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An Icon Without a Clue

Posted on Apr 8, 2010
AP / David J. Phillip

By Mark Heisler

(Page 2)

In the way of these things, Woods surpassed Jordan, becoming the first athlete billionaire, with an annual income estimated at $110 million-120 million, of which $100 million came from endorsements.

That’s a lot of money for just being you. Of course, Nike (main sugar daddy for Woods, Jordan and Bryant) insists they design their own shoes right along with the lab guys in the white coats.

What clearer sign of your pre-eminence can there be than free money?

Unless, of course, some other icon is making more.

No one will soon approach Woods’ $100 million annually. With several big-ticket endorsers dropping him (Gatorade, Accenture, AT&T) or no longer using him in ads (Gillette, Tag Heuer), he may or may never get back to that mark, either.

On the other hand, if he doesn’t have enough to live on, who does?

Not counting agents, PR people and the like, it’s only important to one man. Unfortunately, that’s Woods.

“Hopefully, I can prove to companies going forward I’m a worthy investment and I can help their companies grow,” Woods said Monday.

“I felt like I was representing companies well in the past but then again, I wasn’t doing it the right way.”

In the past, he was so busy representing companies he barely had time to do anything but play golf, and, of course, lead a secret life.

In 2007, Sports Illustrated assigned golf writer John Garrity, who had known Woods since he was 14, to spend six months following him around the world, from Hawaii to Dubai.

As SI Editor Terry McDonell wrote:

What Garrity found was not the kid who’s been fist-pumping his way through golf for the last decade but a man entering a new phase of life—advancing on Jack Nicklaus’s record of 18 majors with a baby on the way, a new job, a new business, a controversial new tournament and without his father. It’s a story that’s as nuanced as its subject and easier to read—especially approaching the 2007 Masters Tournament, at which Tiger is going for his third straight major win.

Actually, as Garrity noted, Woods agreed to sit down with him one time in that six months, for 10 minutes.

Tiger sits on one side of a conference table. I sit on the other. A Nike Golf executive, a longtime acquaintance of mine, stands by the door. She checks her watch every minute or so to make sure I don’t take more than my allotted 10 minutes. ... So when Tiger confesses that he is a control freak, I have to fight the impulse to snort derisively. You think?

I’ve opened with a few seconds of small talk. I’ve told Tiger how much I enjoyed playing with him the previous week in the pro-am of the PGA Grand Slam of Golf. (“Cool,” he says, his expression giving no indication that he remembers.) We then get down to business. Or rather, we talk about business. For 9 1/2 minutes.

The world’s fascination with Woods continues. Monday, as when he made his first public comments in that stiff non-press press conference, all the news and financial networks carried it.

In the stock exchanges, where golf is what basketball is in the inner city and baseball is in the Dominican Republic, trading came to a halt.

The first time it happened, the White House press corps watched, aghast.

Tweeted CBS’ Mark Knoller: “Cant believe the major networks are providing live coverage of Tiger Woods’ statement.”

Tweeted ABC’s Jake Tapper: “I like @chucktodd’s idea that there should be a rebuttal to Tiger’s statement. Ladies?”

Now, however, the fascination with Woods is tabloid-edged. It doesn’t have to mean anything at all to Woods, unless he’s still bent on becoming, and being acknowledged as, a messiah.

In any event, Thursday’s drive on No. 1 will be the most famous shot in golf history, surpassing, oh, let’s say that 30-foot chip he rolled in on No. 16 en route to winning the 2005 Masters, the one that went about 20 feet, made a right turn of almost 90 degrees, trickled to a halt at the lip of the cup, paused, and dropped in.

It’s on again. Tiger, Tiger, burning up.

* * *

This just in: Setting a new standard for self-righteousness, Augusta national chairman Billy Payne lashed out at Woods the day before the start of the most-awaited tournament in the history of golf, going out of his way to turn his annual state of the Masters speech into an angry sermon with himself as the instrument of The Lord’s Wrath.

“It is not simply the degree of his conduct that is so egregious here,” said Payne. “It is the fact that he disappointed all of us and, more importantly, our kids and our grandkids.

“Our hero did not live up to the expectations we sought for our children.

“Is there a way forward? I hope yes. I think yes. But certainly his future going forward will never be measured only by his performance against par but by the sincerity of his efforts to change.”

Payne, of course, is best known for turning the 2000 Atlanta Olympics into the best demonstration of capitalism-run-amok before the rise of derivatives, putting events in the biggest possible venues, drawing crowds that overwhelmed the city’s flimsy infrastructure and turning the event into a two-week traffic jam.

Putting that aside, a few questions spring to mind:

Who died and made Billy the pope?

This is dignified Augusta National’s way of giving Woods a refuge, letting him return to his professional and get on with his life?

Did Payne really tell his kids and grandkids to follow the example of professional golfers? What about raising them, himself?

Now we’re supposed to start measuring Woods by more than his performance against par?

Why wouldn’t we have been doing it all along?

Our hero?

Because he won a bunch of golf tournaments?

I just wish Woods was free to pull out of the Masters on the spot, leaving Payne to wallow in his low-rated, who-cares-anymore? sanctity.

On the bright side, Payne just showed his real face.

Woods is just a guy, if an accomplished one, who messed up. Payne is one of those who made him into a living god and now thinks Tiger let him down, or in other words, the living embodiment of the Real Problem.

P.S.—Watch CBS, which just buried the replays of Butler’s Gordon Hayward fouling Michigan State’s Draymond Green at the end of their NCAA semifinal, do their ostrich act on this one.


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drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, April 13, 2010 at 1:27 am Link to this comment

Some cogent ideas purplewolf. 
Congratulations to the ladies who demonstrate a
staunch backbone, whether Caucasian, partial
Caucasian, partial Negroid or partial whatever.

And special congratulation to “Miss Alma” !! I
suspect she might prove to be a better president than
Colin.  While his record speaks for itself, he does
not possess the motherly wisdom of “Miss Alma.”  What
man does possess motherly wisdom?  Very few even the
consistent honesty that underlies motherly wisdom? 
And among politician types - even fewer- if any ?

Purplewolf, what about a word of encouragement for
the ladies who debauch their natural hair color with
H2O2, thus themselves, which suggests a less than
adequate “self concept”?  Hair color, especially
“motly” when well-groomed, is beeuuutiful ! And RARE! 
As is dark hair, punctuated with strands of natural
silver!!  While some ladies pay hard-earned money to
cover it up?  Think again, ladies, and show it off!! 
Dont cover it up !

Report this

By purplewolf, April 13, 2010 at 12:29 am Link to this comment

Isn’t it time to go on and leave all the Tiger Woods hoopla fade away already? His 15 minutes of fame were over long ago.

And who cares that he cheated on his wife. That should be between him and her and not the rest of the world to air their “dirty laundry to the public,just like the pathetic politicians who drag their wives up to a podium and humiliate them in public by outing themselves as the cheating husbands and fathers they are. Why don’t these women refuse to be sullied by their unfaithful spouses. At least Mrs. Woods and Gov. Sanford’s wives stood their ground.

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Railbird's avatar

By Railbird, April 11, 2010 at 9:04 pm Link to this comment

LocalHero Asked:

“So, that’s the measure of a man and a life? If you’re a “multimillionaire many times over?”
Now wonder they hanged ya.”

Thomas Dooley answered:

Huh? What?

“That’s what you got from my short post? That’s why I don’t like to post on the Internet.” <snip>

Perhaps Mr. Dooley missed the joke?

Report this

By Thomas Dooley, April 11, 2010 at 8:10 pm Link to this comment

LocalHero Asked:

“So, that’s the measure of a man and a life? If you’re a “multimillionaire many times over?”
Now wonder they hanged ya.”

Huh? What?

That’s what you got from my short post? That’s why I don’t like to post on the Internet. There is always some nutcase who will reply with some irrelevant drivel that he dreamed up from nothing and want me to answer him. The reply is always in the form of a question about opinions I don’t hold and thoughts I never had.

Let me ask you a question: Why is it always the dumb as a post types who believe they can they can read peoples minds from afar and then demand answers for some dumb crap they think they know? Why doesn’t ever occur to them that they don’t have that talent? And why are they always insulting turds?

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By Franz Biberkopf, April 11, 2010 at 5:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Could somebody please summarize for me what this writer is trying to say. I skimmed here and I skimmed there but I can’t get a handle on anything? Is he just wasting bandwidth - I would say yes but please help! Is anything that he writes about important? No known before? Any artistic merits in his writing - I would say no but please help!

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By Noticed, April 11, 2010 at 11:29 am Link to this comment

The difference between Woods and McGwire is that Woods (only) wronged women; McGwire wronged other men and his sport.  Same thing with Bryant.  The men who have wronged women seem to have no trouble winning back their fans and continuing in their careers, even those convicted of violence against women.  Cheating other men, however, is unforgivable.  Just ask Barry Bonds.

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By doublestandards/glasshouses, April 11, 2010 at 8:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Anybody notice that nobody cares about Tiger Woods here.  He’s had his 15 minutes of infamy.  He’s grown as a result of the experience. (About 30 pounds)  He’s taken full responsibility.  Stick a fork in him.  Back to news that matters: war, warming, pestilence, and economic disaster.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 11, 2010 at 7:35 am Link to this comment

Anybody notice he’s in third place halfway through the Masters, just 2 strokes behind?

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By heavyrunner, April 10, 2010 at 6:38 am Link to this comment

Did this article do anything but waste my time?  I don’t think it said anything.

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drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, April 10, 2010 at 4:53 am Link to this comment

One huge BRAVO for samosamo !

Marvelous link.  One accurate clarification.

“Pastor” Leslie Williams also provides some clarification in his videos.

Report this

By samosamo, April 10, 2010 at 4:05 am Link to this comment

By Gramps409, April 9 at 1:44 pm

By Thomas Dooley, April 9 at 12:42 pm

Both of you are wiser than you may even think because when I
am notified about someone commenting to this article and I link
to it and there are 2 pages of pure empty american tabloid
dribble and if you check my comment to this fluff and crap you
will see I mentioned a documentary by robert kane pappas
called ‘Orwell Rolls in His Grave’ that can be viewed for the most
part on google where some very astute people discussing the
subversion of the msm to where only 4 or 5 ultra conservative
owners control what the main mass of people get to see on the
dumbstream media of america and touch on the ‘never ending
story’ of just about anything that has NO substance to it, very
much worth the hour to view.

Has people such as charles lewis from cbs 60 minutes, now
senator bernie sanders, vincent bugliosi of CA prosecuter fame,
jeff cohen, robert mcchesney and others all discussing the plight
and take over of the msm turned into the dumbstream media.
Here is a link:

Report this
LocalHero's avatar

By LocalHero, April 9, 2010 at 11:53 pm Link to this comment

@ Tom Dooley

So, that’s the measure of a man and a life? If you’re a “multimillionaire many times over?”

Now wonder they hanged ya.

Report this

By Gramps409, April 9, 2010 at 10:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Normally, I am cautious not to repeat previous comments but in this case I make an exception, as ardee noted:
“So, has this site become a supermarket tabloid outlet?”

Besides, as one of my old golfing buddies used to say, “adultery has a lot in common with masturbation and golf, sickening to watch, fun to do.”

Report this

By t groan, April 9, 2010 at 10:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

greatest athlete of all time? Since when are golfers considered athletes???

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By reynolds, April 9, 2010 at 9:47 am Link to this comment

for the answer to the question i was afraid someone
might ask(could he degrade himself further?)check out
the infamous nike ad. this story has more whores than a
mining town.

Report this

By Thomas Dooley, April 9, 2010 at 9:42 am Link to this comment

I’ve had the good fortune of not following this story so I have only a sketchy idea of what this guy is supposed to be guilty of.

Also, I couldn’t quite get through this article so I can’t really say what it is he lost because of whatever it is he did.

As far as I know the guy is a multimillionaire many times over and still is. Doesn’t sound like a bad deal from where I sit.

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By samosamo, April 9, 2010 at 8:52 am Link to this comment

Perfect example of Robert Kane Pappas’ realization of the ‘never
ending story’ from his documentary ‘Orwell Rolls in His Grave’
about empty high profile people that directs attention away
from the real game/show.

Report this
drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, April 9, 2010 at 6:04 am Link to this comment

” - -when he was the unquestioned, untainted, most famous, most
admired, richest, greatest athlete of all time.”  Excuse me ? 
Knocking a golf ball is athletic ?

I have been around for over fifty years in the USA and elsewhere
after reaching legal age, and have known personally a couple of
famous “sport types.”  Thus, when I read such an article as this one,
I wonder if Truthdig sometimes requires payment from writers
whose “creative verbage” it prints - instead of paying them. 

My experience with Tiger Wood types and blonde women extends
well beyond golf courses.  I classify the published situation of Mr.
T. Woods case as an example of proactive, propagandistic, racial
activity. Or, “the public” wanting a minority person to become rich
and famous, and doing all it can to be of assistance.  Dumb. O.K. It
happened. The results can be clearly viewed.  Afterwards. 

Was there once a similarly famous minority fellow athlete,
named O.J.Simpson, who also craved blondes? 
And whom some say could get away with murder?
Because he was so admired by “suck-uppers”?

Identifying with sports figures and celebraties is a sickness not only
in the USA.  How many identified with the dunce from Austria,
Adolf Hitler, after he manipulated himself into celebrity status? 
How many continue to identify with Bush #1 and Bush #2, in spite
of their USA-destructive activities?  How many currently identify
with Mr. B. Hussein Obama, because of his minority status, “poor
folk” upbringing, and his having made it into the bigtime?
Perhaps mostly by hook and crook and 20-yr servitude
to the CIA, which few care to learn about? 
Whose native land was recently identified by his wife
to be Kenya? 

“Freudian slips” are very rarely dishonest.

Report this

By Hammond Eggs, April 8, 2010 at 5:37 pm Link to this comment

G. Anderson (the first comment) says it all. 

“Identifying with celebraties is a sickness in this country.”

How true and how overwhelmingly sad.

Report this

By rollzone, April 8, 2010 at 3:06 pm Link to this comment

hello. huh? rent what? i used to watch sports for the rivalry between players. that is where i saw sport. this guy sometimes plays better than anyone ever played, so he has no rival, and it seems like he is using some unseen force to control his results. he becomes a player playing against himself- very boring. then he falls for this corporate crap, and comes out dishonest and ridiculous: and who can stand listening to him? can you believe a gazillionaire has to be careful about hurting the psyche of his children whom will always have more money to spend for the rest of their lives than they will ever be able to, and a wife in the same boat (have you seen their yacht?)- but the sponsors demand greasing the public wallets. how many weeks of closed door sessions of public relations programming do we have to listen to? go out and hit a golf ball with a baseball bat for all i care, just play ball and shut up.

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By sharonsj, April 8, 2010 at 2:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

1.  I think the maxim should be: “Sports is the opiate of the people.”

2.  Tiger Woods is still a schmuck with the taste level of a junkyard dog.

3.  Isn’t golf referred to as a “good walk spoiled”?

4.  Add me to the list of humans who hate sports.

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By melpol, April 8, 2010 at 11:56 am Link to this comment

Men do not have to own the: slot, crack, crevice, gash, slit, split, gap, exit, mouth, outlet, entrance, inlet, armhole,  peephole, and wormhole. They can rent it like every other commodity.

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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, April 8, 2010 at 9:28 am Link to this comment

I will be happy when he is relegated to the sports only talk areas. I have little interest in sports which is a rarity among males like myself. So he billed himself as something he is not. Good, slam him then move on.

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By gerard, April 8, 2010 at 9:16 am Link to this comment

To not be able to let a famous person make mistakes and work out his/her own solutions in solitude, free from publicity and commentary, is succumbing to a kind of inverted slavery—trying to force someone to fit into your mould of what another’s life “should” be.
  This is one of the worst effects of advertising and pubicity and why people like Tiger inevitably suffer from allowing themselves to become enslaved to celebrity and wealth.  With too many of us, “ole Massa” is money, yes, suh! Whether it’s shooting a hole in one or writing a piece for the Times about a guy shooting a hole in one, it’s all the same in Dutch. It’s exploitation—and the country is dying because of it.

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mrfreeze's avatar

By mrfreeze, April 8, 2010 at 8:50 am Link to this comment

A Critical correction:

Golf is not a sport, therefore Tiger Woods is not an athlete.

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By reynolds, April 8, 2010 at 7:32 am Link to this comment

ardee; yes, and you’re not the only one. this essay is
as relevant as badu’s body. the more you pay, the more
it’s worth.
lou gehrig.

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By ardee, April 8, 2010 at 4:27 am Link to this comment

So, has this site become a supermarket tabloid outlet?

Just wondering what the hell the exploits of a spoiled zillionaire, whether Woods or Bryant, have to do with the political realities with which we try so hard to cope?

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G.Anderson's avatar

By G.Anderson, April 8, 2010 at 4:18 am Link to this comment

For what it’s worth. There are many people who could care less about what Tiger Woods does, or for that matter any professional sports player or team.

I know sports are big part of some people’s lives and I’m fine with that.

I would rather live my own life, such as it is, than spend my days living through someone else, watching them and identifying with what they do, and in this way experiencing life through them.

The most important thing a person can do in all of this is just let Mr. Woods live his own life and forget about it. Rather live for yourself instead. 

Identifying with celebraties is a sickness in this country, and it would be much more productive to examine the reasons for existance, than picking apart the lives of people who you don’t know as an arm chair diversion.

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