Sometimes (OK, all the time) it's more fun to talk to the folks who know Tiger Woods than it is to talk to Tiger Woods.
Tiger is a slippery figure, never giving you the quote you want and often speaking solely in cliche.
Charles Barkley is pretty much the opposite of that.
Golf Channel posted about a Barkley mini-rant from this week that I found to be pretty interesting.
"We're not friends anymore," Barkley said.
Well, OK then.
"I think that when you're as great as he has been, and this probably is a negative at some point, like he was so consumed with being the greatest golfer ever, he wasn't a very sociable guy. Even when was a friend of mine, he wasn't a very sociable guy. He just had a one-track mind. He just wanted to break Jack Nicklaus' record."
Not a ton of breaking news there -- that has long been how the public viewed him -- but to hear one of his (old) friends say that's how he was in private, that's interesting.
"Golf is just a game," Barkley said. "Your life don't suck ... But I think when you put yourself in that situation where your whole life revolves around how you're doing on a golf course, you're gonna develop a negative attitude to a certain degree, instead of saying, 'I've actually got it pretty good.' It's like people who say I never won a championship. I understand that. I accept that. But it ain't like I'm sitting around saying, 'Oh my God, my life sucks. This is so miserable.' "
I actually wrote something similar about why I would rather be Jimmy Walker than Tiger last fall. I stand by that, too.
Woods was (is?) so consumed by the number "18" that little else, including (apparently) his friends, matters to him.
The flip side of this, of course, is that Tiger and Charles were never as close as Charles thought they were. Woods has made at least an attempt to spend more time with his family recently than he does playing golf.
So that's something. I think.