Watching Tiger for Different Reasons
OK, somebody needs to have a talk with Tiger Woods.
I mean, here’s a guy with serious PR problems, and he’s busy as a beaver creating new ones for himself.
Yeah, I know it’s frustrating to play poor golf. Been doing it for a while myself. But come on, Tiger. Get a grip. As on your golf clubs. Quit throwing them. Quit kicking them. Be a nice guy. Smile once in a while. Laugh at yourself now and then. Heck, you might as well; a lot of other people are.
Despite all his personal problems, Tiger remains the most popular golfer on the planet. At least it sure seems that way. Television viewing ratings rise and fall with his presence or absence. Sometimes when he isn’t even playing in a tournament he gets more face time than the guy who wins that weekend.
This is being written on Thursday morning, so if the Ward jinx holds, Tiger will probably win the Wells Fargo this weekend. Maybe, but I doubt it.
Tiger got this week off to a roaring start when he declined a pre-tournament media interview. Instead, he hosted himself on video where he addressed some really tough questions from text-in fans. Such as: “Tiger, which one of your trophies do you like most?”
Seriously, Tiger? This kind of stuff is going to improve your suffering public image?
Tiger simply refuses to accept the hard, cold facts that he’s not still “The Chosen One.” I know, the PGA Tour still revolves around him, but the sun no longer rises and sets on him. He’s approaching 40. He’s got a bum knee, and his hair is doing some serious thinning on top. He’s still four major championships away from the record held by another former animal on the Tour, Jack “The Golden Bear” Nicklaus.
Yeah, he’s still got that amazing physique, but the muscles have quit obeying all the impulses the brain sends. So what’s the Supreme Superstar to do? Should he continue to glare at his loyal subjects and expect them to bow and scrape? Or should he soften his approach just a tad and show some humility?
Er … what was that? Humility? Not part of Tiger’s makeup. Grab the dictionary and find another word. Tiger still carries that aloof demeanor that has served him so well as an intimidation factor for all these years.
He isn’t going to turn loose of that just yet.
Frankly, it’s as much our fault as it is Tiger’s. We created the monster by letting him get away with it for 15 years.
If the average golfer had pulled some of the stunts Tiger has pulled over the years, he would have been crucified in the media. Instead, some of the most powerful and influential media members have backed down when it comes to Tiger antics. Everyone seemed to accept that if they crossed Tiger, they would never get another interview with him.
Most simply weren’t willing to chance that, so they either ignored or played down his vocal and physical outbursts on the course. If he refused an interview, OK, he was just busy. But don’t let Joe Doe pull a stunt like that!
I have often written that I thought Tiger Woods was the best golfer who ever played the game. I’ve never said he was the greatest because he hadn’t yet earned that distinction. But I always thought that was just a matter of time.
Up until the “Escapade of the Escalade,” I honestly thought he was the best ever. I thought there was no way he wasn’t going to win seven or eight Masters Tournaments, and I thought he’d easily surpass Nicklaus’s major championship record.
He may still get his golf swing and his act together enough to be a consistent winner on the Tour. He still has this amazing talent, and he’s still Tiger Woods.
But this version of Tiger could use some serious public relations counseling. His golf game right now isn’t good enough to make up for his character deficiencies.
We used to watch Tiger play because of his excellence. Now we watch him to see the train derail. The thrills are of a different kind.
Think about it, Tiger.
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