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Sam Davidson's blog

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Tiger and/or Rocco

I just spent the better part of today (and the previous weekend) watching golf. I guess that's the upside of being your own boss and relegated to a hotel room eight floors above Union Avenue in Memphis.

I love watching Tiger Woods play golf. In every other sport, I root for the underdog. But, I also cheer for those who deserve it - for those who don't cheat, who put in hard and grueling work and want it to pay off. And Tiger's known for his work ethic, his mental dexterity and his ultimate skill with a golf club.

He deserves to win, in effect. And I appreciate and cheer for that.

But today, watching him play 19 holes with a virtual unknown, a bit of the underdog lover crept out of me and I was pulling a bit for both Tiger and Rocco.

All day long (and all weekend long), I heard stories about Tiger's record, his accolades and his history-making self. And I heard stories about Rocco's rise from obscurity for one June weekend (and a Monday). And while I saw Tiger's nerves of steel, I also saw Rocco's smile of grace. You saw an attitude from both players, albeit drastically different.

And ultimately, for me, I was more drawn in by the stories of Rocco's normalcy, his seeming out-of-place-ness, the fact that he didn't belong. Because despite all that, he still showed up, still played his heart out, but just came up short.

The stories of Rocco's personality, his willingness to look the crowd in the eye, to talk to every reporter, to never quit and storm off, to never give in or give up - all of that showed who Rocco was, and not just what he could do with a golf club.

Because at the end of the day, as much as I want to play like Tiger, I want to be like Rocco.

Here's to hoping the drive to be the best doesn't compromise the need to be ourselves.