It was almost worth Tiger Woods going through hell before his Masters victory - it made the world love him more than ever
PUBLISHED: 12:49 15 April 2019 | UPDATED: 15:42 15 April 2019
Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Tiger Woods proves that messing up can actually be the best thing you ever do - as long as you remember to put it right in the end
Golf is the worst, isn't it?
As soon as I hear that a man has taken up golf, I can't help but feel that it's the end.
And yet, as they plod around in their pastel jumpers, masquerading as fitness freaks when they're really just going for a stroll, they seem happy.
Tiger Woods was happy at the weekend too, and he made a lot of other people happy too.
How we love a rise and fall, and with all his injuries, that sex scandal and even a DUI arrest thrown in, the fall of the greatest golfer of all time (arguable, but don't bother arguing with me as my golf knowledge is on shaky ground) was more spectacular than most.
According to a friend of mine, Tiger's victory proved that 'bad boys win', when, in fact, of course, what it proves is that those who reform win and everyone loves them more than they would have done if they hadn't messed things up in the first place, which isn't quite the same thing.
I thought I might mess things up myself, just to get the extra frisson of adoration when I turn things around, but then again, I'm a woman so I'm not allowed to mess things up in the first place, am I? (It hasn't stopped me though).
Meanwhile, things were hugely messed up from an Ipswich fan's point of view at the weekend when the club I have supported for 40 years were relegated to the third division (or League 1 as they call it) for the first time since 1957.
We knew it was coming and age has made me more circumspect than I would have been in my younger days, but I still felt a tear pricking the back of my eye when I stood at Portman Road and thought of all the joy that place has brought me in the glory days.
But joy is nothing without the pain that underpins it, is it? And just like Tiger Woods our bad boys (I mean bad technically – I can't speak for them personally) will rise again and the suffering before will make the resurrection all the sweeter.
Blessedly, my Norwich fan friends have been mostly kind about the matter with one suggesting that next year, when they are relegated from the Premier League we will be promoted and the tables will turn.
This remains to be seen but there was simultaneous rain and sunshine at Portman Road on Saturday, yet I didn't see a rainbow.
My hopes are somewhere over it for now.
Hillsborough's lesson of love
On a second sporting matter, I much enjoyed the Liverpool match on Sunday.
After watching Ipswich this season, to see a goal like Mo Salah's was a real treat, particularly on the day before the 30th anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy.
The sight of Kenny Dalglish being hugged after the goal by Hillsborough campaigner Margaret Aspinall with pure joy in his eyes was so heart-warming; simultaneously reminding us all that while life goes on, the pain and loss of that tragedy will never be forgotten.
Of those not related to the 96, Kenny Dalglish was undoubtedly affected more than most, attending the funerals and holding the club together at the most challenging moment in its history.
It struck me this year, as I thought about the anniversary, that Hillsborough touched so many whose stories have not been told.
At Sheffield University, where I taught journalism, I worked alongside people who were there as reporters that day and who carried the pain of what they saw in a very dark and broken place in their hearts.
For journalists, Hillsborough will always be underpinned by the shame we all feel that some of our profession chose to tell lies about what happened and forced the Liverpool supporters and the Hillsborough families to defend themselves and their loved ones for all those years until the real 'truth' was finally acknowledged.
I spoke to Norfolk-based Hillsborough survivor Paul Williams last week and told him I had always admired the quiet dignity and determination of the Hillsborough families who never gave up their fight for justice for the 96.
They should have been allowed to grieve in peace but were driven on by love to do the right thing.
That love touched all of us then and it still does today.
Football is a better place because of it.