So earlier this week, we got this presser from Tiger Woods at Augusta....
For those who don't want to waste nine minutes of your life watching bullshit, just know that Tiger plans on being nicer to all of the fans, he has had to view himself in a way he never thought he'd have to, and he's never taken HGH. In other words -- "blah blah blahbeedee blah blah...." Basically, more Tiger trying to reclaim his place on a "bigger than the sport of golf" pedestal that no clear-thinking person ever had him on to begin with.
Then yesterday, along comes this doozy of an ad from Nike, complete with audio of Earl Woods questioning his son about something. Now THIS you should watch since it's (a) creepy, (b) offensive, and (c) only 30 seconds long....
Obviously, in our theater of the mind, we are to believe that Anakin Earl Woods' force ghost has come down from Jedi golf heaven to tell his wayward son Luke Tiger to stop banging all of those skanky Ewoks (and for the love of Yoda, stop making out with your sister Leia!!)
Tiger Woods' dad, Earl, before he started speaking in Nike ads from beyond the grave, used to tell us all the time about how his son was going to change the world. Here is a direct quote from the now infamous Sports Illustrated article in 1996 where Tiger is anointed as some transcendent hybrid of Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Mother Theresa, and Gandhi:
He will transcend this game...and bring to the world...a humanitarianism...which has never been known before. The world will be a better place to live in...by virtue of his existence...and his presence.... I acknowledge only a small part in that...in that I know that I was personally selected by God himself...to nurture this young man...and bring him to the point where he can make his contribution to humanity.... This is my treasure.... Please accept it...and use it wisely.... Thank you.
The one portion of Earl's diatribe that I agree with -- "The world will be a better place to live in...by virtue of his existence." During the thirty minutes I spent reading Tiger's text messages to Joslyn James, I don't know that I've ever been more entertained in my life. I seriously didn't want it to end. I'm not even kidding.
Seriously though, as we all eventually found out, Tiger being different and somehow "better" than all of us was all a big put on. Is Tiger Woods generous with his resources? Given his charitable works, I would say absolutely he is (despite some Pippen-esque tipping stories to the contrary). At his core, is he any less flawed than the rest of us? No. He can hit a golf ball really far and really well, but he cheats on his wife, he has a temper, and he obviously has truth issues. Some of us can't hit a golf ball really far, but we stay loyal to our spouses, we work hard at our jobs, but we drink too much, or we gamble. My point is this -- in the end, every human being has a personal list of "pros" and "cons" about themselves; you just hope the pros outweigh the cons.
Fortunately for Tiger, his list of "pros" are things that people pay money to see, pay money to try and emulate, traits that will make people very wealthy if they possess them. And in the end, those skills are the things that made Tiger Woods compelling. Not his family life (which we now know was a facade), not his charitable foundation, not his Buddhism.
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That's why I personally just wish we would be done with the staged press conferences, interviews, and apologies. Nobody sane ever bought a Nike golf shirt or a Tag Heuer watch because Tiger was a loyal husband; they bought them to be like "Tiger Woods, Greatest Golfer Ever." With every cheeseball Rick Reilly analysis of Tiger's return (Does it get any cornier than Reilly saying "The only win I want to see is [Tiger] winning back his wife and his kids."? No, it doesn't), I get angrier and angrier about this whole thing. Not that Tiger cheated on his wife, that's his business, but that Tiger's camp and the sheep media who suck at the Tiger Woods teat (yes, you Reilly) think that we care about his Buddhism, and his core values, and that for some reason he needs to apologize to us for cheating on his wife, that he actually cares about the fans now. In short, we're supposed to buy that somehow a couple months in Mississippi have changed him.
You want a compelling "what if"? What if Tiger manages to get out of his neighborhood that night without crashing his car? Do the floodgates open for the police, the paparazzi, and the porn stars to begin lining up to whack away? If you believe one shred of what Tiger is dishing out, it's something you should ask yourself.
My reaction every time he steps up to a mike now? "Whatever, Tiger. Just swing the fucking clubs, please. Be relevant on Sundays again. Make us casual golf fans want to actually watch golf on Sunday afternoons and not use it as background noise for our midday nap. Seriously, don't make me hate Buddhism. Please."
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 3-7 p.m. weekdays on the Sean & John Show, and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.