Wild Pitch: Tiger Woods and the Traveling Circus

Wednesday July 14th, 2010 at 5:30 PM.  It’s a hot day in Washington DC.  The monuments have that usual summer look, as if they are about to keel over and melt onto the dusty fields of our nation’s capital.  Tiger has left this town behind him on his summer tour and he is off to have his way at the British Open.  The AT&T National Golf Tournament in DC was just another smudge on a resume that is starting to get very dirty and hard to read.  The British Open is underway and it is a great place for Tiger to start his scrubbin’.  But whether or not Tiger Woods wins this tournament or even makes it close there is one thing we can be sure of, a massive caravan of followers will always accompany his tour.

For this summer the circus is back on the road and that means we can all help ourselves to a hefty plateful of drama all at the expense of Mr. Tiger Woods.  The British media are not especially known for their courteousness.  Tiger is in for a rather stressful weekend on and off the golf course.  Tiger’s breaking point has been reached many times during this tour.  In a recent interview the British media had some very fierce, or more accurately deep and meaningful questions for tiger.  One interviewer asked him if “… a win here offers you some kind of redemption?”  Tiger decided not to tangle with the reporter, “I would like to win, no matter what.”

The taboo nature of sex in America has caused for a very awkward situation for Tiger Woods.  This man has gotten more grief than Alex Rodriguez or David Ortiz ever got for using steroids.  What does this mean for golf?  Not much.  Most people will not watch golf unless there are bikini clad women cheering on the sidelines.  (Hey!  That’s not a bad idea.)

Tiger Woods will have a fan following no matter what he decides to do with his sex life.  He’s a national phenomenon…….strike that.  He’s an international phenomenon in the sporting world, similar to the way Roger Federer is an international phenomenon in the world of sport.  This guy is the greatest golfer we have ever seen and he’s an American that means he is marketable in this country, sex addict or not. Hell!  We all like a good comeback story.  He’s going to be a single dad worth about half a billion dollars.  What’s more American than that?  It’s like apple pie.  What a country we live in!

What I’m trying to say is that Tiger Woods is going to be a money making machine until he dies or stops winning tournaments.  The latter is very possible but I can’t see it.  It would be one of the greatest collapses of any personality in American history.  We would be watching the biggest slump since Richard Nixon went from being the ruler of the free world to walking alone along a beach waiting to be indicted.  When it’s all said and done there is no way Tiger will be seen as such a vile thing as Nixon is now shown to be in the history books.  Tiger was never hated like Dick was but what is true is that Tiger Woods will never be America’s sweetheart again…….as hard as he tries.  Tiger Woods had the rare opportunity of being “The Guy” when we all thought of American sports, a spot usually held for short periods of time by Olympic athletes (even our hemp smoking Olympians.)

Tiger Woods will win more majors and will up his charity ante soon enough and people won’t worry so much about all the cheating.  The American attention span is very short and can only be held for long enough.  Throwing the word “sex” around certainly helps to keep our attention spans, but after a period of time we move on to our more consistent celebrities.  We will stop worrying our poor little heads about Tiger Woods in due time, unless of course he starts spouting anti-Semitic remarks or holds a baby out of a window or some of the many amusing things that celebrities have been known to do.  The Tiger Woods circus is on tour so don’t miss your chance to see all the acts, the show won’t always be around.

– Dr. AJ, Professor of Golf Psychology at The Azkowski School in Washington DC.

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