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Covering the Spread (COLUMN)

Opinions and insight into the wild world of sports

March 25, 2012
B.J. LISKO - Salem News Sports Editor ( , Salem News

Now that Tiger Woods has finally won, the first thought that came to mind was maybe it will silence some of the nay-sayers doubting he's well on his way back to being the most dominant figure in golf.

Don't look for the debate to die down anytime soon.

While Tiger finally answered the question of whether he can win again, the real answers aren't going to come until the end of the year.

When we look back, if Bay Hill is the only win on Tiger's 2012 resume, really nothing will have changed. But if that list contains a few more wins, and at least one being a major, there will be no doubt he is indeed back full force.

Tiger is going to get more coverage than Tim Tebow and Peyton Manning combined come Masters week. Augusta is his track. Judging by the way he played at Bay Hill there's no doubt he'll be the odds-on favorite to win the year's first major.

On a side note, Tiger's post-round interview once again illustrated why an awful lot of people still dislike him and why he still is completely out of touch. Interviewer Roger Maltbie threw a softball to Tiger asking him about the support he got all week. It couldn't have been any more set up for Tiger to knock out of the park if it was on a tee.

Tiger only mentioned the atmosphere was great and that a few old friends from the area came to see him play. A few? Try thousands.

Swing and a miss there, Tiger. Swing and a miss.

My Masters pick spoiler alert: Tiger Woods. And I would've taken him whether he won at Bay Hill or not.


At times this season, Ohio State had fans scratching their heads. Some games the Buckeyes looked unstoppable on the hardwood, while others they seemed lackluster and sloppy. They've looked nothing short of spectacular in the NCAA tournament and have a real shot at playing for and possibly winning the national title.

Kentucky has looked insanely good, but it was hard to get a good gauge Sunday given that Baylor played like a team afraid the entire first half.

Here's something I don't understand about March Madness. Why is it they cram 30-plus games into a two-week period then take an entire week off before playing the Final Four? I'm sure it has to do with money or advertising or television and likely has nothing to do with any reason related to basketball. But you get right into the thick of things and it comes to a total halt. Kind of a buzz kill.

Really though, it's been an outstanding NCAA tournament. I've gotta stick with my bracket for my prediction and take Kansas to win it all. It's as scientific a pick as I want to win my pool. How's that for research?

Well, that and they really rolled North Carolina when it counted Sunday and up to that point, they've sort of eked their way through. I'm not sure we've even seen Kansas play their best yet.


Speaking of Tim Tebow, the circus that is the New York Jets is going to crash and burn this year. First off, they've got two quarterbacks and neither of them is particularly good. Mark Sanchez crumbles under pressure worse than a peanut under a fat guy. There's nothing textbook about Tebow and he isn't a good enough quarterback to consistently win. Why else would John Elway, a two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback, be so adamant about getting rid of him even though he led the team to a playoff win? Add the volatile quarterback situation to the fact that head coach Rex Ryan was starting to lose control of his team last season and it's a recipe for disaster. It should be entertaining to watch if you're not a Jets fan.

"You don't need to be thinking about immortality - you need to be thinking hit the 7-iron!"

'til next time ...

E-mail B.J. Lisko at



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