By Michael Rand
Take a good look at that photo by the Strib’s Jim Gehrz. That’s not at all uncommon while walking around Hazeltine following Tiger Woods. That picture, from Woods’ first round Thursday, is going to be used to illustrate a brief point and to ask a question.
Woods himself has said the galleries following him here are larger than anywhere else (at least for the practice rounds). We all know Tiger is the best golfer in the world and one of a handful of mega-stars competing in any sport right now. And yesterday, he played brilliantly and as part of a group that was, without a doubt, the one to watch at the tournament.
That said, does the Tiger obsession — and the obsession, really, with “stars” of any kind — reach a different level in Minnesota than it does in most other places? That is to say, is there something inherently Minnesotan about wanting to get a piece of someone famous — and, in turn, wanting that famous person to like us?
We would argue the answer is “yes,” but that could just be yesterday’s five hours in the heat and humidity talking. We definitely welcome your perspectives on the nature of Minnesota fans in the comments.