During the prime of his athletic career, Tiger Woods may have been better at his sport than any human being ever was before him. That feels like enough justification to consider Woods an elite athlete, but not for Max Kellerman.
Wednesday morning on ESPN Radio, Kellerman boldly told his co-hosts Keyshawn Johnson and Jay Williams that we don’t know if Woods is an elite athlete despite his 15 major championships and 81 PGA Tour wins.
Williams stated what most sports fans would assume is the obvious, “Tiger Woods is an elite athlete.” But Kellerman quickly pushed back, claiming “I would not say that.”
“No I would not say that.”@maxkellerman doesn’t think Tiger Woods is an elite athlete. Do you agree? #KJM pic.twitter.com/wcJyoXGAsQ
— Keyshawn, JWill & Max (@KeyJayandMax) April 6, 2022
“I don’t think you can demonstrate that just by playing golf,” Kellerman attempted to explain, believing we don’t know if Woods is an elite athlete despite being a cultural icon because of how great he is at a sport that attracts global attention.
“What I know about Tiger is his hand-eye is next level, his will to win is extremely excellent and his mechanics are beautiful, all those kinds of things,” Kellerman added. “I don’t know how fast he runs, how high he jumps, all that kind of stuff… you don’t know that from playing golf, I don’t know what his time in the 40 is.”
Luckily, Williams continued to be the voice of reason saying, “That doesn’t have to do with anything about him being an elite athlete.”
For most of us, watching Woods dominate a sport at the professional level for multiple decades is enough to consider him an elite athlete. But Kellerman is going to keep holding out for the 46-year-old Woods to produce a home video of himself running a 4.6 forty while jumping up to touch the rim of a basketball hoop. Maybe then, Woods can be considered an elite athlete.
Until that happens, millions of sports fans will have to suffer through watching 100 “non-athletes” compete at the Masters on ESPN and CBS this weekend.