The Associated Press is about to announce its Athlete of the Decade.
For the past week, it has been profilng those sports figures who have had the greatest impact on sports in the past 10 years.
It's an impressive list.
But let's not kid ourselves. While those all are incredible athletes who have had brilliant careers, there is only one real candidate for this award and that is Tiger Woods.
Like the other candidates, he dominated his sport. Unlike the other candidates, he revolutionized his sport.
He single-handedly introduced golf to a new generation of players. Players whose faces are white, black and Oriental.
Perhaps no individual in the history of athletics - with the possible exception of Babe Ruth- has had such an impact on his sport.
When Tiger isn't playing in a golf tournament, the television ratings go down by 50 percent. When he is playing in a tournament, he's not hard to find. Just look for the big gallery. Few people want to watch the world's second-best player when they can watch the best.
Plus, we've never encountered an athlete quite like Tiger. If any other golfer was down seven strokes midway through the third round on Saturday, we would say they're done. But we've learned there is no margin too great for Woods to make up. And when he wears that red shirt on Sunday, it seems to energize him and terrorize and intimidate all his opponents.
Tiger Woods IS golf, and golf is going to have to weather a major storm while Tiger decides what life holds for him in the future.
Tiger's situation is a good lesson for us all to re-learn. That lesson is that athletes aren't heroes. They're human beings who excel in sports and in today's world that means they make millions of dollars on the field and - in Woods, case - many millions more off the field.
Yet because they can drive a golf ball 400 yards, hit a baseball 500 feet or serve a tennis ball 140 miles an hour, we shouldn't idolize them.
Sure, we should admire their talents. But we always must remember that like us they are human and they have foibles.
I'm not getting into Tiger's personal situation. Suffice it to say he has gone from the sports pages to those tabloids you see while waiting to check out at the supermarket.
He has brought disgrace to himself. He's the butt of the jokes of the late-night comedians. I've been e-mailed lists of literally hundreds of Tiger Woods jokes. His life and the way we look at him never are going to be the same. Any historical article written about him will include a footnote about his personal woes. Otherwise, it wouldn't be complete.
Tiger faces some monumental decisions. Once he works through them, perhaps he will return to golf. Perhaps he once again will dominate the sport. As much as golf needs Tiger Woods, he may find he needs it even more.
It's not our mission in life to judge other people, although many spend their lives doing just that.
Judging only on the impact athletes have had on their sport - and that should be the only criteria - the AP Athlete of the Decade is, to steal a line from Mike and Mike, a stone cold lead pipe lock.
Contact Dave Poe at email@example.com