”David slaying Goliath,”” was that of Boettner, who led the team with a total of five goals. Four other Triton players, Allan, Vladimir Djapic, Kellan Hori and Wylie, contributed a goal each, while Triton goalkeeper Busch matched the seven saves of both USC goalies. However, 18-7 UCLA proved to be an insurmountable obstacle to an NCAA title for the Tritons the next day. The top seeded Bruins dominated in both offense and defense, scoring 11 goals and holding the Tritons to two. While the Tritons had marked their first win ever against USC the day before, UCLA proved to continue its streak against the Tritons, who have never defeated the Bruins in the water. While at the end of the first quarter UCLA’s 3-1 lead seemed surpassable, by the end of the third, an unchecked run of seven UCLA goals took the Bruins to a decisive lead, and UCSD’s fourth quarter goal only served to stop play in what proved to be a quarter of formality as UCLA ran down the clock on its way to the national title. Despite being scoreless in the finals however, Boettner was awarded a spot on the All-Tournament first team, the only Triton among six other UCLA and USC players. Djapic, Wylie and Jonathan Samuels were awarded spots on second team as the Tritons finished a phenomenal first season. ...

UCSD club Sports

CLUB SOCCER The UCSD club soccer team, on the strength of their 5-0-2 record in league play, was given the No. 1 ranking in the West region and invited to the national tournament in Orlando, Florida. A pumped up UCSD squad headed to the East Coast, where they handily dispatched University of Tennessee, University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, and Clemson on their way to a quarterfinal slot. In the quarterfinals, they were barely edged by eventual tournament champion Texas A&M, in a heart wrenching 2-0 loss. The UCSD soccer club was led throughout the tournament by offensive stalwarts Dana Carliss and Kevin McAllister, who were especially impressive in the Clemson game, where they had two goals apiece. Impressive performances also came courtesy of Tyler Thompson, who was named the team’s offensive most valuable player for compiling two goals and two assists in the tournament, and Wes Roberts, the adept ball handler who contributed an inspired effort for UCSD throughout the weekend. ICE HOCKEY The Triton ice hockey team, rife with stellar players, once again proved too much for their competitors, as they absolutely demolished Sacramento State to the tune of an embarrassing 12-1 final score. UCSD skated circles around the hapless Sacramento State skaters, utilizing a full bench to tire out and demoralize the opposing squad at UTC Ice Arena Friday night in their last home game of the quarter. UCSD’s Stephen Cohen turned in a sparkling performance, netting the match’s first five goals. With the win, UCSD increased their record to 3-0, looking to continue UCSD’s fine ice hockey tradition. WEEKEND EVENTS Saturday, Dec. 2 * Men’s rugby vs. USC 1 p.m. at Warren field Saturday through Sunday, Dec. 2 and Dec. 3 * Equestrian horse show at Pomona, all day Compiled by Scott Burroughs, Staff Writer ...

Tiger Tiger Burning Bright In the Forests

Tiger Woods is bigger than the PGA. This is a straight-up fact, and to extrapolate upon this a little further, Woods is bigger than just about anything out there, except maybe a Barcelona versus Madrid soccer match. Sorry to all those basketball and baseball and football prima donnas, but Woods overshadows just about any athlete, if not any event or personage around. Woods has captured the imagination of the country and of people around the world, and all through a sport such as golf. Golf is a great sport and it is fun to play, but conversely, how much fun is it to watch? Golf is usually just a bunch of tubby, pasty white men huffing around a golf course, each in pursuit of one of those enormous purses that golf tournaments provide. There is no action in golf like there is in football, basketball or baseball (though some people might disagree with me there). Despite golf’s innate disadvantage in the area of excitement, Woods, like The Bear before him, has transcended the sport of golf and has come to represent something better than just his sport. He is part of that new class of athletes, who have come to save us from the egos that so pervade America’s professional athletics system. In baseball we have Derek Jeter and Nomar Garciaparra. Football gives us Peyton Manning, Kurt Warner and Jevon Kearse. These are some good guys. Sorry about basketball, but all of those guys are still just whiners and show boaters. The above athletes have class and respect, which is more than can be said for a good portion of the athletes in professional sports, and Woods leads all of these people; He is the head of the class. I remember seeing Woods on “”Scholastic Sports,”” an old ESPN show, when I was about 12 years old, which would make him somewhere around 15 or 16. Even then, the guy had it in him, and you could tell he was going to be great. I just didn’t know that he was going to be this spectacular. He is winning major tournaments like they’re miniature golf at the local put-put and taking event after event from the best golfers in the world, relegating them the place of candyless, screaming babies. This year alone he has won 10 tournaments and collected over $12 million in prize money. By the way, as long as we are talking about money, let’s not forget the $54 million he will be making in endorsements this year. At the same time, he wins with class. He gives deference to those who have gone before and to those who will come after him. He has studied his game and plays it with edict. He had such a good start, no slip ups, no gargantuan sporting ego taking the place of his fragile perch atop America’s current sports heroes. We should have known, though, that the days where a man can stay atop forever are gone, if they even existed at all. Even Joltin’ Joe went through a phase of disdain when he became the first million-dollar man in baseball. But here is Woods, this year alone, $66 million richer, and he hints that because of his popularity, he and only he in this day and age should be entitled to more money: specifically some of the TV money that will be negotiated next year, because of the number of people that he attracts to the tournament. When asked if he thought he was entitled to more money than other players, Woods responded, “”Philosophically? In a perfect world I would be. Arnold [Palmer] would be. All the great ones would. Arnold is the one who got it all started.”” Right you are, Tiger, and good job maintaining your image of young upstart deferring to the greats, but as Dave Anderson of The New York Times points out, “”Palmer and Nicklaus helped resolve the Tour’s financial structure a quarter century ago, but they were acting on behalf of the other touring pros, not just themselves.”” Note to Tiger: This is not what you are doing. Furthermore Tiger has been complaining about how the commissioner of golf, Tim Finchem, doesn’t talk to him enough, saying, “”The only time he talks to me is when he wants me to do something for him — to play in this tournament or that tournament. It’s not like he comes up to me and asks me how I’m doing.”” What is he, 5 years old? I am sure Bud Selig is calling up Barry Bonds and Mike Piazza all the time just to shoot the breeze. Why don’t you grow some cajones and learn to survive on your own? The commissioner’s job is not to make you feel better, Tiger, but to make the sport that he presides over better for all the players in it. Finchem probably goes up to Phil Mickelson and David Duval once a week and asks them how their day is going. Wait, I forgot — those players don’t matter, do they. It is only Woods and his $66 million-plus that should matter to the PGA. Maybe this is just a stage. Tiger could be tired of the hype; I would be. All day every day, followed, harangued and accosted by anyone and everyone. Maybe this is his way of lashing out, and I hope so, because if that is what it is, then it is not that bad. He could be punching cameramen, like certain movie stars have been known to do. However, if Tiger has any common sense left in that brain, which seems to have been swelled by the sweet nectar known as feeling God-like, he will just get back to playing and retire 30 years from now as possibly the greatest sportsman the United States has ever produced. ...