Gregg Doyel: ‘Rory Is Better Version Of Tiger’

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(Credit: Warren Little/Getty Images)

(Credit: Warren Little/Getty Images) national columnist Gregg Doyel, like many people in the sports world, recently participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which seeks to raise awareness – and money – for the affliction more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Doyel, who lives in Cincinnati, then challenged Xavier basketball coach Chris Mack and Cincinnati basketball coach Mick Cronin to do the same.

“Well, first of all, Mick Cronin is either ducking me and this challenge, or he’s in the Bahamas with his basketball team,” Doyel said on The John Feinstein Show. “It’s one or the other. I think he’s out of the country. I kind of feel bad I tagged a guy out of the country, but when he comes back, the clock starts ticking.”

Mack, meanwhile, accepted the challenge Wednesday – and in grand fashion.

“He’s a show off,” Doyel said. “Chris Mack is show-off. I can’t stand the guy. It’s not enough for him to get ice water dumped on his head. He brought in a Xavier sponsor that owns an ice company, and they brought in a truck of ice. There’s like 12 (buckets) of ice – and they were all pretty heavy – and he needed some guys to help him out dumping them on his head.”

So Doyel helped.

“You know me, John: I’m the strongest guy we got,” Doyel joked. “He got wet, I got wet – but he did the right thing.”

The Ice Bucket Challenge began a few weeks ago when 29-year-old Pete Frates, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2012, wanted to do something to raise awareness for ALS. A former baseball player at Boston College, Frates, who has lost the ability to speak, posted a video of his personal ice bucket challenge and urged others to do the same.

“This ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is amazing,” Doyel said. “It’s almost too amazing. It’s almost taken off too much. I’m sure some people are sick of this already, but apparently the ALS (Association) has raised more than $2 million in the last 10 days alone. That’s simply because this ice bucket challenge is going nuts.”

The challenge is especially personal for Doyel, as one of his best friends, Maureen Burakiewicz, suffers from the disease, which is arguably the worst fatal affliction known to man. You lose the ability to walk, move, speak and swallow.

“There’s no good one, but if I had to rank which (diseases) I want to die from, ALS would be last – because your brain’s aware,” Doyel said. “Now, in some cases, it goes after your brain, too, and frankly, those are the lucky people because they don’t know what’s going on. Otherwise, your brain’s aware. Your brian’s aware that your body’s shutting down and you’re paralyzed.”

Eventually, the disease attacks the lungs, causing patients to suffocate in a matter of days or weeks.

“It’s horrific,” Doyel said.

While medical professionals are nowhere close to a cure for ALS, the money pouring in via the Ice Bucket Challenge is a wonderful, wonderful thing.

In other (less serious) news, Doyel clarified a point he made in a column this week about Rory McIlroy. In his column, Doyel inadvertently suggested that McIlroy is a better golfer than Tiger Woods.

“My job is to communicate very clearly what I’m saying,” Doyel said, “and I didn’t do it.”

That’s fine. Let’s do it now.

“Rory is doing things at age 25 that no one but Tiger has ever done,” Doyel began. “Jack (Nicklaus) won four majors (before he turned 26), but he didn’t win two of them by eight strokes. It’s splitting hairs, but Rory isn’t just winning majors; he’s wining majors by lapping the field.”

“I never thought we’d see (another Tiger) – a guy that good, that young, so fast,” Doyel continued. “But we’re seeing it. Rory is that guy, only he’s nicer. Rory is that guy, only he’s kinder and gentler. Therefore, he is that guy, only he’s better – and by better, I meant he’s a better human being.”

Yes, with Woods, you have to make that distinction.

“Rory is a better version of (Tiger),” Doyel said. “There’s a golfer and the man, and (those are) two different things. Rory is a better man than Tiger, and he’s damn close to the golfer.”

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