Whatever Tiger Woods did that he’s confessed to, or may have done that he hasn’t confessed to, has nothing to do with him playing golf. You don’t know how long I’ve wanted to say that, but this week was one last pitiful plea from the media to drill Tiger, supposedly “no holds barred” before the largest (and most prestigious) golf tournament in the world. And the PGA accommodated it for fear of continued distractions during the Masters Tournament.
Tiger’s always been a mass distraction to the PGA, but as long as it was favorable publicity that benefited the tour, raised purses and endorsement opportunities, it was okay. Tiger Woods is always going to be three things; Black, great and popular. I know Tiger thinks he’s Caublasian, but trust me on this one…that’s not working out real well for him. It’s an issue that never goes away. The problems folks have always had with Tiger Woods from the start of his career wasn’t that he showed immediate greatness. It’s was that he was black and great in a sport where there was no such a thing.
They want to say that the sport of golf is about “character” but Tiger is far from the only one out there on “the tour” bedding private resort cocktail waitresses, I mean… “lounge executives.” But Tiger got caught, hurt his mouth, needed recovery time and rehab, and now he wants to go back to work. What’s the big deal? The hypocrisy of media that somehow it all hasn’t been said is just that, hypocrisy. Like the old song goes, “What else can I say dear, after I’ve said I’m sorry.” Obviously, the media doesn’t know the song. Whether it’s football, basketball, baseball, tennis, boxing, or golf, we’ve seen character-challenged “meanies” but that didn’t make them any less great.
Everybody wasn’t rooting for Tiger at the start and they aren’t rooting for him now. But the more they rooted against him, calling him “all media hype,” the more he won. The more people watched to root against him, the more other folks watched to root for him. The PGA looked up and it had a golden goose, one that people watched to see him lose and others watched to see him win. Others just watched because he was something golf had never seen before. Whatever the reason, people watched Tiger Woods play. They didn’t want to know his story. They just wanted to know why he was as good as he was.
But suddenly now, they want to know his story – even after he has told them. No, he didn’t tell it directly to them. He told it to two media outlets. That wasn’t enough. He had to tell the story to every media outlet. So this week, he went before every media outlet. They asked him questions like “how could you have fooled so many people for so long?” Well, where did he fool them? Certainly not on the golf course. They count every stroke he takes, along with a 100 million-person television audience that triples every time he plays.
So Tiger didn’t live up to his choir boy image? He cheated on his wife – which was very wrong, but he didn’t cheat on his sports. Is that enough to make him quit the sport (which is what some really want, but not the PGA and CBS who were kissing the feet of the Pope for the special blessing of a Tiger reappearance to substantiate those huge advertising rates that go along with the Masters). They wanted to know if he was returning to golf “too soon.” Any average Joe would have to go to work after falling out with his wife – no matter what the reason – why would Tiger be any different? They wanted to know why his wife wasn’t coming to the Masters this weekend. Why the hell you think she ain’t coming? How many guys you know whose wives come out with them when they’re pissed off. Again, why should Tiger be any different?
His wife ain’t playin. Golf is a lone sport. No teammates. They wanted to know if his “activities” distracted him last year (from winning any majors). He still won more tournaments than anybody else. He probably got bored. There was even a steroid question. Hey, why not kick ’em while he’s down. Nobody could possibly win as much as Tiger did, knowing what we now know. But come to think about it, he did win. A lot. And that’s a scary proposition if Tiger was unfocused. He says he’s now reformed, focused and spiritually centered again. What’s the competition think about that? Something for his competition to chew on. The point here is, nothing new came out. Just a media exercise.
In the meantime, there are some that care what Tiger has done and there are those of us that could care less what Tiger did or who Tiger does. In fact, there’s nothing else to say. But CBS is expecting the highest ratings of all-time this weekend, to cheer Tiger or to boo Tiger. Win or lose, the return of Tiger Woods is really what America wants to see.
They just want to see him play. So, Tiger… enough talkin’. Just play.
Anthony Asadullah Samad, Ph.D., is a national columnist, managing director of the Urban Issues Forum and author of the upcoming book, REAL EYEZ: Race, Reality and Politics in 21 Century Politics. He can be reached at www.AnthonySamad.com
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