Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A thought about Tiger's return

Now that Tiger has announced he'll return at Augusta for the Masters, there is the usual cacophony from all sorts of media outlets about how this move is obvious/smart/arrogant/cowardly/calculating etc etc etc because Augusta is a 'safe' place --- they hold near-absolute control over the media credentials and the crowds...excuse me...patrons.

I expect that every one of the people who have been (and still are) accusing Tiger of arrogant and controlling will absolutely beat down the doors of Augusta National and the PGA Tour if they aren't allowed as many credentials as they want, or if they aren't allowed to ask any damn question they want at the pressers. Further, since Augusta doesn't require any of its participants to appear at pressers, if Tiger chooses to avoid any pressers (which he won't, but still) I trust that the entire media empire will arise and unleash their fury and vitriol on Augusta National and the PGA Tour for not making it mandatory that he ANSWER THEIR QUESTIONS DAMMIT!!!!!!

I would even think that, just like the Golf Writers of America boycotted Tiger's public statement a few weeks ago because he wouldn't answer any questions, at least some 'backboned' 'principled' sections of the the media will completely boycott the Masters if Augusta not accede to their requests re Tiger and pressers.

Oh wait....I forgot.....it is perfectly OK for a bunch of rich old white dudes to be totally controlling about every aspect of their existence and message, discriminate as they wish as re their membership, and conduct their tournament by their own rules even if those rules are different from the requirements for every other golf tournament in the world....their invitational tournament will still be sanctioned by international golf bodies and they will all be referred to in hushed and reverent tones by the very same media assholes all the time....even if the Masters took a giant dump on their community once by telling CBS who it can and cannot assign for Masters coverage....ask Gary McCord about his fellow journalists' integrity....!

On the contrary, however, if a supremely gifted athlete ascends, by virtue of his talent, hard work and sheer force of will, to the pinnacle of the sport and popularize it like no one before....and generate unprecedented revenue for every one associated with the sport....if he should want to control his life and his message to his will and desire, then he is to be absolutely and endless vilified in every form of media possible....because the media are about integrity and morality, right?

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BikeMonkey said...

yeah, this. right on AM.

scribbler50 said...

As far as I'm concerned there's nothing more Tiger has to do except (a) continue the healing process through therapy and fidelity, and (b) tee up the fucking ball and hit it.

He's just done two more interviews, he pretty much answered all the questions (except for details about Thanksgiving night which he's not bound to reveal... that's called a marital blow-up between a husband and wife in which (thank God) the wife was not physically harmed), and no more as far as I'm concerned needs to be said. Even though he's the world's most famous athlete, he's not an elected official whose imprudence or dishonesty will affect anyone's lives, so where indeed does the media get off "demanding" all of the details of his personal life? It's just their self-importance on display here. Period!!!

Prediction: Deserved or not, Tiger will get a sustained and rousing ovation when his name is announced at the first tee and similar acceptance will continue (if he plays well) throughout the whole tournament. And not just because it's Augusta and the security to handle the wise guys will be as tight as the SS, but because people love a comeback and will want to be part of that story. Not sayin' he deserves this adulation but he'll get it. The tour has sorely missed his presence. And if you don't think people are quick to forgive and forget, I have six words for you... Marv Albert in a garter belt!!!

Observation: Even though I agree with you about the bald-faced hypocrisy on parade by the crowd who runs Augusta, and the extremeness of barring McCord for his bikini wax statement, the absence of that asshole from any tournament to me is a downright blessing. McCord is the worst! It's always more about him than what's in front of him. It's never, "Tell us what club he's using, David" it's "Tell (me) what club he's using," to make a small point indicative of a larger one. And his horseshit when the ball is en-route is a flat out assault.
(A-hem) Other than that I hear he's a pretty nice guy.

Another terrific post, my friend.

Anonymoustache said...

Great comments, Scrib50 and thanks for the same.
Obviously we are pretty much on the same page re Tiger's return and media mania.
I agree with you that most people will receive him well---I disagree a bit on the deserved-ness of it. I think he deserves to be received well: Firstly, as you pointed out, his fuck-ups are of the private variety---not honorable, but ultimately also none of our fucking business. Secondly, after the whole thing blew up in his face he appears to have faced the problem head-on and taken full responsibility and the appropriate measures to reform his life. No human being can be asked of more. He cannot afford to disappoint again, but as far as how he has dealt with it so far he cannot be faulted. If I were at Augusta, I would give him a rousing ovation as well--- for all that he has done for the game and for sports lovers everywhere---and as a reminder to him of what he once was and can be again, as a person and a golfer.
Whether he is saying things without meaning them or not is debatable---cynics will claim that he is just parroting stuff while people who chose to believe better of him will argue otherwise. Regardless of all that, he is saying, and appears to be doing, the correct things. This is an incredibly powerful teachable (teaching?) moment for the parents of all the kids who follow him.
As you may remember from my opinions over at CPPs during the Vick debate, I am very big on rehabilitation and redemption for all human beings. I firmly believe it is the only way we can teach our children to be better people---that one should really try not to fuck up badly but should one do so one should stand up and get on the path of reform with utmost commitment.
Also, as far as transgressions go, Tiger's are far from crimes against humanity. I have no patience for all the supposed morality touted in the media---you know what, when the media raise enough noise that every child-raping priest is locked up in jail, then maybe I'll listen to what they claim anyone should or shouldn't do.
So yeah---I think he does deserve as warm a reception and as strong an encouragement as we can offer. Adulation, not yet---that will have to recover over time.

Anonymoustache said...

re McCord:
I agree that he can be more annoying than amusing, as opposed to Feherty.
But CBS became Augusta's bitch to sacrifice its journalistic integrity to the Masters. If they fired McCord for incompetence, why do they still use him for many other tournaments? So basically they wanted to appease the Masters and so they took McCord off the coverage---they let someone dictate terms to them in the worst way. OK fine.....then don't claim integrity by turning down Tiger's 5 minute interview offer under the pretense that you wanted it on a more extended basis and on your terms. CBS should just say the truth---that they will kiss some more major ass at Augusta, whore out their journalism on other fronts some more, to have the powers that be bring pressure on Tiger --- to get an extended CBS interview before or during the Masters.
Integrity indeed! Fucking whores.

Funny thing about the Tiger story since November----all the time the media has been bashing him, they have made more and more money off him by fanning the flames of the story at all costs.

scribbler50 said...

Well said. And just for the record, I didn't say Tiger didn't deserve a warm welcome, I said "deserved or not" because it's not for me to say. But like you, if I were there standing at the tee I would definitely applaud, everyone deserves a second chance.

Frankly I can't wait to see all this unfold. If nothing else it's good theater by the sport's leading actor.