Oh, potentates have fallen, yes, and kings have been brought down,
It's true a ruler, draped with riches, can't assume his crown
Will always rest upon his head as easy as it did
When he was starting out as king, a callow, hotshot kid.
Still, who was not, on Monday last, unsettled by the word
That Tiger Woods was number one no more. It seemed absurd,
Consider five straight times he has been golfer of the year,
And four straight times he's won the money title, so it's clear
That Tiger was no fluke. He was — childe Tiger was — a star
That blazed across the lawns of golf a hundred under par
And seemed, we felt, near destined to continue at the top,
And then, on Monday, his reign bogeyed sadly to a stop.
Two hundred sixty four weeks is a most prodigious run
For anyone to be the best at anything. A ton
Of golfers would give anything to be the very best
For just a day or two, to stand above the crowded rest,
And Tiger was the greatest, showered in the envious tears
Of golf's exalted host for just a month more than five years,
In five years newborns grow enough to run along to school,
In sports it's an eternity, you'd have to be a fool
To fail to understand the grand achievement Tiger wrought:
From 1999 'til now, the guy could not be caught.
It was, therefore, a splendid run for Tiger and his game,
Though anyone can see that now golf will not be the same,
The fairways will be empty and the greens will go to seed;
As termites eat the locker rooms, the country clubs will plead
For time to make the payments on their vast, palatial plots,
Which will be sold off, piecemeal, for ten thousand housing lots.
The failure of last Sunday was not merely Tiger's loss,
For Tiger's game without him at the top is merely dross.
One thing, of course, can still reverse the tumble of the game
Into a hopeless, long decline; life might go on the same
As it has gone for five years on the farways and the greens
And on the countless number of great, glowing TV Screens
If Tiger could regain his spot atop the favored pile,
And win enough again to smile his shining Tiger's smile,
Until it happens all of golf's bright kingdom now will yearn
For nothing more or less than Tiger's glorious return
To number one, which, even those who play against him know
Is where he is now meant to be, and where he must now go.