Monday, February 25, 2008

Most Dominant of All Time: Tiger vs. Jordan

The great sports debate: Who is the best of all time? Well complicate things more by comparing athletes in different sports (team vs. individual) to determine the most dominant player of all time. I saw a little blurb on ESPN about who was more dominant athlete in their respective sport ,Tiger Woods or Michael Jordan, and this time I couldn’t let it go. The phrase “He is the Michael Jordan of (Insert Anything Here)” is common place, and Jordan is widely regarded as the greatest basketball player to ever play the game. Tiger, on the other hand, has always had the arguably tag thrown before his best golfer of all time description and most of the sports world is just waiting for him to break certain records before committing to that idea. You have to realize that I am coming into this debate knowing that it is next to impossible to compare individual and team sport performances, That being said I will now break these two athletes down with comparable accomplishments as close as sportingly possible.

Rookie Campaigns:

Jordan came into the league out of the 1984 draft as the third overall pick and secured the 1985 Rookie of the Year Award. During this year he average 28.2 ppg and also made the All Star Team (This is a big accomplishment for a rookie which is why I included it, but I will not take Jordan’s 13 other appearances into consideration because it is primarily fan based and there is nothing comparable in golf).

Tiger started on the PGA Tour in 1996 and was named the Tour’s Rookie of the Year. This was after a campaign in which he only he was an amateur for the majority of the year, but made 8 starts as a professional. In those 8 starts he had 2 wins, 2 3rd places, and finished in the top 25 in 7 of those 8 tournaments.

“All Team Honors”:
In the NBA 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Teams are Awarded which means 15 totals players are awarded with such an honor each season. I’ll make the equivalent to this honor the list of top money earners in the PGA.

Jordan received 10 First Team selections (Top 5) and one 2nd team selection (Top 10).

Tiger has been in the Top 5 the last 11 years in a row, missing only his rookie campaign where he was an amateur most of the season.


Jordan took home 6 championships in the form of two 3petes. Yes, he was the Finals MVP in every series, but since we comparing this to an individual sport that would make Tiger the MVP of every championship he won ( No Caddy MVP controversies in the PGA).

Tiger has won 13 Major Championships in his 12 years on the Tour. That includes Two U.S Opens, Four Masters, Two Open Championships, and Four PGA Championships. To compare to a three-pete we look at 2000 where he claimed the Open Championship, PGA Championship, and U.S Open. Also added to the consecutive championship idea are Back to Back Masters in 01 and 02, PGA Championships in 99 and 00 as well as 06 and 07, Open Championships in 05 and 06, or the fact that since 99 the only year he didn’t win a major was in 2004.

MVP Seasons:

Jordan took home the NBA MVP in 5 seasons including back to back honors in 91 and 92.
Tiger has taken home PGA Player of the Year and Tour Player of the Year each 9 times. He won it from 98-03 and from 05-07.

Bonus Facts For Arguments Sake:

Most Scoring titles: 10
Highest Career Playoff Scoring: 5,987
Third On All Time Scoring List: 32,292
Highest Career Scoring Average: 30.12
Highest Career Playoff Scoring Average: 33.45

Holds Largest Margin of Victory in Three Majors:
Masters 12 Strokes
U.S Open 15 Strokes
Open Championship 8 Strokes
(In Winning the 2006 PGA Championship he became the only player to win all four majors by more than 5 strokes)

I think it safe to assume who I believe to be the most dominant player in any sport ever. Woods is a mere 5 Majors and 19 wins away from tying the all time records, and he is only 32 years old. The dominance that Woods has portrayed is unparalleled and continues on year after year. To date Woods has won 8 of his last 9 World events, and last 4 PGA tour events. I could go on for pages about Woods accomplishments, the circumstances in which he won, and the absolute absurdity of his performances. Jordan may be the best player in NBA history (Debatable because of team aspects, and the help that he had on those championship teams), but as a single Athlete Dominating in their sport Tiger takes it hands down.

4Real “The Michael Jordan Tiger Woods of Sports Blogging” Out…