Local is the 'big picture'

Thursday, April 12, 2001 at 12:00am

At the first of the week, among the challenges I faced as the sports editor of The City Paper was what to put on Monday's sports back page cover. Tiger Woods made history in more ways than one. Probably on the cover of every publication in the world. He won his fourth consecutive Major tournament. Owns all four titles simultaneously. His second green jacket. Birdied the last hole. A duel with two of the best young players on the tour. Truly an historic event, in golf and otherwise.

We did put Tiger on the cover. But he was the little picture. The Nashville Sounds were the big picture and they lost three out of four on their home opening weekend.

I had a guy tell me one time that "hindsight is 50-50," and in this case, that's true. In hindsight, it's a 50-50 chance I'd do the same thing. Probably better than 50-50, but only close because I'm one of the biggest Tiger fans I know.

I'm sure some might think that cover was a mistake. But, to us at The City Paper, that back cover was a statement - that to The City Paper, the Nashville Sounds ARE the big picture.

Now, Tiger Woods is big. To the sport of golf and to the world in general. He's a phenomenon never-before-witnessed. And I'm sure there will be other opportunities for him to grace our most prominent sports position. But compared to the Sounds, as well as the Titans, the Predators, the Kats, the Metros, the local colleges and high schools, Tiger is the little picture.

I'm old enough to remember when the Sounds thrived. When two newspapers tooted the horn of the only game in town on a daily basis to the tune of helping to make it one of the most successful minor league operations in the history of baseball.

But the Sounds have fallen on hard times. The stadium is outdated and too small. They can't pay their rent. Because we have the Titans and Adelphia, the Preds and Kats and the Gaylord Entertainment Center, all funded with taxpayer dollars and neither turning any kind of profit for the city or the teams that play there. But the Sounds organization is the stepchild of the Nashville sports community. And that's how they're treated.

Nobody wants to shell out any more cash in the form of taxes to support athletic teams. Therefore, we, as a sports-loving community, should just go to the games. Buy a ticket. Businesses should buy tickets and give them away to Little Leagues, etc. Support them in some way. Give them the same support as the Titans, the Predators, and the Kats, or anywhere in between. Do the same thing with the Superspeedway. And do the same thing with the Electrolux and the BellSouth pro golf tournaments.

This is what The City Paper is about. Telling the local stories.

TGA

Speaking of local stories, the Tennessee Golf Association is revving up to begin its tournament season, which kicks off with the Coca- Cola State Open Championship at Greystone in Dickson on May 23-25. The deadline for application is April 18 with local qualifying rounds to be held at Windtree Golf Course in Mt. Juliet on April 30. The tournament is open to Tennessee Section Members and Apprentices in good standing and amateurs. The amateurs must have a posted TGA/GHIN Handicap Index of 10.0 or less. The entry fee is $120.

NWGA

The Nashville Women

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