Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Quickie: Team Tiger Blows It Again

The most stunning thing about today's New York Times investigative report linking Tiger Woods to a Canadian doctor under investigation for various PED scandalousness is the email from Tiger's agent to the Times:

“I would really ask that you guys don’t write this? If Tiger is NOT implicated, and won’t be, let’s please give the kid a break.”

It is one more example of Team Tiger complete mis-reading the situation. First, how they could send that email without off-the-record restrictions attached to it is insane.

But, more importantly, the best thing that could happen to Tiger is that, somehow, the subject gets changed. It doesn't matter that the new subject is PEDs. In fact, better that the subject is PEDs in sports than Tiger's alleged predilection for PEDs in the bedroom.

Despite his team's insistent spin-blundering, here's the good news for Tiger: Nothing turns fans off -- let alone non-fans -- like the discussion of PEDs. No one cares.

They want sex scandal, not steroid scandal. If PEDs take over the discussion, then most people -- fans and non-fans alike -- are changing the channel, looking for the next titillating thing.

That is exactly what Tiger needs.

I actually honestly believe that he has never cheated in golf -- he saves the cheating for his wife. He actually respects the game -- unlike his absent respect for his family.

Is there always a weird haze at the nexus of injured athletes and doctors practicing "innovative" treatments? Yes. You never know -- I would imagine that most athletes don't want to know, and most docs don't want to tell. Everyone feels better, and that's all that matters.

But the best thing that could happen to Tiger is to get wrapped up in some boring extraneous steroid scandal that he will ultimately be not implicated in.

"Don't write this?" One more piece of mismanagement of Tiger, Inc.

(You can read more on this in today's SN column, which also includes discussion of Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee, John Lackey and the Red Sox, the Angels and the Yankees, Jake Locker and bad decision-making and more.)

-- D.S.


Special Kay said...

Not really sure how this can be spun in a positive light. Sure it takes the public lens and shifts away from his "transgressions" but golf was slated to be his sanctuary once he makes his return to action.

How many times have you sat around watching Tiger on Sunday and somebody in the room says, "man, Tiger's arms look ripped?!" Now people get to take that seemingly complimentary, innocent remark and flesh it out to whatever conclusion they deem fit.

If now his on-the-job credentials are being questioned, it will only erode the one area where people were looking forward to giving Tiger a break. Now he's a scumbag off the course, and a potential cheater on it.

Steve Sprague said...

You could not be more wrong on PEDs. Ask Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro, etc. if the fans care. The answer is a resounding yes. If not then where is the outcry over McGwire's blackballing from the HOF? Why do people make so many jokes about Sosa and not speaking english? Why was nobody upset that Bonds was blackballed out of the league?

Nobody considers Bonds, McGwire or Sosa among the games great power hitters. That conversation is still focused on Ruth, Aaron, Mays, Mantle and Williams. If Tiger is implicated in a PED scandal it will destroy his legacy as the greatest golfer of all time. Nobody will consider him, it will revert back to the Golden Bear and that's it. Even if he is ultimately vindicated it will harm his legacy, merely because it is fuel for those who doubt him. This could not have come at a worse time for Woods.