Sunday, February 21, 2010

Media insanity re Tiger, Part duh.

I had asked, in a couple of my previous posts, why journalists were so upset that Tiger Woods would not entertain questions during his public statement yesterday. Of course, I thought the statement to be unnecessary but a sad inevitability as well. But anyway, my point was that there wasn’t much golf-related to ask Tiger and the rest of the stuff with his personal life was nobody’s business but his family’s….so what did these people want to ask Tiger that could be relevant and not tabloid? writer Jason Sobel has boldly ventured forth, and actually listed 10 questions that he’d have liked to ask Tiger. Now, luckily for Jason and the rest of the world, it just so happens that I have the answers to most of his questions, and I’m willing to provide them completely free of charge. So quit thanking me profusely and read the damn answers already…..

(Sobel’s questions in bold type, and my answers, bold as they may be, in regular type…..)

Q: Where was Elin?

A: None of your damned business.

Q: What happened on Nov. 27, 2009?

Well, whatever is deemed to be public record is available from the respective police dept. Beyond that, the details of the events are none of your damned business.

Q: Why the prolonged silence?

Didn’t much feel like talking, and was pretty busy with rehab. In case you don’t know, rehab people run a pretty tight ship.

Q: How come questions weren't allowed?

Because I said so. Feel free not to attend my future press conferences or golf events if you are too miffed by this.

Q: What is his addiction?

A: Ever heard of doctor-patient confidentiality? Well, doctors have to adhere to it but patients have a right to it. So I guess my answer is, “None of your damned business”.

Q: Will there be changes in Team Tiger?

Are you willing to reveal to me the intricate goings on regarding any and all sensitive impending policy decisions and management changes etc at ESPN? No? I guess, what I’m saying is that my answer is, “None of your damned business”.

Q: Why hold the speech at PGA Tour headquarters? Why leak driving range photos?

Why not? And wouldn’t you allow that driving range photos are better than driving photos under the circs? Would you not put your best foot forward?

Q: When will he return to competitive golf?

OK, finally a legitimate question.

But it was answered. Tiger said he is not sure when he’ll return. Sorry that he couldn’t schedule his rehab around your desire for a firm timeline to make money off his talent.

Q: Has he been suspended by the PGA Tour?

Another legit, and actually great, question. But one that could have easily been posed to the Commish, Tim Finchem, who has been chatting up a veritable storm to you guys of late…I mean, on TV, in print, you name it…

Q: What would Earl say?

A: Sigghhhh….at the risk of sounding repetitive, but in the interest of preserving the integrity of what principles of newsworthiness may remain….”NONE OF YOUR DAMNED BUSINESS”.

Thank you, Thank you….

Friday, February 19, 2010

My take on Tiger's statement

What I just left as a comment on Comrade PhysioProf's all too cynical thread....

Nobody but Tiger can know the true motivation behind his actions and the timing thereof. Those who choose to take the cynical viewpoint are just as justified, a priori, as those who choose to give him the benefit of the doubt.

If one has to go by the available evidence, however, it appears that Tiger is trying seriously to get help and is trying desperately to save his relationship with his family. If he were to apologize just to keeping his shilling revenue alive and well, he could have gone a very different path. He could have already done the things the so-called experts have called on him to do, including crying on Oprah and all that crap. He could have come out with such a statement much earlier, when the media and golf powerbrokers were clamoring for it. I am sure he could have saved the Accenture sponsorship if he he danced to their tune—you really think they didnt try to get him to do some such apology-dance-talkshow-circuit-shit so that they wouldn’t have to completely re-invent their entire ad campaign, including removing his likeness from every airport and thousands of billboards, overnight?

Anyway, his statement today, in content, tone and timing, is highly indicative of a man following something akin to a 12-step program. I think this is why Tiger’s agent indicated that the timing of this was not entirely upto them. It appears that Tiger is at a stage of his therapy where he needed to apologize, openly, categorically and unconditionally, to everyone he may have hurt. This is what he did, and he has gone back to resume his rehab.

In my opinion, if he weren’t following a therapy strategy laid out by a medical professional, he could have eschewed this kind of statement and highly publicly humbling scenario—he could have apologized to his family and friends in private and apologized to his fans and followers on his website via a video statement or whatever. And then started playing golf. Let me reiterate what I’ve said before—he could have done no public apologies, and his endorsements would have been back in force when he started winning again. Corporate America has shown repeatedly that it has no ethic—when he started commanding eyeballs to TVs again, they’d gladly whore themselves to him again.

All the events of the past 2 months or so, culminating with today’s announcement, indicate that Tiger appears to be following a therapeutic regimen, and his priority appears to be to save his marriage and personal relationships.

Stop Breaking the News - In which I take on Selena Roberts

OK, this is getting to be even more entertaining than I'd bargained for. First there was all the caterwauling about Tiger stealing the thunder from a golf tournament.

Now it gets better. Selena Roberts of claims that Tiger Woods, by scheduling his announcement for today, is ,"stealing the spotlight from feel-good (Olympic) games". Selena's article is so remarkably stupid, on so many counts, that I feel compelled to respond to it.

Firstly, I didn't realize (and I think neither did Tiger) that he needed to cross-check his calendar with every other significant event in the world and schedule his announcement accordingly. I guess he should have had the sensitivity to schedule his announcement sometime after the NCAA tournament, after hockey season, after the NBA season, before NFL training camp, and at 2 am on a Tuesday morning so as to cause minimal disruption to whatever pathetic golf event was being held that week. Thank you, golf scribes, bitter PGA pros and Selena Roberts for pointing out how freaking inconsiderate and egotistical Tiger really is.

Secondly, it seems to have chapped Selena's ass too that Tiger will not entertain questions at his announcement today. What questions would you like to ask, Selena, that are relevant to Tiger's golf, that will not embarass him and his family any further? Or would you like to get a Ken Starr-esque play-by-play of who he banged and how he did it, so as to enrich the lives and the essential knowledge-base of the world at large? And because that would be the right thing for Elin and the kids, y'know? Right?

Thirdly, I didn't realize that the 'feel-good' for an Olympic games constituted some Americans winning gold medals. Because, you know, I might have been thrown off by the fact that the Olympic movement has become the examplar for corruption, politics and the fine art of putting whipped cream on a turd. I, for one, have been disgusted by these Olympics. The lead story should be the arrogance of the Olympic committee in not listening to serious concerns and complaints about their dangerous tracks, an arrogance that has already led to the loss of a young and promising life. Oh, I was not an American life, so it doesn't impinge on the feel-good-ness of these Olympics for you, huh? The second lead should have been about how tens of millions of dollars were spent in importing snow for these games, so that, you know, you'd have your feel-good fortnight, at a time when such money could have been used to far better effect in any of many efforts starting with, say, the relief effort in Haiti. The third lead should be the absolutely disgraceful commercialization of the event as well as its TV coverage (by your fellow 'journalist' community, no less) that has resulted in the complete betrayal of the very athletes whose cause you claim to speak for. If you want someone to give these winter athletes a break, maybe you should get your bosses to show some of these events live, or at least at a decent hour so people could watch them, and preferably without sandwiching each minute of actual sport within five minutes of advertizing filth. Then we'll talk. But anyway. You keep right-on feeling good there, now, y'hear?

Fourthly, Selena, you have the gall to use the Olympics (and comments by Jacques Rogge) to pass judgment on Tiger's Woods' sex life? I mean, SERIOUSLY? Here's a tip from an amateur investigative journalist---go ahead and do a Google search for the terms "Olympics and condoms". Are you aware that, like for the Beijing Games, the Vancouver Games are also arranging to hand out approx 100,000 condoms to the participants this year? Don't believe me? Look here, and here, and here, for instance. That translates to about 14 condoms for each player, trainer, official and coach in the Olympic Games. Given the reality of what clearly transpires at the Olympics, handing out condoms is clearly the smart public health move. But then Rogge thinks that Tiger failed becuase he "likes their athletes to be good role models for youngsters"? Are you fucking kidding me? Look, I don't care if the entire Olympic village bursts out into a Caligula-worthy fuck-fest and orgy every night....that is the prerogative of the athletes there...but I do think that such rampant sexual behavior eliminates anyone associated with the Olympics from having any authority to comment on the sexual mores of somebody else.

So, Selena, when you decided to pile onto the assault on Tiger using your Olympics angle, did you do so in the full knowledge of exactly how 'feel-good' the Olympic games really were, or did you just employ your trademark oversight and sloppiness in the haste to make a name for yourself at Tiger Woods' expense. You know, like you did with the Duke lacrosse case. Or with the Alex Rodrigues book.....

And you call yourself a journalist. Shame on you.....

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Can you feel the Tiger hatred?

Tiger Woods will be giving his first public comments tomorrow after his stunning fall from grace, and the haters are out in force. The schadenfraude is so thick you can almost see it.

There have been myriad comments by various ‘journalists’ over the past three months about what Tiger should have done and how he should have done it. There is apparently a lot of hand-wringing and caterwauling about the nature of his appearance tomorrow (no questions will be allowed---no fair---waaaaah) as well as its timing (he’s taking the spotlight away from a marquee tournament just to get even with Accenture---waaahhhhh---no fair!). Let me get this out of the way for writers and touring PGA pros who have a problem with Tiger’s timing---Shut The Fuck Up. Listen to yourselves. If Tiger can upstage a world Golf Championships event by holding a public announcement, what does that say about the state of your game or the practitioners and consumers thereof? You want people to pay attention? Play better. Sack up and show the world a game that will capture its imagination and entrance it. That’s what Tiger did---he didn’t get his popularity by sprinkling pixie dust on the world or by spewing forth from the loins of privilege. He earned it with his game. The biggest talk that ever came out of his camp was done by his clubs. You want a better spotlight? Earn it.

As for the nature of the presser---so what? Journalists are all atwitter about not being able to ask questions at a presser? When did this happen? As I recall, everyone was pretty happy when administrations did this while leading our country into a trumped up war and unimaginable debt…..none of these scribes seemed to speak up then. A lot of tournament golf is sponsored by the banking and investment industry that sold our economy down the river….I don’t remember any golf scribes asking any of these institutions about their ethics or morals or anything else for that matter….. golf scribes and powerbrokers have been more than happy to be whores to corporate interests for as long as I can remember…..where is this newfound journalistic ethic coming from when it comes to Tiger’s private life? Besides, what questions do you expect Tiger to answer? Other than to his family, he owes no one anything. If you don’t like it, don’t go listen to him. Simple.

Why should Tiger be any more public now than he has ever been? Pretty much every one that I have read or heard seems to agree that Tiger has betrayed his wife and children and that he needs to apologize profusely to them. Then why do these same people want him to answer a multitude of questions about his lurid escapades? How is that even remotely respectful to his family? What purpose is served by playing out Tiger’s infidelities in even greater public and prurient detail? You feel badly for his wife and kids? Then leave them the hell alone----don’t pretend that Tiger has some obligation to the world to publicly humiliate his family any more than he already has.

I am quite disappointed that Tiger is even holding some sort of an apology presser tomorrow. I knew it was inevitable---but I am disappointed nonetheless. I really hoped that he’d sort out his home life and then, when ready, just start playing again. At the first tournament back, I thought, he could field general questions about this issue but just fend off anything personal and keep it focused on the impact on the game. Just keep the message simple---‘Yeah I screwed up badly, but none of the details are your concern. I am sorting it out with the people who matter in that regard’.

Anyway, let one thing be clear---much of this backlash against Tiger is not new. It is not a response to his ‘betrayal’---Tiger’s behavior just gave these sentiments an excuse to get aired. There has been a ton of Tiger resentment for as long as he has been on tour. You see, Tiger committed the ultimate sin, one that about many cannot ever forgive him for even if they can’t admit it---he not just entered but dominated a world of white male privilege. And a part of this nation always hated him for it. They hated the fact that he was so good. They hated the fact that he proved them wrong at every turn. When he came out on tour, the white male privilege establishment sneered (“It’s a different game out here, as the kid will find out…haw haw haw….”). They hated him for his frankness when he was winning and he claimed not to have his ‘A’ game---they called him arrogant---till he showed them at the 97 Masters and the 2000 US Open what his ‘A’ game was….They hated the fact that he fought just as hard to make the cut when playing badly as he did to win when playing well. They hated the fact that he won more times in a year than most of them had won in their careers. They hated the fact that if Tiger played his best, nobody else stood a reasonable chance of winning. But most of all, they hated the fact that while Tiger had all the physical gifts to excel at golf, his dominance sprung from his mental superiority. The white male privilege establishment would grudgingly concede that people of color could be good athletes, but they’d never concede that they could be mentally superior to the point of dominance. They subscribed to the old ‘blacks cannot play quarterback’ mentality and Tiger destroyed that world like no one before.

But something else also happened…..Tiger so captured the public imagination with his golfing feats that the money in golf exploded. And the golf world had to genuflect to Tiger. Suddenly, a touring pro made more money for a 10th place finish than he had for winning the tournament a few years back. If you could hold on to your tour card for a couple of years, you could retire comfortably on your earnings….even if you didn’t win a single tournament. Golf was suddenly cool…..the USOpen in primetime could beat the Yankees-Sox in ratings when Tiger played. Everyone, from the pros to the scribes, cashed fatter checks for achieving less, and at some level they were all happier for it. But on another level, I bet it tore them up. I bet it tore them up that most of them knew they were playing for second place if Tiger entered the tourney. I bet it tore them up that every time they bought newer, fancier cars or houses they realized that they were finishing lower and lower on the money list nevertheless. I mean, Tiger could have lined up all these old-world pros, scribes and powerbrokers of golf and chopped off their nuts with pruning shears on live TV and he wouldn’t have emasculated them any more thoroughly than he did with his golf clubs on the very fairways, greens, clubhouses and corporate tents that were, for the most part, forbidden to people of color.

So anyway, Tiger finally gave the white male privilege establishment an excuse to vent a dozen years’ worth of accumulated frustration and resentment, and they’re doing that now. And they’re looking suitably and predictably impotent and stupid while doing it too.


Haaaaaahahahahaha......The Golf Writers Assn of America will be boycotting Tiger's statement---sorta---they will not participate as pool reporters. Good. That should silence Tiger's message!! The Golf channel or every network will not carry it live, correct? Millions would not tune in if Tiger simply did the whole thing by streaming it on his website, correct? Let the pompous douchebags boycott it---maybe they'll finally realize the insignificance of their toadying positions in this information age.

They are upset that Tiger controls his message----I got some news for them---every powerful person does. It's not like Peyton Manning or Brad Pitt or Bill Gates accedes to every request from every self-important media asshole. Every single human being who is in a position to dictate terms does so. Why should Tiger be different? Well, he is different because even most celebrities receive maybe a thousand requests a day and have to say 'no' about 999 times.....Tiger receives a million requests a day and has to say 'no' a thousand-fold more. Media douchebags need to realize that just because attention whores like Brett Favre and John Daly choose to live out their life in public along the plotlines of a bad country-western song, it doesn't mean that every celebrity should do the same.

So, GWAA, fuck off! And come crawling back when Tiger starts playing golf again, because maybe you'll realize that your job is to report on stuff and provide decent analysis if you can, not moralize on it. In case you didn't realize it, idiots, if it weren't for some PGA rules and requirements, Tiger Woods probably wouldn't give you guys ANY interviews or statements during the normal course of events. He does not need you----people watch him for what he does and there are a million ways now to provide people that access. You need him---his image, his words, his deeds--- to sell copy, to justify your circulation, so you can whore yourselves out to your advertisers. Capisce?