Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Eldrick Tiger Woods

I'm back. Back from the land of thoughts protected by 140 character limits. Back from the TMZ zone as I try to catch a glimpse of a Tiger in trouble. Back from the swine flu, which turns out is just the flu, which turns out still just sucks.

But why speak now? Why not just twitter some smart ass remark about how much I hate Time Warner or AT&T, you don't ask.

My favorite athlete of all-time. That's why.

Tiger Woods.

I'll cut to the chase on Tiger. We all know what happened. Actually, we all know what may have kinda actually perhaps happened thanks to numerous reliable sources like (there are no radars - I checked), The NY Post (they now have a column written by the hooker formerly known as Eliot Spitzer's) and (the only known place where human beings get excited for Octomom.)

The bottom line is Tiger Woods has been cheating. A lot. With all sorts of squirrels. It amounts to another high-profile athlete or celebrity being unfaithful in his or her marriage - clearly nothing new.

So why are we so enthralled with Tiger? He plays golf, a sport most consider slightly less exciting than sitting in a 2 hour line at the DMV on your off day.

Look no further than quality, world-class deceit. Tiger Woods successfully fooled billions of people, some near to him, others continents away, for nearly 13 years. My limited mind knows of no other more thorough, brilliant and successful PR campaign in the history of modern athletic celebrity.

Michael Jordan came close, then allegations of gambling came to light. Kobe Bryant? A night in a Colorado hotel changed his course of endorsement perfection. Every player in baseball was saint-like until every player in baseball took steroids, lied about it, then failed a drug test.

But Tiger? He has a tendency to block his release and slices a drive occasionally. He also frequently mentioned the word "fuck" on CBS.

Seriously, that's it.

We have never seen anything like Tiger. An absolute freak of nature at his sport combined with unmatched endorsement power, he was the perfect canvas for a painting worth over a billion dollars.

That's exactly what Mark Steinberg, Tiger and team IMG painted. And it worked brilliantly.

Until now.

I firmly believe Tiger Woods is better at what he does than anyone else in the WORLD is at what they do. Biased? Hell yes I am. I love golf, but part of loving golf is knowing how hard it is. Golf is more mind control than physical attributes - Tiger Woods is like the Dali Lama meets Lance Armstrong with a touch of Cassius Clay.

But now Tiger has gone from perfect to far from it. From marketable to questionable. From adorned to scorned. Tiger's "transgressions" force me to play a hand. Who do I join, Team "Tiger" or Team "I Can't Believe That Human Screwed Up, I'm Trading In My Buick"?

This sad scandal doesn't change a thing for me as a Tiger Woods fan. I'm not in it for Tiger the spokesperson. I'm not in it for the politically correct press conferences. I'm in it for the golf. Was I fooled by the synthetically polished image for all these years along with everyone else? Yeah, I suppose I was.

But you know what Tiger Woods didn't fake?

14 Major Championships.
71 PGA victorys.
10 PGA Player Of The Year Awards.
Winning the U.S Open on a fractured leg - in a playoff.

That's authentic.

My admiration for Tiger as an athlete is clear, but that's not to say I don't feel for Elin and her family. I can't imagine the hurt of your marriage crumbling down, on a public stage no less.

However, this public undressing of an icon may be for the best. It may be what Tiger needs and it may be what Elin needs.

It's hard to believe that people equipped with the money and power of Tiger Woods are meant for marriage. His life is relentlessly full of commitments to things like commercial shoots, private golf clinics, interviews, sponsor wine and dines and not to mention just a little bit of golf. As hard as golf is, a successful marriage has to be harder. Add on all the above to the hundreds of millions in the bank and nearly every woman you see throwing herself at you and you have a recipe for one trip to a celebrity divorce lawyer's office.

So how does he get out of the (LAME PUN ALERT)woods? Play golf. That's what got you here, to the top of a now-tarnished mountain, and that's your vehicle out. You are the best in the world at something you do, and only a VERY small number of people can say that.

So get the sticks out and swing 'em. Get out the Scotty Cameron and roll one in on 18 at Augusta to win it.

Go back to basics, Tiger. Go back to annihilating any and all on the golf course.