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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Tiger Tiger Woods, Ya'll...


Tiger Woods, we thought we knew ye...

Well, I guess that's not entirely true. I mean, when I say "we", I mean most of you and not myself. And when I say "ye", I'm not even sure if that's proper English. Or even proper Olde English, for that matter. Like, what was that? Does "Olde" even need an "e" on the end of it right there? Who knows, right? What am I, British?...

Now, as you may have expected, I became jaded long ago when it comes to the private lives of star athletes. I chalk a lot of it up to my behind the scenes access as a youngster to the teachers of my school system, both my parents being teachers, and I've always carried those experiences with me. Not that I saw anything shocking, mind you, but access to my parents thoughts, combined with my own out of the classroom interaction with these teachers, helped teach me that people aren't always how they may project themselves in certain situations. Like Cuban Gooding Jr. says in Jerry Maguire in regards to single mothers, "I've been to the puppet show, and I've seen the strings". Now that's not to say that you assume everyone is an ass hole just because you don't know them intimately, it's just saying be careful what you take away as "genuine" as opposed to "courteous" or "professional"...

More or less, my experiences taught me to gauge how well I thought I "knew people", before trying to determine whether or not I could actually be surprised by anything they did...

Are you thoroughly confused? I sure hope not. But just in case, here's a little primer...

I can't be shocked by anything Tiger Woods says or does, because when it comes down to it, I don't really know the man at all. And that's a tough realization to come to, believe me I know. We watch these people on TV, and invest so much of our hearts, minds and bankrolls in their success, that sometimes we forget that we truly only know them in a very limited capacity. Face it, you know Tiger Woods about as well as you know the person that serves you your coffee at the Dunkin Donuts drive thru every morning. Extreme example? Maybe. But when it comes down to it, you know them based on how they act at work, nothing more, and that's exactly how well you know Tiger...

Again, I know that's a tough realization to come to, but when you do, it allows you to see through these cryptic layers of media mudslinging. To see the chain of events as they likely would have happened had you actually been there yourself with a video camera. It's why, when I was first given the broad strokes of the story on early Friday afternoon, I immediately imagined the EXACT scenario that's now being widely circulated. It went A LOT like this...



1) Elin went nuts, for whatever reason you choose. The scoop de jour is that Tiger was doing a little "night putting" with an NYC hostess, so we'll run with that...

...and a quick side note on that. If you're Tiger, how do you call a supposed mistress and leave a voicemail that starts out with "Hey, this is Tiger"?!? Shouldn't you either A) have lackies to do that shit for you or B) not have to say who it is when you call?! I mean, was this chick (in this case, Jamie Grubbs) a huge skank to the point where she has dozens of dude-suitors? Why else would he have to identify himself like that. He's one of the most recognizable people on the planet, for crying out loud. Oh well. Moving on...

2) Next, Elin scraps with Tiger, claws him up a little bit (irony), and he attempts to flea via his Escalade. No doubt, he was probably at least rolling on dubs. Possibly even Trubs, if that's a word...

3) As he tries to back out of the driveway, Elin cracks the back windshield with a golf club, further disorienting a man who was trying to come to grips with the fact that his wife had just beat him up. Tiger then loses control of the slow moving vehicle, and crashes it into a hydrant and a tree...

4) When paramedics arrive, Woods is in and out of consciousness on the ground, with Elin administering first aid. Why was he in and out of consciousness if he barely hit anything and was going at such a low speed? Not sure. Don't think he was drunk, but he could have been on pain medication. Or maybe he was just trippin' out because he couldn't believe what was goin' down. Who knows? Maybe he ate a pot brownie and thought Elin was a goblin attempting to steal his precious gems and magical swords? Like I said, let's not pretend like we know this dude...

That's what I immediately surmised had gone down on the night in question, and as time passes, it's becoming more and more evident that I was right on the money. Like a poor European artist, I was way ahead of my time...

And I'm not trying to brag that I somehow figured this out before the rest of you, despite being given the same information. Granted it's rather convenient, considering the stance I'm taking here, but it's not the point I'm trying to push across. Hell, for all I know, you were right there ahead of the curve with me. If so, kudos. My point is, while the news of trouble in what had otherwise seemed like sports' 'model family' is disappointing, it shouldn't be shocking. Screwed up shit happens to people I don't know all the time, and it doesn't shock me. So why should this? Granted, I get the sensationalistic aspect of it because he's sports' biggest star. I'd be an idiot if I didn't. But that's what makes it "news", it's not what makes it surprising or changes my mind about how I feel about the guy...

He's a golfer. He plays golf, I watch, and a lot of the time, he wins. More often than not, his wins come at the expense of a certain chunky Lefty, which is a total bonus...

My point, and it's a lesson that I've preached here several times before, is that acting like you're "surprised" by anything an athlete does, by anything any person you don't really know does, makes you sound foolish. I understand that following the story is entertaining, and like I said, we all have the right to feel disappointed. But acting as if the very foundation on which we walk on has been shaken because this seemingly squeaky clean person has gone astray, is just ludicrous...

I say it all the time. The only name that's going to surprise me if it shows up on one of those "steroid lists", is Greg Maddux. But would I be shocked if I found out that Mad Dog hadn't paid his taxes since 1984, regularly beat his wife, and/or got sexual pleasure from eating cheese from between the toes of AustralAsian transvestite hookers? Of course I wouldn't. Why? Because I don't know the man. That, and I know via Mark Grace that Maddux onve got a boner because he loved pitching so much, so that dude could be kinky as all Hell...

All we know about these athletes, is what they chose to show us. Now if Maddux was caught cheating, say with steroids, that would surprise me. Not because I know him, but because I do know how he acts on the field. How he treats the game. And by that logic, I would be surprised to learn that Tiger were cheating on the course. Probably not surprised by roid use, because who isn't using these days, but surprised if he were using an illegal ball, illegal clubs, or kicking his ball out from behind trees to improve his lie on a regular basis. Ya know, Judge Smails styles?...

But Tiger Woods? The Tiger Woods many of you think you know? He's just a front for a massive corporation. His PR team and his legal advisers map out every move he makes. Not just now, in time of trouble, but always. How do you think you came to the conclusion that he was a good guy to begin with, huh? It's all just part of a plan. And again, that's not to assume all these people are ass holes, or that you should have seen this coming. It's just the way it is. It's life, for better and for worse...

So what now? Well, now that Tiger has been "cleared" by the cops, and apologized via press release for his "transgressions", you probably won't see him again for about 2 weeks. Well, at least until his wounds heal. That's just obvious. I mean, the reason he's not talking now, and why he didn't talk to the cops, is because he doesn't "have to" and he wants to protect his privacy. The last thing Team Woods wants is for there to be pictures circulating of Tiger with scratches on his face. But when the scratches are healed, you'll see a few photos of Tiger, Elin and the fam playing in the park, carefully leaked to the "proper" media outlets. Maybe even an Oprah special with Tiger and Elin side by side on her legendary couch. It'll be scripted, contain the obligatory tears, and while seeming very fake, it will be exactly the medicine he needs to help restore his once flawless image...

Then, you won't see him for another 6 weeks, when he's finally scheduled to play in his next event...

That's just how it goes. And to use another quote that I feel wraps this up nicely, I turn to Armand Assante, as Dominic Cattano, in American Gangster. "We can be successful and have enemies. Or we can be unsuccessful, ya know, and we can have friends."

It's really so true. When Tiger Woods, or any athlete, decides to turn pro, they sign up for all the scrutiny and all the pressure that goes along with being in the public eye. They decide to be successful, at the risk of having to keep their true self hidden from the masses. It's your job as a fan, and my job too for that matter, to buy into their image just enough to enjoy what they do, but not enough to think we know who they are. It's a fine line, but it's one you need to walk to keep yourself from getting "hurt", and to prevent yourself from looking stupid...

I know I sound preachy, telling you who to trust and what to believe, but believe me, my intentions are good. I think of myself as a gatekeeper, as a conscientious advisor of sorts, protecting the real fans from all the bullshit that the sports and entertainment world can throw at them. You want to enjoy the games and the players that play them, while at the same time never forgetting that what you're being shown is all part of a big show. The line's have become blurred of late thanks to outlets like TMZ, Twitter, and even blogs like mine, but that doesn't mean they aren't still there. And if we're going to use all of this new info we learn about athlete's private lives determine how we feel about them, then sooner or later you're not going to have anyone to cheer for. For the third time, not to say they're all assholes, but you can pretty much find something you don't like about anyone if you look hard enough...

Me? I'll chose to leave my athletes to their private lives more or less until they show up in a mug shot. And even then, the charges will have to involve a corpse, a kid in a coma before, or a minivan full of illegal sex slaves before I take any of it too seriously. That's why, despite his "transgressions", I'm stickin' with my man T. Woods. I'm not condoning his infidelity, I'm just telling you it's too insignificant for me to worry about. I basically grew up with the guy, watching him on TV and following his rise to power, and as far as I can tell, none of the things I've admired about him all this time has changed in light of these recent events. I mean, the only thing I envied about him that involved Elin anyway, was the fact that he married that hot Swedish piece of strudel. And last time I checked, they're still married. I admire his drive, his determination, his earth shattering talent, and the way he just flat out goes and takes what he wants. Dude 'just DOES it'...

So maybe this time, "just doing it" got Mr. Woods in a little hot water. I say, who cares? If your expectations for your athletes were in the right place to begin with, you wouldn't even be having this problem...




When all is said in done, I see this having a Kobe Bryant-like (Colorado) affect on Tiger's career. If he makes any sort of heart felt apology, and goes back to winning, it will fade away like an MJ jumper...well not the jumper over Russell where he retired and came back right after, but you know what I mean. It's only if he continues to be defiant and standoffish, where this could get ugly, and ultimately damage not only his public image, but possibly his career...

Eldrick may be in some trouble, but Tiger can pull him out of it...if he lets him. And I'm pretty sure he will...

Put on the red shirt, T-Money, and close this deal like it's a Sunday at Augusta...or like it's a hostess at an NYC night spot...Either way, just get the damn thing done...

Be the Tiger we've grown to love. Be, the Tiger we know...

So there ya have it, ladies and Teds. My take on all things T-Woods. Hope you enjoyed it, because it sucked all my blog time this week. I will be back on Saturday morning instead of Friday with all my picks for the weekend, so you don't have to worry there...

Oh, and be on the look out for the possible unveiling of my new website. Trust me, you're gonna love it. Although some of you that end up on the site, might end up trying to hunt me down and kill me. Juicy, right? Yeah, I know. So stay tuned...

Teddy Williams...

100...

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