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Thread: Tiger Woods - Excellent analysis from Washington Post

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    A*O
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    Default Tiger Woods - Excellent analysis from Washington Post

    Sorry it's a bit long bit it's worth a read. Sally Jenkins has nailed it.

    Tiger Woods: about a boy
    SALLY JENKINS
    January 2, 2010


    THE first thing Tiger Woods needs to do if he wants to remake himself is dump all the enablers. By that, I don't just mean the jerk caddie. I mean the so-called mentors who taught him how to play rent-a-hostess in Vegas. I mean the fawners who laughed at his crude jokes, and looked the other way when he was rude, or penurious. I mean all of the apologists, even the well-meaning ones, who conspired to create such a towering phony.

    There are a lot of questions surrounding Woods at the moment, from how many women to how long his indefinite leave from golf will last, but most of them are just side issues. The question that really matters, the pressing one, is this: When will Woods become a man? ''Let's please give the kid a break,'' said Mark Steinberg, Woods' agent, recently. Now, Steinberg is a nice guy who obviously cares about Woods. But his client is about to turn 34.

    There is a pattern to the comments coming from Woods' friends. It's a pattern of excuse-making and denial, a continual reinforcing of the idea that he has a princely exemption from ordinary obligations, such as, say, growing up. Or honouring his vows while his wife is pregnant. Or answering questions about car accidents, and about why he sought treatment from a doctor who uses HGH.

    Woods himself has invoked ''privacy'' time and again in his carefully crafted statements. But he and his overprotective pals are trying to sell us secrecy as privacy. He has a right to privacy, but what he did was lead a secret life, and that's what the tabloids are preying on so relentlessly. A violation of privacy is merely embarrassing. It's the violation of his secrecy that's destroyed his public persona. Big difference. The reason the story has been so engulfing is because of the sheer size of the gap between Woods' public image and his secret conduct.

    Looking back over the last few years, it's easy to see how Woods arrived at this point. He has never dealt straightforwardly with his failings. The first sign of trouble was in a GQ article in 1997 by Charles Pierce, a portrait of a chilly, entitled prince who complained about photo sessions and uttered vulgarities. Instead of confessing to tastelessness and bad judgment, Woods issued one of those calibrated formal statements that deflected responsibility. It wasn't his fault; it was Pierce's fault for quoting him.

    The Woods who has emerged in the past few weeks doesn't seem to have matured much since. He seems to have simply graduated from lewd jokes to lewd behaviour. While his public persona grew up, he never did.

    Woods' puerile foibles wouldn't be any of our business if his sole entry into the public sphere were on a golf course. But Woods - and the huge corporate entities around him - spent the past decade creating an image. He sold himself as a principled family man. The entire premise of his endorsements was: Buy these products because this is someone you want to be associated with.

    No one was forced to buy Tiger Woods apparel, or drive his car, or use his chosen credit card. But many people did. Woods created the iconic image - and now cries privacy when reality assails it. But he can't just say, ''This is what I want you to think of me as because that image is a more valuable commodity than the truth.'' There's a lot of salaciousness in the Woods saga, but there's also a valuable vetting of a powerful public brand.

    Woods' true friends will help him narrow that gap, instead of perpetuating it. If Woods deserves some sympathy, and he does, it's because no one around him was able to help him do it before now. His identity from his formative years onward has been wrapped up in outward display. It must have been exhausting to carry around such pretense in front of millions.

    It's a harsh judge who doesn't suspect that Woods' infidelities are more than just narcissism, but an expression of unhappiness. He is a confessed insomniac and he has been playing on a bad knee for several years.

    But as a long line of other child prodigies can tell Woods, genius isn't a free gift. Those who fare best with it figure out how to grow up, and own up, even when everyone tells them how wonderful they are. Andre Agassi and Chris Evert are two who could help Tiger. Both made their peace with their robbed childhoods; both found a kind of authenticity within their public identities, especially once they quit trying to project invincibility.

    There's inevitable dissonance in all of us between who we really are and what we show outwardly. But the athletes who seem healthiest and most balanced are those who have fewer reservations about sharing that with others. Interestingly, some of them become truly beloved. It may not be the best way to become a mass market endorser, but it's a decent way to build real relationships.

    WASHINGTON POST
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    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    Excellent. You could make a comparison with how Michael Jackson's "handlers" and "friends" dealt with him, which is to say not very well. These stars are allowed to get away with utter bullshit because everyone in their lives tells them they can, and then shows them that they can, that they don't have to play by the rules, that they can make up their own rules.

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    Gold Member eboni's Avatar
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    I'm still trying to figure out what he did that was wrong that was actually our business... I only admired him for his ability to play golf. Not interested in his sex life, home life, kids, wife or mother. I don't care how much $$ he has or what he eats for breakfast. Just his ability to make difficult shots and win tournaments.

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    Elite Member Sojiita's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eboni View Post
    I'm still trying to figure out what he did that was wrong that was actually our business... I only admired him for his ability to play golf. Not interested in his sex life, home life, kids, wife or mother. I don't care how much $$ he has or what he eats for breakfast. Just his ability to make difficult shots and win tournaments.
    It is pretty clearly stated in the article. Did you read it? He sold himself to 'the public' based on an image that was a lie. He made hundreds of millions based on endorsement deals that frequently focused heavily on this.

    He, his handlers, and the corporations that sponsored him basically perpetuated a giant public fraud.

    And also, if it comes down to 'our business', then check the name of the forum-you are on the wrong board!

    C'mon..it is a huge juicy scandal..we love that here!
    Don't slap me, cause I'm not in the mood!

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    A*O
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    I'm glad she called out his obnoxious caddy/enabler. He's as big a douche as Tiger.
    I've never liked lesbianism - it leaves a bad taste in my mouth
    Dame Edna Everage

    Just because you're offended doesn't mean you're right.

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    Gold Member eboni's Avatar
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    "C'mon..it is a huge juicy scandal..we love that here!


    I find the replies and postings here extremely clever and I enjoy reading them, which is why I come here. Outside of this forum, I don't follow celebrity gossip and scandals. In fact, I mostly read only tv show postings.

    However, it seems that Mr. T did his job (on the golf course)- the myths created are the workings of people who wanted to increase their bottom line. Not interested in that either.


    I posted my previous comment because I was genuinely searching for a reason to be interested in the so-called scandals.

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    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    You may not be interested in his off-the-greens scandals, but the majority of the general public is. As stated above, he portrayed himself as a public entity a straight-arrow, family man, faithful husband, good father, all-around swell guy - someone that people would want to emulate, someone kids and fans could look up to. It was a complete fabrication - his life was, in fact, 180 degrees in the opposite direction. The myths created were agreed to and perpetrated by Tiger Woods and his entourage of handlers, lawyers, PR people and God knows who else. People of his fame are packaged as an entire entity, not just as being good at their sport or their craft. His sponsors, his fans and the general public resents being lied to and sold a false bill of goods. And yep, he DID do his job on the golf course; he forgot that his job didn't end with the golf course.

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    Gold Member eboni's Avatar
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    I don't believe in super star role models. These are people who normally did not have "normal" upbringings so the bizarre is always with them. Why would anyone want any of them as role models? As far as Tiger portraying himself as a straight arrow, when did he ever say he was all those things? And, I know the majority of the public is interested in these things. I'm just saying I don't follow them. The general public, however, should be mad at the companies who sold them the bill of goods. Tiger would have made a very good living even if he didn't have the endorsements.

    Okay, I give in on the following... he shouldn't have gotten married! I totally agree with Tom Lykis when he went on a rage about Tiger and Kobi getting married so young. In all honesty, I am still pissed at both of them for doing that.

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    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    Tiger and Kobe should have married each other.
    Last edited by Brookie; January 1st, 2010 at 09:48 PM.

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    A*O
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    Just a few days before this story broke Tiger was in Melbourne for a golf tournament (with slapper #1 it now turns out) and the Aussie media was collectively creaming its pants about the God Of Golf bestowing his presence among us. I have never seen such ass licking in my life - hell they even stopped TV programming to show his private jet arriving. The course where he played is nearby and all the local roads were gridlocked for 3 days solid along with buzzing TV helicopters from dawn to dusk. I seriously think that the Second Coming would generate less interest than this guy who apart from being able to hit a golf ball doesn't appear to have any other accomplishments whatsoever. Still, you could say that about practically any high profile sports person.
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    Can't remember the source but I read recently that there was a comparison done between the companies Tiger represents and similar ones. Over the two or three weeks following TigerGate, the companies he represented lost 12 BILLION compared to the others.

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eboni View Post
    I'm still trying to figure out what he did that was wrong that was actually our business... I only admired him for his ability to play golf. Not interested in his sex life, home life, kids, wife or mother. I don't care how much $$ he has or what he eats for breakfast. Just his ability to make difficult shots and win tournaments.
    Quote Originally Posted by eboni View Post

    However, it seems that Mr. T did his job (on the golf course)- the myths created are the workings of people who wanted to increase their bottom line. Not interested in that either.


    I posted my previous comment because I was genuinely searching for a reason to be interested in the so-called scandals.
    Quote Originally Posted by eboni View Post
    I don't believe in super star role models. These are people who normally did not have "normal" upbringings so the bizarre is always with them. Why would anyone want any of them as role models? As far as Tiger portraying himself as a straight arrow, when did he ever say he was all those things? And, I know the majority of the public is interested in these things. I'm just saying I don't follow them. The general public, however, should be mad at the companies who sold them the bill of goods. Tiger would have made a very good living even if he didn't have the endorsements.

    Okay, I give in on the following... he shouldn't have gotten married! I totally agree with Tom Lykis when he went on a rage about Tiger and Kobi getting married so young. In all honesty, I am still pissed at both of them for doing that.
    bingo!
    as long as people are na´ve enough to believe in superhuman celebrity heroes/role models, there will be celebrities (athletes or artists) willing to play the part, and companies willing to cash in on that and make mega-millions.
    i can admire someone's talents, their work, music, books, films, etc... and think they're awesomely talented and like their image but i'm not going to throw a tantrum and cry foul act like i was personally betrayed when it turns out this person's actually a total asshole in real life.
    i mean, don't people realise that publicity is all a big lie? that someone's public image is quite possibly/probably the total opposite of what they really are? i never got the whole buying into celebs as role models thing. i don't understand why people need heroes. so the whole tiger woods thing to me was just juicy gossip but not really surprising.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    I think it's natural for many people, especially in their formative years, to crave role models, especially in fields that younger people fantasize about pursuing -- like acting, professional sports, singing, etc.

    Until Tiger's house of cards came crashing down, he really gave the impression of someone who managed to be incredibly talented and devoted to his family. The family-man part turned out to be a monstrous lie, and watching this evolve from a somewhat, murky incident into a guy suffering from an epic case of satyriasis, has been pretty engrossing and instructive.

    As far as whether it's our business or not, I don't see how someone doesn't get that people would be riveted to see a towering facade come crashing down. It's happened before with people like Jimmy Swaggart; or the married Padres baseball player who was going to run for congress until it was discovered that he got two mistresses pregnant at the same time; or the "Mommie Dearest" book about Joan Crawford; and on and on.

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    yeah i don't know. i guess i was raised by 2 very cynical parents who always warned me that no matter how good a movie/book/song and how handsome or talented an actor, chances are they're assholes in real life, and to not mix up the public persona and the work with the real person.
    of course i went through the whole teenage idolatry phase but then you grow up and realise everyone is human and famous people's public images are all smoke and mirrors and that what you see is not what you get.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sputnik View Post
    yeah i don't know. i guess i was raised by 2 very cynical parents who always warned me that no matter how good a movie/book/song and how handsome or talented an actor, chances are they're assholes in real life, and to not mix up the public persona and the work with the real person.
    of course i went through the whole teenage idolatry phase but then you grow up and realise everyone is human and famous people's public images are all smoke and mirrors and that what you see is not what you get.
    I definitely get that. I am a very cynical person, too, but have let my kids have their idols. Ironically, their idols are usually based on cartoon characters/superheroes. I don't want to crush their brief idealistic period of thinking that there are perfect people out there.

    Right now, a more pressing (and important) challenge for me is to keep my daughter from idolizing a female classmate who is arbitrary and cruel. It's driving me nuts....

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