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April 07, 2010

Tiger Woods will be bigger than ever; plus Jason Taylor/Jets farce, busty Serena, Tiki Barber, lost art of doing nothing & more

1aachat [It was a bizarre day in the Q&A Forum. A technical glitch kept mixing up my chat with that of Leonard Pitts. Hopefully that'll be corected by next Wednesday. Pictured right: Three young readers delighting to read my response to a Pitts-directed question about race relations].

1aaatiger TIGER WOODS WILL BE BIGGER THAN EVER: Plenty of diehard fans never left Tiger Woods over his sex scandal. The relative few unforgiving might never come back. The majority who have been disappointed by him will be won back. The hesitation in their embrace will gradually dissipate. Tiger is poised to be bigger than ever. That presumes his honest contrition is not proved a lie. That presumes his intention to connect with fans in a more personal way really happens. That also presumes, though surprisingly to a lesser degree, that he continues to be top-tier force in golf. Tiger is poised to be bigger than ever because he has now what he never did before: An underdog quality. Americans love an athlete who falls hard and picks himself up. We love redemption. Love a comeback story. Tiger, tarnished but still standing and fighting, is that story. He used to be imperial, too perfect. Now he is flawed, human. We have seen him bleed. His effort to catch Jack Nicklaus in all-time majors (he trails 18-14) will be a further rallying point. He will be bigger than ever.

JASON TAYLOR A JET? SURELY YOU J-E-S-T!: Jason Taylor visits the Jets today and it is perfunctory. He will re-sign with Miami. He wants to stay here and the Dolphins, after the draft and before training camp, will agree to remarry. You may call your bookie professional wagering laision and bet the ranch on that.

1aachair DOESN'T ANYBODY DO NOTHING ANY MORE?: (The preceding cannot possibly be a grammatical question. But might be). Yesterday morning I sat idling at my gate at LaGuardia Airport, waiting for my return flight from covering the Marlins' opener. I was doing nothing but sitting, watching and pondering. All around me people were talking or texting or busying on cell phones, iPhones, Blackberries or their derivatives. Still others click-tapped softly on laptops. Many were plug-eared, presumably listening to iPods. Old-schoolers were reading novels or magazines or (bless them) newspapers. Others were eating, drinking, talking or sleeping. Multi-tasking was evident. One woman was knitting. I was literally the only person among dozens in view simply sitting there accomplishing absolutely nothing. Contrary to guilt, though, I felt oddly superior. I am not sure why. I felt a little bit like a kid staring at an ant farm, and momentarily thrilled to not be an ant.

1aagloveserena BEING SERENA WILLIAMS:

South Florida's mercurial tennis queen recently has been photographed wearing a new fashion statement: a black lace glove on her left hand. That includes while sunning on Miami beach (far left), althought it took me a long time to notice the glove in that picture for some reason. Today's question: Has there ever been a prominent, successful female athlete more amply endowed than our Serena?

1aatiki 1aatiki2 TIKI BARBER SLIMES HIMSELF: Former Giants football star-turned-TV-talking-head Tiki Barber has dumped his wife -- the one who's eight months pregnant with twins -- for former NBC intern Traci Johnson (pictured in a Facebook photo). More evidence that athletes are some of the biggest houndogs on Earth, and that they apparently retire from sports but not from doggery. There is no doubt in my mind that plenty of married sports stars are as prolific with their cheating as Tiger Woods was but manage to do so in the shadows. Should this cost Tiki his TV gig? It is a valid  question. The talking heads need not just professional expertise but also personal credibility and integrity.

THE LIST: GOLF MAJORS: The only golfers to finish in the top 10 in all four majors in one year more than once:

5   Jack Nicklaus (1971-73-74-75-77)

3   Tom Watson (1975-77-82)

2   Arnold Palmer (1960-66)

2   Gary Player (1963-74)

2   Tiger Woods (2000-05) 

Twitter.com/gregcote

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