In all of the rants I have done here, I do not think I have ever done this before. I must inform you that I am writing this late at night on the day before the date that you see at the top of this rant. I want to make that clear because I am going to talk about the “Tiger Woods Coming Out Party” scheduled for tomorrow morning and I want to be sure that everyone knows that this is written before the fact and not after the fact. If I need to change or modify any of my statements here after the fact, I will be back on Monday to do so.
[Aside: Reading that last sentence, I realize that I sound like a US Senator who has just asked for and received unanimous consent to modify and extend his remarks after his previously prepared speech. As you know, I hold the entire Congress of the United States in profound contempt; therefore, the similarity of my statement there to a US Senator makes me feel the need to go and take a shower. I will be back in a moment…]
OK, I am back – - and surprisingly, there is still some soap left in the shower…
The topic of the moment is the reemergence of Tiger Woods from his self-imposed exile/hibernation subsequent to his “one-car traffic incident” back around Thanksgiving time when his wife miraculously and benevolently came to his aid with golf club in hand to smash out the window in his SUV with the sole purpose of extricating him from that dangerous and threatening situation. Remember, that was the “official story” way back when…
After about three months of living in a cocoon, Tiger Woods will reemerge in front of TV cameras, radio microphones and “selected members of the media” – - Translation: tame scribes who are on a short leash with shock collars attached – - to address the public and tell us what happened.
First of all, let me say that each and every member of the press corps who attends this charade by invitation and holds to the dictum that no questions will be allowed needs immediately to turn in his “investigative journalism card”. Go to this event under those conditions and fawn over this man after his prepared and well rehearsed statement and you are nothing but a toady. If that term offends anyone, the one I had here before I “edited” it was “lickspittle”.
Let me begin by stating something that you will not find anywhere on the website of The Golf Channel:
The entirety of the adult life of Tiger Woods has been a lie – - and I do not mean that in the sense of where a golf ball comes to rest. This man is really a blatant pretense of a socialized being; he is not the person we have been led to believe that he is. He cares nothing for his family; he is not focused solely on the greatness of his golf game; he is a horndog.
I will pause for a moment here while everyone associated with the administration of the PGA Tour and The Golf Channel catches their breath and calls “911” to come and assist their associate in the next cubicle who has just lost consciousness…
I really do not care how much you might want to sugar coat the “Tiger Woods Reemergence Event”; the fact is that his image as a wholesome family man and totally focused competitor is a complete lie, fabrication, untruth, calumniation – - go to your thesaurus for more synonyms here.
In addition, having said all of that, let me add that it is HIS life and so be it. There is no cause for – - or need for – - any prodigious amounts of hand-wringing on the part of US society at large. This man is a golfer; he hits a small white ball into a hole in the grass for a living. Big f- – - ing deal!!!
He is not a “leader” of society; he is not a “pillar” of society. If he happened to drop dead next week from an aortic aneurysm, what would be the loss to humankind-at-large? Answer: Not a damned thing! In fact, if The Golf Channel managed to survive his imagined demise, they would be the only people whose lives would be impacted by his imagined demise more than 6 months from now…
Let me be clear. Tiger Woods committed no heinous crimes against society. Depending on your views of family and marriage and honoring one’s oaths, he may have committed heinous acts against a small circle of individual people, but Tiger Woods is not Josef Mengele.
Tiger Woods’ handlers and image-makers herded the media in the past the same way drovers herded cattle. When anyone “got out of line”, that person got a cattle prod. In the case of a drover, that was a literal event; in the case of Tiger Woods, a “journalist” who got off the reservation simply got cut off from any access to “His Tigerness”. Most golf journalists who had access would rather have taken a cattle prod to a sensitive body region…
Now, we are about to see a reemergence of “His Tigerness” orchestrated by the same handlers and waiting to be covered by the same tame writers who have been on the short leash for so long. Tiger Woods will stand before cameras and microphones and will mouth words that have been prepared and “focus-grouped” for him in advance by the same handlers that sold us the image of the “devoted family man” just three months ago. You can be certain that he will apologize for his actions to anyone and everyone. Please note there will be no polygraph leads attached to him so he can say whatever he wants with complete impunity. His media acolytes will assure everyone that he is sincere, that he has learned a terrible lesson, and that the future will show what a wonderful hominid he really is. [They will surely stop short of assuring us that Tiger Woods walks upright instead of on all fours but that is probably the limits of the lengths to which many will go to assure us that their hero/meal ticket is “only the best”.]
Controlling the audience is a typical behavioral mode for the folks who have handled Tiger Woods for the last 15 years. They can do that here because they can control access to this event. However, those people – - and Tiger Woods – - are deluding themselves if they think they can control the “tabloid wing” of the media. Lots of celebrities have tried; few if any have succeeded.
In the past, access to Tiger Woods meant that the writer/reporter had information to convey that was timely and important because it had a source. That access gave a cachet to the reporter and whatever he had to report at any instant in time. People hung on that kind of stuff. But the tabloids do not work that way.
Readers of the tabloids and the “gossip-gobblers” do not care if a reporter interviews the subject – - in this case Tiger Woods. All they give a fig about is “stuff”… If someone has some “stuff” that leads to the possible conclusion that aliens abducted Tiger Woods 15 years ago and gave him a rectal probe that lasted too long such that it afflicted him with an insatiable sexual appetite, there is a tabloid somewhere that will print it.
Tiger Woods’ handlers have been able to control a bunch of golf-writing lapdogs for the past decade. Good luck controlling the tabs and the paparazzi…
Before the fact of the Tiger Woods Reemergence Event, let me make a couple of things very clear:
1. He needs not to apologize to me or to you. He did not do anything to us that affected our lives in any meaningful way. If you think he owes you an apology, you are an entitlement freak.
2. His actions – - not any crafted statements or choreographed publicity events – - will determine whether or not his wife accepts his apologies.
3. His actions – - not any crafted statements or choreographed publicity events – - will determine to what degree his “bimbo troupe” accepts his apologies. Just a suspicion here, but “his actions” in this regard could well involve a lot of portraits of dead presidents migrating in the direction of the “bimbo troupe”…
If you have gotten the idea here that I think Tiger Woods’ handlers are antediluvian pond slime and all of them should be waterboarded just for the Hell of it, you are pretty much on target. Nevertheless, let me presume to offer some advice to Tiger Woods as a golfing icon:
Memo to Tiger Woods:
1. Once you show up back on the PGA Tour – - which is really the only venue on Earth where you are even marginally interesting as a “public figure” – - try to be a wee bit “nicer” to the plebeians who cover your actions. To some extent, the furor over your “one-car traffic accident” emanated from what many would call your “haughtiness” in dealing with the ink-stained wretches that cover you and who work on deadlines.
2. Either that, or do not screw up even … one … more … time…
Just so there is no ambiguity as to where I stand on this issue and because I want to make it clear that I have never been part of the “Tiger Woods Adulation Machine” nor will I ever be on speed dial for any of his handlers, here is what I think of Tiger Woods:
1. For the period 2002 – 2010, he is/was the best golfer on the planet.
2. The label of “best golfer on the planet” is no more significant than the label “best bisexual yodeler on the planet”.
3. As a father and as a family values person, Tiger Woods is a turd with hair.
Finally let me close with a comment from Scott Ostler in the SF Chronicle. This comment came a couple of months ago when Nike chairman, Phil Knight, tried to minimize the things that were coming to light regarding Tiger Woods’ activities. This comment puts into perspective “wrongdoings” by sports figures and “wrongdoings” by more important entities:
”Nike’s Phil Knight says Tiger’s misdeeds eventually will be seen as ‘a minor blip.’ I guess when you’ve been accused of massive exploitation in third-world countries, blind-side chop-blocking your wife and kids at the knees would seem like a minor blip.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports…