Odd similarities between LeBron James and Tiger Woods

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December 30th  is a day that has given us two of the greatest athletes of our generation. Not just one, but two, of the biggest superstars on planet Earth. One Eldrick Tiger Woods in 1975, and LeBron James nine years later in 1984. In previous years these two were not only the best in their respective sports, but the most loved. Now in today’s sports world, things have taken a 180. Scrutinized, hated, and laughed at, are more current ways to describe both in relation to the general public.  So similar, yet so different are the careers they have had, and the situations they live in today.

2009, the year we found out that Tiger was only human in many ways. He was defeated heads up in the year’s final major championship by Y.E. Yang, capping off one of those rare 0 major seasons. It was the first time Tiger had lost when leading in the final round of a major. Just a chink in the armour, we thought. Then, the infamous Thanksgiving wreck, that proved to be much more. 2009, the year Tiger went from role model, to apologist.

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2010, the year it all changed for LeBron. The Decision, to leave his home town and take his talents to South Beach. “Not five, not six, not seven,” we heard from the pre championship rally. While the season lead to a finals birth, LeBron faltered, to say the least, when he got there. 2010, the year LeBron went from the hero, into the villain.

2012, I can’t help but to think of the number three. Tiger Woods with three world-wide wins up to this point, at his tournament, at Arnold Palmer’s and at Jack Nicklaus’. LeBron James making history as one of eight players in league history with three MVP’s. After what each has gone through, whether it be self-inflicted or not, these wins are quite a bounce back. But with the microscope on full blast on both of these men, those are really just footnotes. No amount of regular season trophies will change the goal of winning championships of either men.

Sunday, June 17, 2012. This is the day that could turn the tide for both forever. Tiger wanting desperately to get back to the top of the mountain. LeBron James trying to will himself to finally reach the top. Nineteen majors, and an NBA championship. The things that keep these two fighting and fighting. No matter what anyone says, the competitive fire, and will to win keep them coming back. Win after win. Failure after failure. Now, Tiger is within striking distance at the U.S. Open, and LeBron has a oppurtunity to take a pivotal 2-1 lead in the finals. While neither can finish the job on this day, each can take a step in the direction of their ultimate goals. There is light at the end of the tunnel, but both have their obstacles. The biggest to overcome, is themselves.

Zach Leiken is a writer for The Sports Blitz Network and can be contacted at ZLeiken@TheSportsBlitz.com

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