Friday, February 19, 2010
After watching the Tiger Woods 14 minute apology/lecture/scolding (coincidentally that's the same number of times he mentioned his wife by name), I am at my saturation point. I see all sides of this, the people who feel betrayed, the people who think it's none of our business, everyone has their side on this. Here's a new take, though. Why doesn't Tiger, instead of doing the PC thing, just embrace this new role? In wrestling they call it "turning heel" when you go from being the good guy to the bad guy, Notable heel turns over the years include Andre the Giant in 1987, Hulk Hogan in 1996, Bret Hart at Wrestlemania 13, and Rick Martel turning on Tito Santana in "The Strike Force" glory years. Each heel turn was exciting, new, and gave the fan a new view point. So the question is, why doesn't Tiger just do a heel turn?
Think about it, he could have gotten up on that podium today and said "I'm not sorry, I know many of you would have done the same thing." He could have played up being the badboy of golf. Hell, it did wonders for Charles Barkley, who at one time spit on a fan, Dennis Rodman was as popular as Jordan in the Bulls glory years, and John Daly is as popular as ever. Imagine if he just told us all to screw off and embraced the villain role. "I'm Tiger F'N Woods!".
For everyone who hated it, there would another who loved it. He could date Paula Creamer and Natalie Gulbis, wear Hugh Hefner robes, wear sunglasses indoors, and yell at the golf ball every time he misses a putt. For every Gatorade-type sponsor he loses, a Powerade marketer who wants the product to be edgier would be willing to step in and fill the void. That would be entertaining, it wouldn't be contrived, and it wouldn't be just another athlete or public figure trying to homogenize himself for the sake of public image. The Mickelson/Tiger rivalry would be a epic, like Pistons/Lakers in the late 80's or Red Wings/Avalanche in the 90's. Right now we have Golf Channel anchors crying, Rick Reilly giving verbal back-rubs, and others who aren't satisfied with his William Shatner-like speech. Someone will always be mad about this, why not capitalize on it?
In my theory, I think I would respect him more if he just embraced the heel turn. I'm tired of people apologizing, making excuses, and the like. Most importantly, I hate it when people try to be something they aren't. Tiger Woods is never going to be the moral compass for America, so why shouldn't he be the poster child for entitlement?