What a great time to be a sports fan - KMOV.com

What a great time to be a sports fan

This is a wonderful time to be a sports fan. The Cardinals are heading to the playoffs. The Blues are about to drop the puck on what promises to be an exciting season. The Illini are trying to establish themselves and Mizzou's reloaded football team shows plenty of promise. The Rams are embarking on a rebuilding program.

That's all good. But when I say it's a great time to be a sports fan, I mean we live in an era where you have an opportunity to see two of the greatest players off all time. Never before has there been a time when two men so completely dominated their respective sports. Eldrick "Tiger" Woods is the name everyone knows. But when you are talking about the greatest of all time don't leave out Roger Federer.

Sure Juan Martin del Potro just pulled off a huge upset of Federer at the U.S. Open. But that will not deminish the dominating career he has put together.

Consider this. Federer has held the ranking of number 1 player in the world nearly 240 weeks. That's more than 4 and a half years. That's a record. Federer has won 15 Grand Slams, more than any other man. He has appeared in an unprecidented 22 Grand Slam Finals. He has now reached the Grand Slam semi-finals or better 23 straight times covering 5 years. During one stretch Federer appeared in a record 10 straight Grand Slam Finals, and 18 of the last 19.

Those are just his Grand Slam credentials. Federer has won 61 tournaments. Along the way he has posted a winning percentage of 81% (664-156). And his career earnings total nearly $51 million dollars. That is also a record.

Tiger's career records are equally overwhelming. In a year many experts call disappointing because Woods did not win one of the majors he still managed to 6 tournaments titles.

Tiger has won the 2nd highest number of majors with 14. His 71 PGA wins ranks 3rd all-time. It only took him 14 years. Sam Snead won 82 tourneys over 30 years, and it took Jack Nicklaus 25 years to win 73. Tiger will pass Nicklaus soon and Snead's record is certainly within his reach.

He is the youngest to achieve a career Grand Slam. Woods is also the youngest and fastest to win 50 PGA events. He is a 9 time PGA Player of the Year and held the #1 player ranking longer than anyone in history.

Woods is 33 and Federer is just 27.

Both are still forces to be reckoned with. Maybe neither will be able to dominate like they have in recent years. Maybe they will. But so what if they get beat more often than in the past. How often in a lifetime can you say you watched the best player ever in a sport, much less two of them. It is a pure pleasure to watch Woods and Federer and that makes this a great time to be a sports fan.

-Brian Barthold

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