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Can patriotism help Tiger?

If you’re like me, your opinion of Tiger Woods isn’t close to what it was a year ago. Not professing to being a choir boy, even I was dismayed by his philandering ways and have rather enjoyed his descent into mediocrity – or a tick above – on the golf course this season.

That said, Tiger has a chance to help his cause with the naysayers this weekend in the Ryder Cup, where he’s representing the red, white and blue against the Europeans in Wales. Europe is the favorite in this event, partly because it will be held on its soil and partly because its team is loaded.

But the USA has Tiger, and we know from past experience that he can be at his best in head-to-head competition. And now that he’s been backed in a corner because of a humiliating year on and off the golf course, he’s doubly dangerous.WoodsAlready, a flap has ensued with Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, who had the audacity to say that he’d like toMcIlroyget a shot at Tiger because he hasn’t been at the top of his game. It’s created quite a flap in the days leading up to the Ryder Cup, which goes to show reporters who have been dispatched to Wales don’t have much to write about.

But it all got me to wondering about a potential Woods-McIlroy match-up. Who would I be for?

Turns out to be a troubling question.

I am an American and as proud as the next American to be able to say so. There is no greater country.

But I gotta tell you, I think I’d pull for McIlroy in such a match. I like the kid. He’s so young and so good and he has all that curly hair flowing from underneath his golf cap. I’ve challenged myself to watch a lot of golf this season, much of it without Tiger. In doing so, I’ve taken to some of the game’s younger stars, including the USA’s Dustin Johnson and Hunter Mahan.

The game survived without Tiger Woods. I wasn’t sure it could. I’m kind of done with Tiger. I hope he takes a few more licks in Wales. Please, please, don’t think less of me, fellow countrymen.

If you thought ESPN shoved the Brett Favre saga down your throats, get ready for the Miami Heat training camp.

Every time LeBron James or Dwyane Wade takes a breath, ESPN cameras will be there. The Heat are THE BIG THING in the NBA this season, for obvious reasons. LeBron chose to play in South Beach, after all. And the Heat also added another big free agent, Chris Bosh.

It’s going to be Heat, Heat, Heat for the next nine months.

But after the Big 3, what does the Heat have?

I checked out their preseason roster and found that it was full of guys who don’t quite carry the household names ofHasbrouckLeBron and D-Wade. The rest of the Heat’s roster includes: Joel Anthony, Carlos Arroyo, Da’Sean Butler, Mario Chalmers, Michell Gladness, Kenny Hasbrouck, Udonis Haslem, Eddie House, Juwan Howard (he’s my age), Zydrunas Ilgauskas, James Jones, Jamaal Magliore, Anthony Mason, Mike Miller, Dexter Pittman, Shavlik Randolph and Jarvis Varnado.

Of those 17 players, I’ve heard of 11. And I suspect that’s better than average.

Five are rookies. Several are hanging on. A few – Chalmers, Miller, Haslem, House – should play key roles.

But in signing three free agents to monstrous contracts, the Heat is forced to pay the remaining players on the roster relative peanuts.

I’ve been a big LeBron fan all along. I also like Wade. Together, though, I’m not sure I’ll be on board. In fact, I’m rooting for some other team in the Eastern Division to keep Miami out of the NBA Finals.

Who might that be? Chicago? Boston? Atlanta? Orlando?

One development of the baseball season is that I developed a strong sense of hatred for the Cincinnati Reds, as apparently today’s blog is all about the people and teams I don’t like.

Sorry for that, but the Reds are easy to dislike, and not just because they beat the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Central.

This is a brash team with a lot of guys willing to open their yaps, led by the verbally effusive Brandon Phillips. But as much as I don’t like the Reds, I consider them a serious National League challenger. Don’t get me wrong, Philadelphia looks like a clear-cut favorite. But I think Cincy can go toe-to-toe with the Phillies. The difference is pitching; the Phillies have Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels. I’m not sure the Reds have a counter.

My Facebrook Friend

Kim Taylor

Kim is my buddy, a private practice radiologist who knows sports so well she’s been a co-host on our radio show, “Sports Daily.” Here’s what she had to say about our deep Facebook friendship:

“Oh Bob, I can barely contain my excitement! I feel so special. Let’s see, about me… Well I’m a Chiefs fan – need I say more? LOL. About myself, well my secret desire is to be a bartender in St. Thomas but I can’t quit my day job. Actually, I am now on the board of directors for the WSU Alumni Association and SASO, in addition to all my booster activities – so probably my biggest claim to fame is a big Shocker supporter. I can multitask and can save lives while listening to your radio show – even calling in. Hobbies include music and a good beer.“Why are we Facebook friends? Well, I’m naturally attracted to wit and sarcasm – I find it without looking. Without being too serious, we have a mutual appreciation for sports and apparently good mexican food (I last saw Kim at Margarita’s-BL) … LOL. Oh, and we are both very important people around town, so how could we not be Facebook friends?”

As always, thanks for taking the time to check out my blog. I’m having fun with it.