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Saturday, 12 December 2009

Crouching Tiger / Hidden Demons

I don't often comment on thing sporting but I gotta say something about the speedy meltdown of Tiger Woods Inc. which announced through Woods' website yesterday that it has suspended it's participation in golf for an 'indefinite period'.
Woods libido-meter

The fact that Woods himself may be a platinum level skank-ho isn't of much interest to me. Woods was a child star making his tv debut at age two. His childhood and youth was consumed by golf and orchestrated by his former green-beret Dad. That part of the equation worked - at very young age he found himself a very rich, famous, powerful person. If the profession chosen for him was the music industry or Hollywood he could have had a complete meltdown or become bat-shit crazy and it would have been taken in stride. Instead, it happened to be the staid, conservative world of golf which tends to keep it's demons well hidden behind a wall of crystal trophies and proper attire.

What does make me shake my head is the two-week long bungling of the billion-dollar Tiger Woods corporation.

When his ill-fated trip to get milk and cookies / escape from crazed club-wielding woman (depending on which account you prefer) hit the news you can be sure that more P.R. flacks and corporate yes-men were buzzed into action than would have been the case in Ottawa if the government had fallen on a vote.

For whatever reason, be it that his corporate team weren't up to the challenge or that Tiger rules his corporate messaging world with an iron fist (
with the odd good spanking, shurely), we won't know until he sheds people and they start squealing to the press.

The initial 'ignore it and it will go away' followed by the admittance to anon 'indiscretions' set up the perfect scenario for blood sucking media: a huge information vacuum coupled with a challenge to fill it. The result has been the
daily parade of mostly liposuctioned, fake boobed, lip-injected women claiming that they, too, were a Woods mistress and cashing in on their 15 minutes of fame, (I have to admit that I, too, have seriously contemplated throwing my name into the ring so as not to feel left out).

Now the corporation has effectively shut down operations, it's CEO fleeing the country to his yacht off of Sweden and, presumably, assuming that the media frenzy will wind itself down.

I don't doubt that Woods will be back. After all, it's not his talent, looks or tv personality that have been sullied. A tattered personal image can be taped back together good enough to continue. He'll likely be lighter in the wallet be it through alimony, legal fees and not being able to charge sponsors an 'impeccable image' premium. At the root of it all, though, he's still a sensational golfer and that's really his bread and butter.


In a year that saw some massive corporate crashes, Tiger Woods Inc. doesn't rank among the largest but definitely among the most mismanaged.

Related:

Wrong Again, Tiger. You Need Golf - ESPN.com
Woods Puts Golf Career on Hold - Wall St. Journal
Gillette Limiting Tiger Woods' Role - Telegraph (UK)
Golf World's Reaction to Tiger Hiatus - AP

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