Game Time: Tiger, Why Can't You Be More Like Jeter?

I have very few sports allegiances that drive me to either end of the emotional spectrum, especially professionally. Honestly, in the business that I'm in, I think it actually helps me think and assess things clearer than if I had a diehard rooting interest.

Sure, I root for the Houston teams, and in particular certain players that I've gotten to know a little bit in my two years back in Houston. I root for Notre Dame (my alma mater) in college football. Professionally, the only team that moves the emotional needle for me (and admittedly, even they haven't really done that since 2004) is the Boston Red Sox, which by definition means that the New York Yankees move the emotional hate-meter for me as well.

Where am I going with all of this? Well, as a Red Sox fan, I'm about to commit treason when I say that Derek Jeter just became my favorite athlete. Subliminally, maybe he has been for some time now, but I just realized it today. Why? Well, we have Tiger Woods to thank for that. Stay with me....

Last week, Derek Jeter was named Sportsman of the Year by Sports Illustrated. In giving the award, SI's Terry McDonnell said, "Derek Jeter has always presented himself with class; he does numerous good works for the community with his Turn 2 Foundation, which is one of the most efficient, effective foundations of its kind; and he's extremely generous with not just his money but with his time, which in many cases is more valuable. He also had another signature year on the field."

Yeah, blah blah blah...that's all well and good. It bears mentioning that Jeter is also a 10-time All Star, a five-time World Champion, and will pass the 3,000-hit plateau sometime in 2011, not to mention the fact that he's carved out a pretty nice financial emprie of his own. Not Tiger-esque, but enough for his grandkids' grandkids to live comfortably....that is, if Jeter were to ever decide to procreate. And therein lies the rub, and the reason why I think Derek Jeter is the Sportsman of the Year and the smartest man on the planet -- Derek Jeter bangs who he wants, when he wants, with no fear of reprisal.

I realize that for some of you, that last sentence sounds crass and superficial, but when guys around the country are asked the question "Which athlete would you most want to trade lives with?" and they answer "Derek Jeter" in about two-tenths of a nanosecond (and trust me, he IS the most frequent answer to that question), it's not because of this resume:

10-time All Star (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009)
Four Gold Gloves (2004, 2005, 2006, 2009)
Two Hank Aaron Awards (2006, 2009)
Five-time World Champion (1998, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2009)
AL Rookie of the Year (1996)

It's because of THIS resume:
Mariah Carey
Miss Universe Lara Dutta
Joy Enriquez
Jordana Brewster
Scarlett Johanssen
Gabrielle Union
Jessica Alba
Vanessa Minillo
Jessica Biel
Minka Kelly

Exactly -- guys want to be Jeter because he gets more ass than a row of toilet seats at the Super Bowl. But it's not just that. It's also because Derek Jeter has been one of the few athletes who can get anyone he wants AND was smart enough to....(drum roll please)....STAY SINGLE. No sneaking around, no voicemail messages begging some skank to remove her name from her caller ID so the wife can't see it, no teenage country singers. And in turn, no divorce lawyers or nine-figure settlements (It's coming, Tiger. Oh yes, it's coming.).

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