We have lost all patience and perspective, with a pervasive media prone to snap judgments and proclamations leading the way.
Whether that's fueled by technology or whether the technology is born from our impatience is a different debate. What's not up for debate is that we're most guilty in sports.
The New York Giants were written off at 7-7, Alabama football was done after losing to LSU, Kentucky basketball was exposed as too young after a loss at Indiana. Similarly the San Antonio Spurs were an unstoppable juggernaut after winning 20 in a row, and LeBron James is either the most dominant player in history or a complete failure in the clutch depending on the day.
But the rush to re-judgment is always quickest with Tiger Woods, the standards by which he's measured the most ridiculous.
At 36, after four surgeries, he's judged not against the competition but against the 28-year-old Tiger, a level he couldn't reach now even without the implosion of his personal life. (Judged against his prime is also a standard Kobe Bryant, Albert Pujols, Roger Federer, and Peyton Manning will never again meet.)
Every other golfer on the planet gets to have bad days, bad weeks, bad months, even bad years. For Tiger, it's always the end.
When rising star Rickie Fowler shoots 84 while contending at the Memorial, it's ignored. When Woods shoots a 75 (to Phil Mickelson's 64) during the final round at Pebble Beach, Tiger will never win again. When Rory McIlroy misses three consecutive cuts, it's a young guy dealing with celebrity. When Woods follows a victory at Bay Hill with a missed cut and a pair of so-so finishes, it's proof he'll never again be great. When Mickelson pulls out of the Memorial after a sorry 79, it's a much-needed mental health break. When a limping Woods withdrew from the Players Championship last year after shooting 42 on the front nine, he was being a poor sport for quitting.
The double-standards are hilarious. Anyone else can lose his temper. Tiger is petulant. Bubba Watson can essentially give up the game for six weeks after winning the Masters. Tiger is ignoring the fans by not playing more. And, of course, Tiger has been lousy since 2008. Really? Actually, he won six events and Player of the Year in 2009 and has more wins this year than Phil, Rory or No. 1-ranked Luke Donald.
No, he isn't the Tiger Woods of 2000 or 2008. No one ever will be. But he's up to No. 4 in the world.
No one knows what will happen this week at the U.S. Open, but this much is certain: A few will declare definitively and with much fanfare that Woods will win while many others will proclaim with absolute certainty that he not only has no chance this week but he'll never win another major. That's the way it's done in 2012, especially with Tiger.