Tiger missing in action, but the story rolls on

I told myself that I would not write anything further on the trials and tribulations of Mr. Woods. But it just won’t quit!

In recent weeks, women have been falling out of the sky trying to get their 15 minutes of notoriety, although it’s probably more like 5 minutes these days.  However, I am fascinated by what kind of person wants and needs this kind of public exposure? There are, I do believe, a lot of sick cookies out there. Give them the sniff of a scandal and they seem to line up, yelling, ‘me too’! ‘Me too’!

There is no question that we have long gone past the stage where you can even believe less than 1% of what you read. Actually, that probably happened after the first day. We have heard stories about financial agreements between Woods and his wife and talk about divorce, but it is very hard to believe that any of that information is based on any verifiable facts.

There is probably no-one who has kept his personal life closer to his chest than Woods and anyone that breached that trust knows that they would find themselves shivering out in the cold, and lonely, Tigerless woods before they could blink. Look at what happened to his original caddy Fluff, when he started to get some publicity and started talking about his financial arrangements with Tiger. It’s quite possible that he suffered whiplash on his way out the door.

Mind you, what still baffles me is how Woods could have let himself get into this situation. Was he unaware that he was a celebrity – no, a HUGE celebrity – and it would be just a matter of time before some inquisitive muckraker would meet some disgruntled bedmate and he would be burnt toast.

It’s surprising that it didn’t come to light that way, although the story has been told that the Enquirer did have the story and sat on it for the benefit of Woods appearing on one of its other magazine’s covers. So was Woods picture on a magazine cover worth more than the magazine sales for a scandal on the most recognizable athlete in the world? Very hard to believe., but maybe the Enquirer chief was a fan and was looking for golf tips.

It’s also obvious that Woods’ management people knew what was up. What a sleazy job – arranging rooms for trysts and the like.

So there we were, thinking of Tiger as this consummate family man, sitting around home and playing with the kids on his weeks off. But when you stop and really think about it, that was really our fantasy. We thought he was a normal guy – a better golfer to be sure (well, way better) – but basically a normal guy raised with good family values but with a lot of money. And that was the difference. He had a whole lot of money.

Here we had a man with more money than some small countries, off doing photoshoots for commercials, showing up at big sporting events, golfing with high-flying buddies, off to Dubai to look at golf course designs, all the while everyone fawning over him and treating him like royalty. At some point I suppose you begin to feel that you really are special and totally protected. And you probably don’t get much in the way of good, personal advice. Who’s going to tell the King that he has no clothes?

Greg Stewart of the Peoria Journal Star writes about Mark Steinberg, who heads the global golf division for International Management Group, of which Tiger is their client:

As for Steinberg? Odds are you won’t hear him issuing any statements like Williams did.

Steinberg was with Woods last month in Australia, where his alleged affair with Mistress No. 1,Rachel Uchitel, was first reported. It is incomprehensible that a person who manages every aspect of Tiger’s public life had no knowledge of his now-disastrous private life.

Yet it is understandable how Steinberg might feel helpless in this situation. Advisors earn their keep before the shot hits the fan, not after. But Steinberg is all-too-aware of how he landed this job in the first place. At the 1998 British Open, Hughes Norton, then Tiger’s agent at IMG, told Woods that it wasn’t a good idea to be photographed with then-girlfriend Joanna Jagoda.

Not long after, Woods fired Norton and replaced him with Steinberg.

So there is a history. And thanks to Geoff Shackelford for that link and for his postings giving me more information on the Tiger Woods saga than I ever wanted to know.

And now, as if Tiger didn’t have enough problems with family, the media is hyping a possible steroid taking scandal (at least they seem to hope it is) involving Canadian Doctor Anthony Galea. Although this story gives Tiger a break.

There is no evidence at all, not a known shred, that Woods used an illegal substance or cheated on the golf course in any way.

We do know this from a New York Times story this week: A Canadian doctor who says he went to Woods’ Windermere, Fla., home four or five times in February and March of this year to treat Woods’ left knee with a legal, cutting-edge technique known as platelet-rich plasma therapy is under criminal investigation in the United States.

It’s enough to almost make you feel sorry for the guy.


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