Monday, March 15, 2010

Tiger Woods: Sincere or Staged?

If you have watched any news program over the past three months, you may have heard the name “Tiger Woods” mentioned more than once. It is no secret that the life of Tiger Woods has changed over the past several months, particularly following his car crash on the evening of Thanksgiving. Tiger has always lived under a spotlight when it comes to his actions on the golf course, but following his car crash and after admitting his “transgressions”, Tiger will now live in a world of scrutiny that has recently been unsurpassed for any athlete. Many anxiously waited for answers to questions or a public apology in the weeks following the incident that took place in November, yet the only actions of the sort came as an apology via his website. In addition, Woods seemed to vanish into thin air as he was not seen in public for nearly three months following his Thanksgiving accident.
For some, the day of February 19th would be a chance to find some answers after Woods announced that he would have a press conference at the PGA Tour headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. However, after the details of the “press conference” were revealed, many realized that they might not get the answers to the questions that they hoped. Tiger, being the superstar that he is, planned to read a personal statement to a select group of media. In addition, he announced that he would not be taking questions.
The statement by Tiger Woods on the 19th proved to be a media field day. A number of networks, including those with no relation to sports, carried his 13 minute statement. As Woods read his statement, the mood of the room was rather gloomy. He read the statement to a group of friends and supporters, of which included his mother. As Tiger read his statement, he made the obvious admissions and apologies. However, as he finished his statement and as the media began to analyze his work, the real question became whether Tiger Woods was being sincere in his apologetic statement, or whether his entire statement was a planned and staged media event.
Arguments can be made for both sides of Tiger’s statement made on February 19th. Some feel that he was reading from his heart, while others still feel that he was insincere. In a recent poll conducted by ABC and ESPN, only 54 percent of voters responded that they felt Tiger was being sincere. No matter the view, there is no question that the game of golf will sorely miss the playing of Tiger Woods in his leave of absence. As a golf enthusiast, I am still not quite sure of my opinion on Tiger’s “transgressions” and other actions of the past several months; however I do know that the PGA Tour will not be the same until he returns to the game of golf.

John Lytle
Notre Dame ‘10
Social Foundations of Coaching

Tiger Woods’ Scandal Coming to a Close?

Beginning on November 27, 2009, a series of events took place that would have Tiger Woods’ image changed forever. No longer the squeaky clean, role-model athlete he once was, Tiger now looks to make a return to golf, possibly eyeing the April 8th Masters at Augusta, or perhaps the Arnold Palmer Invitation in hometown Orlando, which takes place at the end of the month. The question remains however, how will he deal with the inevitable questions that he will face upon his return? Guaranteed whichever date he chooses will be well thought out and strategized to no end. On one hand, the Arnold Palmer Invitational would be much smaller, less media and overall crowds due to the magnitude of the event, and the competition would be softer. The event would be a tune-up for the Masters, which, as a major, will get much more attention, regardless of Tiger’s attendance. However, the Masters is able to protect Tiger like the API wouldn’t be able. Media and crowd control is a hallmark of the event, and Tiger would even be able to sneak in practice rounds because he is a member of the club. There are much stricter rules for media, who have allotted time and location for interaction with golfers, and fans, and are typically less rowdy than the run of the mill tournament-goer.
This decision is not nearly as arbitrary as it may seem, as the way in which Tiger will face questions about all of what has taken place over the past five plus months could greatly very between these two events. Because Tiger has sort of put his paw in his mouth, so to speak, he will eventually hear questions which he has yet to answer. The level of outrageousness is likely to vary from tasteful to the most personal, inappropriate, non-golf related questions, perhaps even involving his family. If Tiger doesn’t want to hear these in press conference question form, he can try his luck at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, where he is likely to hear them, and other flat out mean spirited remarks, shouted from the gallery just as he is midway through his backstroke; except no snapping back at the fans this time, those days are over. Despite smaller, typically less media covered event that is the API, he would be much better off within the safety nets of the Masters, where the PGAs most prized possession can be cradled and protected from hecklers and unruly TV and internet media hounds (I wasn’t pointing any fingers at you TMZ, take a seat). However, he better hope he still has his flare for the dramatics and ability to succeed in trying circumstances, or else there will be little golf to talk about to steer away from the questions he is sure to field about his personal life.

Raymond Lieu
ESS 33606, Social Foundations of Coaching
Clark Power/ Kristin Sheehan