Of course the artist who formerly was named Prince tried this and yet is currently named Prince. So it doesn’t always work. But the spectacular and amazing golf career that Mr. Woods has produced to date is the stuff of which legends are made. Tiger is so much better than his peers that fellow U.S. top ten golfer Jim Furyk was heard to say to reporters recently – ‘I wish you’d all quit pissing him off,” he said jokingly of Woods, … and make him come back and keep proving stuff. Tiger Woods is always Tiger Woods.’ But what if he wasn’t called Tiger Woods any more?
Last week he hit two great shots on the last two holes, which enabled him to come back and win the tournament. I mentioned to my wife that there’s another one for the legend that is Eldrick which is actually Tiger’s true first name. She had never heard his real first name before and noted that Eldrick sounded like a Viking or Norse name. It struck me the same. So I got to thinking – maybe Tiger Woods should become ‘Eldrick the Fearsome’. Talk about a name that aptly describes his professional persona. And his fellow professionals would not admit it but they do fear him for good reason. He kicks their butts time and again. And talk about the merchandising opportunities. There’s a Saturday morning cartoon smash hit in ‘that there’ name. Not to mention a full slate of action figures. I contend that Tiger Woods is not an exciting action figure. But ‘Eldrick the Fearsome’ comes with shields, helmets and saves impoverished villagers from the tyrannical King and his court every time. He is respected and beloved by all.
Tiger Woods is a memorable name and an argument can be made that it is known nearly to the degree that Muhammad Ali once was renowned. But I think using the name ‘Eldrick the Fearsome’ has even more potential for lasting value and would only add to his legend. Professional athletes sometimes choose unusual names in order to differentiate themselves from their peers. It seems to happen more often when their talent is unremarkable. There was a football player who changed his name to ‘He Hate Me’ when in the short lived XFL several years ago. His real name was Rod Smart. Maybe he was smart or maybe not I will let others judge that one. But I (and others) remember it.
Jimmy ‘the Greek’ Snyder had a great nickname. ‘Erik the Red’ has offered thousands of years of lasting value. A thousand years from now which name do you think has greater lasting value, Tiger Woods, or ‘Eldrick the Fearsome’? It’s no contest in my view.
What do you think?