Twitter: GeoffShac
  • Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    by Jim Moriarty
  • Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
    Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
    by Kevin Cook
  • His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    by Dan Jenkins
  • The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    by Richard Gillis
  • The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event – A Complete History
    The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event – A Complete History
    by Martin Davis
  • A Life Well Played: My Stories
    A Life Well Played: My Stories
    by Arnold Palmer
  • Harvey Penick: The Life and Wisdom of the Man Who Wrote the Book on Golf
    Harvey Penick: The Life and Wisdom of the Man Who Wrote the Book on Golf
    by Kevin Robbins
  • Teeing Off: Players, Techniques, Characters, and Reflections from a Lifetime Inside the Game
    Teeing Off: Players, Techniques, Characters, and Reflections from a Lifetime Inside the Game
    by Ken Bowden

The more you learn about games, the more you are apt to realize the number of things golf doesn't have. It doesn't have the effervescent excitement with which football is blessed. It hasn't the grand strategy from which baseball largely derives its popular appeal. It does not require the stamina of tennis, the self-confidence of bowling, the finesse of billiards, the concentration of bridge, the intuition of chess. Yet, at its best, golf commands all these things--and much more something which probably cannot be said about any other game.  CHARLES PRICE

 

  

Friday
Dec112009

Tiger Wins Injunction To Prevent Publication Of Photos That Don't Exist

Reuters reports.

Friday
Dec112009

Latest Late Night Material On Tiger's Accident

Jimmy Kimmel is selling Tiger Woods commemorative plates in conjunction with the good people at the Franklin Mint:

Letterman's top 10 Tiger text messages:

George Lopez's latest monologue, with Tiger material 3 minutes in:




Thursday
Dec102009

Tiger Accident Clippings, Vol. 13

While the golf world may be tired of the Tiger saga, it appears the tabloids are not letting go. Perhaps emboldened by Tiger's lecture on privacy, they are moving full steam ahead on several stories. More on that in a moment.

On a positive front for Tiger, several people came forward in his defense. Unfortunately the list included John Daly and Donald Trump. OJ wasn't available apparently. Still recovering from his prison beating.

Mike Walker relays the highlights from The Donald's television interview:

"He's had a very interesting and very traumatic couple of weeks," Trump told TV's Extra. "But I know Tiger and he's a wonderful guy. Tiger is going to be hotter than ever. Mark my words."

Winning will also cure any problems Woods might have with his endorsements, Trump added.

"It may affect his endorsements a little but, but it's like Kobe [Bryant]," Trump said. "No one remembers the Kobe incident anymore. He went out and won a championship."

Randell Mell reports on Greg Norman's Golf Channel interview:

“I hope Tiger sorts these issues out,” Norman said. “Things like that should stay behind closed doors, but then again we are public figures. There are times when people feel like they can reach through the TV screen and say `I own you, I know you because I buy a product you represent.’ That’s a part of it. You have to accept that responsibility.”

Jack Nicklaus was cornered today and offered a "none of my business" to AP, while Reuters quoted him this way:

"He'll figure it out. We've always been a forgiving society," Nicklaus said at Palm Beach Gardens in Florida where he was honouring the boys' golf team that won the state championship.

John Daly wanted to let us know Tiger has made a lot of golfers rich and therefore they should support him in this time of...whatever this time is.

Daly said: "I wish them [the Woods family] the best. I'm not too happy with what some players have said.

"Golf needs him. Because of Tiger is why we're playing for so much money."

Tabloid critics can rejoice after the most glaring fiction yet published was quickly debunked by a skeptical golf media that knew neither Ben Crane and especially Charles Warren were capable of saying something interesting.  

Christine Brennan summed up the saga this way:

We are in the midst of something so jaw-dropping and out of the ordinary that were we to use a term to describe it from a now-suddenly distant, quickly fading past, we might call it Tigeresque.

What Tiger Woods has caused to happen to himself and his image over the past two weeks is the sports world's most remarkable fall from grace, ever. No athlete has ever held a perch so high in our culture — right up there with President and Mrs. Obama, and Oprah — and fallen so far so fast.

Of everything I read, Jason Whitlock wins a special citation for the most awful mess of a column I've read on the Woods saga. Though anyone who blames Orange County for something does deserve some respect:

As far as I know, Tiger grew up on golf courses in suburban Orange County, raised by an African-American, Chinese and Native American father and Thai, Chinese and Dutch mother. That is not the recipe for falling in love with sistas regardless of Tiger's brown skin and full lips.

By profession and diction, the dude would be considered a nerd by most brothers and sisters. Take away his billion dollars and many of the sisters whining that Tiger prefers blondes would continue their search for a tatted-up, corn-rowed, slang-talking real brother.

(If that description doesn't fit you, then don't complain. Destiny's Child sang and sold "Soldier" because somebody was feeling it.)

Tiger's choice in women isn't a statement about how he feels about us (black folks). It's a statement about where and how he grew up.

Jordan Robertson of AP reports on huge website traffic surges since the accident, including a seven-fold jump at golf.com.

An item on the Daily Record blog has this interesting quote about Tiger's endorsement future.

I talked to Baltimore ad firm TBC’s Howe Burch this week about the potential sponsor fallout from Tigergate and he says this is only the beginning. Burch takes issue with those who say Woods’ transgressions have made him seem more human.

“I find that to be a misguided perspective on the whole thing,” said Burch, a former marketing executive with Fila and Reebok. “Tiger was affiliated with big blue chip brands and any brand that is successful is built on a foundation of trust…Tiger has violated their trust. They did not sign up for someone who is duplicitous.”

Toby Tobin suggests that Tiger's already troubled Cliffs project will not be helped by this saga, particularly with a schmaltzy promotional video where Tiger talks about his family life.

The new National Enquirer leads with a cover story that is sure to get plenty of attention, with suggestions of a love child and sex tape.

According to Radar, Gloria's back! The L.A. lawyer is representing "a number of women" on the Tiger front including an apparent woman number thirteen.

TMZ reveals a new document from Tiger's lawyers in Britain filing a motion to stop the publication of revealing photos and videos that they say do not exist.

Tiger Woods' lawyers sent a letter to multiple UK papers and blogs, stating the court order "prevents the publication of private and confidential information contained in the Order.... this Order is not to be taken as any admission that any such photographs exist, and in the event they do exist they may have been fabricated, altered, manipulated and/or changed to create the false appearance and impression that they are nude photographs of our client."

The court order also covers any possible videos. It blocks the publication of "any photographs, footage or images taken or obtained of the claimant [Tiger] naked or any naked parts of the claimant's [Tiger's] body or of him involved in any sexual activity."

The lawyer's letter says, "Our client is not aware of any images and in any event he would not have consented to any such photographs being taken nor would he have consented to the dissemination or exploitation of the same."

Radar says Mistress #4 is going on the Today Show Friday and also appearing in a special Dateline Friday night titled "The Secret Life of Tiger Woods."

On the comedy front, George Lopez only devoted half of his monologue to Tiger on Wednesday night.



Letterman features the latest EA Sports Tiger Woods game:

And finally, Jimmy Kimmel reveals Tiger's new reality show:



Thursday
Dec102009

Tiger And Golf After The Accident: Vol. 2, What Happens In 2010

This is a simple one.

Where does he start his 2010 golf?

How many starts does Tiger make?

How many starts outside the U.S. does Tiger make?

How many wins?

The majors?

Thursday
Dec102009

“She really believes in the importance of parents staying together.”

Soraya Roberts of the New York Daily News says People magazine will report in Friday's edition that Elin Woods is not going to divorce Tiger.

I understand that it's not our business what they end up doing, but the primary behind-the-scenes scuttlebutt centers around what a marriage salvation scenario means for Tiger's professional support team. Since some were either enablers or turning a blind eye to his antics, it's been suggested Tiger will not be able to save his marriage while continuing on with certain key people in his life.

However, at the moment I'm wondering what impact this might have on Tiger's run at history. He has assembled a team that, like it or not, was very good at structuring his professional career to allow him to concentrate on golf when he was inside the ropes while also laying the groundwork for unparalleled success in the sports marketing world and in charitable endeavors. (On the golf course design side, not so much).

I know a lot of readers here work in the corporate world and I'm curious how you would advise Woods in finding a balance between personal and professional considerations, and how he should go about evaluating the roles of his team members going forward?

Thursday
Dec102009

TigerWoods.com Examined By NY Times

In a first page NY Times Sports section story, Richard Sandomir examines all-things-Tiger's-website, from the traffic boost in the last two weeks to nasty reader comments to the relationship between Golf Digest and Tiger Woods.

An intriguing, even unusual, aspect of the site is its editor: Mark Soltau, a respected longtime golf journalist and contributing editor at Golf Digest. It is rare for a journalist to work simultaneously as the editorial overseer of the Web site of the most important player in the sport. To do his job, Soltau gets time with Woods at tournaments that other reporters evidently don’t. Reporters want to be on the inside but rarely get there. Soltau declined to comment on his working relationship with Woods.

Jerry Tarde, the editor in chief of Golf Digest, said he did not consider Soltau’s role a journalistic problem.

“Mark Soltau is a contributing editor to Golf Digest, not a staff writer,” Tarde wrote in an e-mail message. He said Soltau’s work was restricted to Woods’s bylined pieces and the “What’s in my bag?” equipment feature.

“Mark does not write feature articles for the magazine, so I don’t consider his work for TigerWoods.com a conflict,” he wrote.

Woods is listed as a “playing editor” for the magazine, where he has had a longstanding deal.

Tarde said there were no plans to change that relationship in light of the Woods scandal.

If you're Golf Digest, do you keep Tiger on staff?

Wednesday
Dec092009

Must See: Caddyshack: The Inside Story

Biography channel has put together an incredible two hour look at the making of Caddyshack.

They've tracked down and interviewed just about every living person involved with the film, including Mr. Wang and feature some incredible stories about the making of the film. Do not miss it. Listings here.

Wednesday
Dec092009

Senators McCain, Coburn Single Out Sharp Park

Julia Scott reports on a photo opp hosted by the two Republican senators to single out 100 examples of "waste and mismanagement," highlighted by $2.2 million slated to convert Sharp Park's irrigation system to

Specifically, the report questions whether it's wise to spend $2.2 million to pump recycled water to a golf course that "might not exist much longer" — a reference to the fact that San Francisco has been under threat of a lawsuit by environmentalists who favor converting the 18-hole course into a nature preserve for the sake of two federally threatened species that live there. Golf lovers have fought equally hard to keep the public course, which is owned by San Francisco and located in Pacifica.

The San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department recently weighed in on the golfers' side, circulating a study intended to demonstrate how the golf course could be redesigned to accommodate wetland habitat for the San Francisco garter snake and California red-legged frog while keeping all 18 holes. The compromise plan was widely praised by Pacifica officials and by Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough.

Speier said that McCain and Coburn have deliberately conflatedthe debate over the future of the course and the recycled water project, which will create 275 jobs and irrigate some high school playing fields in addition to the golf course — all while conserving about 50 million gallons of potable water each year.

"This golf course is not going away. This is a classic example of trying to make half-truths make your case," she said. "The senator from Arizona probably has the highest number of golf courses per capita in his state. I'd like to ask him how many of his golf courses are irrigated with potable water when recycled water is more efficient."

Wednesday
Dec092009

Tiger Accident Clippings, Vol. 12

We're finally seeing some more thoughtful coverage from the mainstrean press as the tabloids pursue Tiger's mistresses and the dreaded digital trail he left behind.

Orlando Sentinel columnist Scott Maxwell says the state attorney who denied a subpoena in the Woods accident "has a history of taking it easy on the well-heeled and influential in this town" and reviews the list of State Attorney Lawson Lamar's questionable decisions involving high profile criminal activity.

And Mike Walker at golf.com noted on this topic: "The knock is against a system where the rich and famous play by a different set of rules than the rest of us. That's the real story here, not the salacious details of Woods's personal life."

Very interesting piece by Robbie Vorhaus at Huffington Post on what is likely going on behind the scenes with Team Tiger. (Thanks reader TS.)

Up until now, Tiger Woods kept his everyday spokesperson, Glenn Greenspan, the head of communications at the Augusta National Golf Club, home to the Masters Tournament, to speak on his behalf. Without question, due to pressure from Tiger Wood's leadership team, management at IMG, all the attorneys, and probably the overwhelmed Mr. Greenspan himself, the Tiger Woods team is now in warrior mode, and need a bigger gun than Mr. Greenspan.

Every PR and crisis professional on the planet is trying to figure out how they can get their foot in the door, sending emails, faxes, text messages and Twitters to anyone connected to Tiger Woods. But it won't work.

Behind the scenes, there is more than likely a scramble to engage a large and well-resourced PR and crisis management firm, and every suggested firm is a referral from someone close and important to Tiger Woods. The PR firm winning this piece of business is already in the major leagues, will earn hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees, and will use this Tiger Woods engagement as their crown jewel for winning other business for years to come. As a betting man, and with no prior information or vested interest, the Tiger Woods team will probably choose either Hill & Knowlton, Burson Marsteller, or Washington-based Levick Communications.

Annika Toernqvist of SFGate.com compiles the reaction in the Swedish press while AP's Lousie Nordstrom contends that Elin's parents are used to the scrutiny due to their careers.

Lawrence Donegan takes up Elin's defense after several recent spoofs of her alleged behavior the night of the accident.

It takes a rare form of inhumanity to argue that the public's "right to know" means the public has a right to revel in the misogynistic portrayal of Elin Nordegren as the villain of the piece when she appears to be one of the main victims. Did people really fight and die for the right of porn stars to claim they had clandestine affairs with world-famous golfers and that this idle boasting would then be treated as the gospel truth.

Phil Taylor in this week's SI ponders the events of recent weeks and writes:

Just a few months ago Woods was visiting President Obama in the White House, but it's hard to imagine another invitation coming anytime soon. The golf community, well-known for its conservative mien and low tolerance for public indiscretion, will be especially slow to forgive. In short, the world's greatest golfer is used to the public's swoon, but for the first time since he joined the PGA Tour he will feel an awkward chill, anger even, and it will have nothing to do with whether people are still buying Nike gear.

Steve Elling posts and responds to a compilation of reader emails listed in chronological order, which ends up serving as a fast reminder of how many twists and turns the matter has taken as it's devolved over the past 14 days.

Michael Bamberger
wasn't too taken with the suggestions that Tiger sit down with Oprah.

If he goes on Oprah, he'll really be saying, "This is about image," while mouthing words from a script for our benefit. If he doesn't go on Oprah, he'll be saying, "This is not about you, whoever you are, but about my family." He'll be showing us and, more importantly, his wife and children that they are the priority.

Alexi Mostrous of The Times says there is one beneficiary in the Woods saga: the author whose book was seen in Tiger's smashed SUV.

John Gribbin, the author of an obscure 2003 scientific manual. Get a Grip on Physics was photographed in the wreckage of Woods’s car on November 27 and has since shot up the Amazon sales rankings from 396,224th place to 2,268th.

Dr Gribbin, an astronomy professor at the University of Sussex, said he was delighted that Woods read his book, which was aimed at “non-scientists interested in big physics stories”. Only two copies of the out-of-print American edition remain on Amazon.com, selling for $75 (£46). One wag wrote on the website’s review section: “This book is great, but I wouldn’t recommend keeping it in your car. It is so good that it might distract you.”

Emily Steel and Suzanne Vranica in the WSJ try to figure out where Tiger stands with his sponsors and it may be telling who made themselves available and who didn't:

Wednesday, representatives of Nike, Procter & Gamble's Gillette, videogame maker Electronic Arts, PepsiCo's Gatorade sports drink and laser-eye surgery chain TLC Vision said their relationships with Mr. Woods hadn't changed. (Pepsi said its recent decision to drop a Gatorade product named for Mr. Wood's wasn't related to the scandal.) Jet-rental company NetJets said Monday that it continued to support Mr. Woods.

AT&T and sports-collectible retailer Upper Deck declined to comment. Consulting-firm Accenture and watch maker Tag Heuer, an LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton unit, couldn't be reached for comment.

Jessica Shambora at Fortune notes this about Tiger sponsor Gillette:

But Gillette may win the award for unintended innuendo. In an all-star ensemble campaign for the Procter & Gamble-owned megabrand, Woods appears with Roger Federer and soccer star Thierry Henry as dapper men about town, sporting black suits and sly expressions.

In a related feature on Gillette.com, Woods reveals one of his favorite gadgets is his "phone for texting." He also appears in a blurb about the importance of pre-game rituals, "whether it's getting ready for the big game or the big night out."

Oh boy.

Proving once again the folks on Wall Street have too much free time on their hands, there is now a Tiger Woods stock index now according to Bloomberg's David Wilson. Here it is.

And according to the latest Rasmussen Report, Tiger's favorable ratings have plummeted.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that just 38% of Americans now have a favorable opinion of the golf superstar. That’s down from 56% a week ago, shortly after the stories first broke about Woods’ auto accident. Two years ago, 83% had a favorable opinion of Woods.

In 2007, even NFL stars like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady couldn’t come close to the name recognition or favorable ratings of Woods. Manning was viewed favorably by 59%, Brady by 49% and golfer Phil Mickelson by 50%. All three men were unknown to large segments of the population.

The new data shows 49% holding an unfavorable opinion of the embattled Woods, up from 27% a week ago. The latest figures include 12% with a Very Favorable opinion and 21% with a Very Unfavorable view.

Tag Heuer says it's just a coincidence that advertising related to Tiger is disappearing in Australia, writes Chris Thomson in The Age.

SportsByBrooks readers aren't buying Stevie's story that he didn't know about Tiger's off-course activity.

Saving the worst for last, the New York Post published Tiger's text messages with Jaimee Grubbs.

Hamlet Pericles of Examiner.com tries to get to the bottom of one of Tiger's cryptic references. Yes, this is what it's come to.

The Bone Thugs-N-Harmony reference comes out of nowhere and can render a few interpretations, but two are logical: (1) because Bone is known for canceling shows and showing up late for events, perhaps his comment stems from that; or (2) because Bone is known for its rapid-fire rapping style, perhaps his comment stems from each member's quickness. The latter seems more logical.

Exactly what I was thinking. Big fan of Bones here.

Tiger was also a busy email writer and US Weekly has one in particular that speaks to a man in love.

Bits and hints about Tiger's lifestyle are starting to be dug up, like this 2005 discussion board rumor sent in by a reader.

This video posted today by TMZ is another doozy of an example, though it was in reference to his bachelor party.

And finally, cameras will be rolling soon on a film around the Tiger fiasco. You'll never look at him in that red shirt and black hat the same again. The quote from the adult film producer:

“Tyler Knight is the only actor who could play this part,” Lord said. “I thought of him immediately when we were writing the script. Once Tyler signed on, everything immediately fell into place.”

I'm sure Tyler has been waiting his entire career for this role of a lifetime. And there is certainly no shortage of material for Tyler to use in researching the role. Okay, I've lived in this town too long. I'll stop now.

Wednesday
Dec092009

Tiger And Golf After The Accident: Vol. 1, Will You Root For Him Edition

As the news cycle slows down and Tiger-news-fatigue seems to be setting in, I'd like to look ahead and ponder what all of this means for golf. Over the next few days or weeks, I'm going to throw out some questions worth addressing about the near and distant future.

While some have complained, I believe Tiger's accident, the ensuing coverage and the ramifications will go down as one of the most significant stories in the history of the game due to the possible impact on his quest to re-write record books and his overall presence in the game prior to the accident.

Before we delve into specific golf topics, I'm curious about your most basic view of Tiger the golfer and man. Not to sound like a focus group host but...

What did you think of him before this and now?

Will you root for him more, less, the same?

Will you want to watch him more or less?

And what kind of attitude toward Tiger the golfer are you sensing from people you know and have talked to about this saga?

Wednesday
Dec092009

Driveliketiger...

...finished third in today's second race at Hollywood Park.

And in the you-can't-make-it-up-files, last Friday he was scratched from the sixth race.

Wednesday
Dec092009

Some People Really Want To See Tiger Do Oprah

Apparently Tiger hasn't suffered enough so if he ever wants to make another endorsement dollar again, so to make things right with the world, he must be subjected to 47 minutes of Oprah Winfrey lobbing softballs, interspersed with the inevitable tears and way too many annoying shots of audience members feigning concern for weepy Tiger's future all the while hoping he's brought a parting gift for each and every guest.

Larry Dorman files a mostly bad news-NY Times piece on Tiger's future endorsement prospects. Many of Tiger's problems were caused by poor crisis handling. At least according to one expert:

“There’s still an opportunity for Tiger to stop the bleeding,” said Mike Paul, the president and senior counselor at MGP & Associates public relations in New York. “But he cannot just remain silent, out of sight. He should have done a one-on-one interview within the first 24 to 48 hours. He should have done something like Oprah, and he needs to do it — that type of interview — and soon.”

And Rick Reilly at ESPN.com wants Tiger to shovel us the required cliches and other assorted red-white-and-blue horse puckey.

His reputation is shredded. His once-perfect name has been dragged through more mud than a Nantucket clam digger's boots. A once-spotless life is now an episode of "Cops."

So what now?

First, Oprah Winfrey.

"It has to be Oprah," says the king of Las Vegas publicity men, Dave Kirvin. "If you did a poll on who's most disgusted by this whole mess, it would be women. To win over those women, you need to win over Oprah. You win over Oprah, you win over America."

 Once he's on Oprah's couch, he says this:

"To my wife, to my kids, to my family, to my friends, to my fans, I am so sorry. You believed in me. You looked up to me. You thought I was different, and I let you down. I'm ashamed of myself. My mom is ashamed of me. I'm sure my dad would be ashamed of me. I'm an idiot."

Wait, that was Phil's line after Winged Foot.

Then he has to go full Tebow: "From this day forward, you will never see somebody work harder, 24 hours a day, to win back your trust."

And maybe he can slap on some black "War Paint" under the eyes, embed them with his favorite Bible verses, and hope Verne Lundquist reads the verses as Tiger prepares to play Augusta's 16th.

Wednesday
Dec092009

No Congressional Gold Medal For Tiger

Representative Joe Baca is withdrawing his effort to award Tiger with the "highest civilian award by Congress."

A California lawmaker is abandoning his effort to honor golf star Tiger Woods with the Congressional Gold Medal.

In a statement given to The Hill's ITK, Rep. Joe Baca (D-Calif.) said, “In light of the recent developments surrounding Tiger Woods and his family, I will not pursue legislation awarding him the Congressional Gold Medal this session."

Baca, an avid golfer, introduced a measure in March that seeks to give Woods the highest civilian award bestowed by Congress.

The bill states, "To provide for the award of a gold medal on behalf of the Congress to Tiger Woods, in recognition of his service to the Nation in promoting excellence and good sportsmanship, and in breaking barriers with grace and dignity by showing that golf is a sport for all people."

You put it that way, I guess I can see why it would be WD'd.

Wednesday
Dec092009

Lopez, Clint and Tiger

First Tom Hanks on Letterman, now Clint Eastwood delivers a joke about his newfound respect for Tiger's golf game (now that we know what he was doing with his spare time). Appearing on Lopez Tonight, George Lopez also expresses his sympathy to Clint for likely not getting Tiger now for this February's AT&T National Pro-Am, then quips about his own invitation getting lost before Clint reassures him that he'll be invited back.

What's most fascinating about this scene is the lack of fear or concern for upsetting Tiger. It speaks to just how much his image has changed in two weeks. And with Eastwood's ties to Tiger-sponsor AT&T it's that much more powerful of a statement about how little certain people now fear the once vaunted wrath of Tiger.

Okay up next is Lopez's standup, which is only 90% devoted to Tiger. Note the jokes about corporate ad slogans, and also check out Jay Busbee's analysis of past slogans. Not many of them will hold up in the post-accident world.



And maybe best of all is this Gran Torino spoof, that also includes a Tiger reference.

Tuesday
Dec082009

Tiger Accident Clippings, Vol. 11

Media coverage appears to be splitting off in various directions, seemingly a good thing for Tiger until you read the actual content.

On the business front, Bloomberg's Michael Buteau notes a huge plunge in a Q-rating type index from 6th to 24th. He also writes about the disappearance of Woods-related ads.

The last prime-time ad featuring the 33-year-old golfer was a 30-second Gillette Co. spot on Nov. 29, according to New York- based Nielsen. Woods also was absent from ads on a number of weekend sports programs, including NFL games, Nielsen said.

“Last weekend there wasn’t any advertisement during those games,” said Aaron Lewis, a spokesman at Nielsen.

And just one reminder that the Gatorade story was in the works prior to the accident, Lawrence Donegan notes:

They would say that, of course. But in fairness the decision to dump the "Tiger Focus" drink was revealed in the November 25th issue of the always readable Beverage Digest (my copy must have been mislaid in the post) - two days before the scandal broke.

Duff Macdonald at the Daily Beast takes note of the sale prices on Tiger Woods action figures and writes:

The Toys "R" Us outside Seattle had four different kinds of Tiger figurines, also discounted to $9.98, though the store manager insisted they had been on clearance before the scandal. When we asked a sales rep at a Target in Tukwila, Washington, if they carried Tiger Woods action figures, she said she’d never heard of the product, before pausing and asking a sincere question of her own: “Is that intended as a gag gift?”

The WSJ's Andrew LaVallee shares an item in which Yahoo Chief Executive Carol Bartz says "God bless Tiger" for spiking web traffic.

News, photos and other content about the pro golfer, whose personal life has become tabloid fodder since his car accident and cryptic apologies, are contributing to Yahoo’s sports section, as well as news, gossip and the front page, Ms. Bartz said. When asked if Mr. Woods would help the Internet company make the quarter, she said, “Oh, absolutely,” and added that he’s fueling more visits than Michael Jackson’s death.

The SNL skit continues to be questioned, yet no one writing about the sheer awfulness of the skit has the courage to question the investigation. If you believe there was domestic violence involved, how is SNL to blame for spoofing something the police say didn't happen?

Connell Barrett talks to those on both sides of the debate and writes.

Anti-abuse advocates said the sketch made light of spousal abuse. EW.com wrote that "intimate partner violence isn't a ripe source of material in the first place, but with [abuse-victim] Rihanna as the musical star the sketch seemed even more poorly thought out." And according to PopEater, "[H]ad the genders been reversed, 'SNL' wouldn't make light of the potentially violent situation." Of course not. The story is satire-worthy because the roles are reversed.

Leave it to a golf writer to call out the Florida state attorney who torpedoed any further investigation of a possible DUI or domestic violence. Steve Elling writes:

The Florida Highway Patrol has statements from an unnamed witness -- believed to be Woods' own wife -- who said Woods had been drinking and possibly had taken prescription drugs, yet the Orlando area's state attorney denied an FHP request to subpoena any possible Woods blood samples. Bad as Woods' image has taken a hit over the parade of women, the Central Florida cops have become a comparable national laughingstock, too. It's farcical. Glad to see my tax dollars are working so hard for me.

Deadspin editor A.J. Daulerio questions whether some of the women linked to Woods were actually his mistresses. Unfortunately for Tiger, he's suggesting they were acting as pimps. And Stephanie Wei backs up Daulerio's post with her own circumstantial evidence about Rachel Uchitel's party planning work and unlikely romantic ties to Tiger.

Some golf writers continue to offer their thoughts on the impact this has on the game, starting with Doug Ferguson writing about how suddenly Tiger's image has been altered.

Just like that, he has become the butt of jokes.

His colleagues, who once spoke about him with reverence, now take pity. Even John Daly feels sorry for him.

Despite being among the most famous athletes in the world, we knew so little about Woods. Now we know too much. Woods managed to keep himself out of the tabloids for years only to be the cover boy now.

Matthew Syed in The Times on why Tiger is fair game:

He and his advisers have systematically cultivated a public image — an image that now appears to be a sham — specifically to expand his wealth on a grand scale.

In the past few years he has earned more money from his deals with Nike, Gillette and other sponsors than he could ever hope to earn on a golf course. To put it another way, his public image and his day job as a repository of corporate endorsement income are indistinguishable.

To put it simply, Woods’s right to privacy has been fatally undermined not by his earning lots of cash beyond the golf course, but by his hypocrisy. He could have had sex with a platoon of cocktail waitresses while dressed in a pair of suspenders and still been entitled to privacy had he not, at the same time, been pocketing a sizeable cheque from Gillette via a management company that had spent three weeks figuring out how to place a soft-focus picture of Woods, his baby in his arms, and his wife looking on lovingly.

Lawrence Donegan is fed up with the coverage.

After 11 days of of the Woods "scandal", we really are down to the dregs of journalism, not to mention humanity. Unfunny comedy sketches, uncorroborated "scoops" floated by that apparently unimpeachable source of information in 2009, TMZ.com. Another day, another alleged girlfriend. Does anyone care? As for those who do - one has to worry about the poverty of their emotional existence.

Rush Limbaugh took a different stance on his radio show and says greedy corporations and the sports media sold us a bill of goods so they could make money. Add him to the list with George Lopez of potential awkward AT&T Pro-Am partners. Assuming either gets invited after this.

The reason people are still continually focused on this Tiger Woods business is that it's an act of betrayal, that there was a hoax perpetrated here.  He was presented as somebody he's not, and people knew it all along.  They knew it all along, but there was money to be made on both sides of it.  There is money hopefully still to be made, so they're trying to repair it so that it can remain what it was.  But I think the genie's out of the bottle on this now.  And where you find a hoax, what do you always have to have to perpetrate it?  You have to have a compliant media, be it a global warming hoax, be it a financial crisis hoax, you have to have a compliant media going along with it.  And the media in the Tiger Woods thing was also a beneficiary.  I mean television ratings, golf tournaments in which he played skyrocketed.  And they wanted access to him.  A lot of sports media, just groupies that have a computer keyboard or camera and microphone, just groupies.  They want access, want to hang around. 

Naturally, Rush then went on to suggest Barack Obama is a product of a similar hoax and cut out of the same cloth as Tiger.

Sal Johnson of Golfobserver, analyzed the golf media's coverage and linked back to all of the sites he writes about except the one he says has done the "best job," GeoffShackelford.com. He writes of yours truly:

He has helped this story accelerate more in golf than any other site and has been the place to go for every seedy story. He has put up every story about this saga, no matter what the fluidity or accuracy of the story is. He has done more in promoting the TMZ's and the Radaronline than anyone else. As most news organizations have shunned the News of the World story and the summaries on Huffington Post or the Daily Beast, Shackelford has prominently posted these sites and stories, which have helped fuel mainstream writers to source this material.

Of course, the "seedy" News of the World story he refers to featured information matching a story from the Daily Mail, which I read after finding it at...GolfObserver.  Johnson linked it this way Friday night:

December 5, 2009 9:34 pm - MailOnline
Be forewarned that this could be one of the worst stories in the Tiger Woods saga, an affair with an $8-an-hour diner waitress in Orlando that caused a cover-up that put Woods image on the cover of Men's Fitness. Be forewarned it's graphic in nature. -

An eleventh woman was linked to Tiger today. One more and as comedian Chelsea Handler said, we could have a calendar.

Thanks to reader Tim for Dana Summers' editorial cartoon in the Orlando Sentinel:

And what would a day be without yet more reenactment videos. Warning, Tiger is shirtless and photographing his genitals. Now those are words I never thought I'd type.



 

Tuesday
Dec082009

Stevie: I knew nothing!

Very odd of Stevie Williams to issue a statement, and one denying knowledge of anything in "reports"?

From the New Zealand Herald:

"I do not have any personal knowledge of anything in the reports related to the Tiger Woods' stories. Kirsty and I give our heartfelt wishes to Tiger, Elin, Sam and Charlie and hope this gets put to rest soon," he said, referring to his own wife and Woods' immediate family.

Tuesday
Dec082009

Gatorade Drops "Tiger Focus," Not Tied To Recent Events**

Darren Rovell reports:

Gatorade officials provided a statement to CNBC which says: “We decided several months ago to discontinue Gatorade Tiger Focus along with some other products to make room for our planned series of innovative products in 2010.”

The media will pounce on this but I believe Gatorade on this one for the simple reason that as early as a year ago Tiger's drink started appearing at 99 cent stores (where discontinued products go to die). Lately, the "Focus" drink has been stockpiled in massive quantities. Yes, I shop there, so spare me the jokes. Don't knock it until you've tried it, especially the Awesome laundry detergent.

Now, where this leaves a deal once reported to be worth $100 million is another story altogether.

Tuesday
Dec082009

"It was like watching a four-month long black-and-white movie."

Another classic from Dan Jenkins, this time trying to figure out the worst year ever for major winners. I won't spoil his choice, but this was beautiful:

Although 1985 loomed large, it was soon challenged by 1987. Here was a year that gave us Larry Mize, Scott Simpson, Nick Faldo and Larry Nelson.

It was like watching a four-month long black-and-white movie.

Tuesday
Dec082009

Late Night Roundup...Jokes Flowing At Tiger's Expense

It can't be good for Tiger when Tom Hanks is lending his presence to David Letterman's top 10 list on how Tiger can rehab his image.



Of his nine minute monologue, George Lopez devotes nine minutes to Tiger.



And as if the above weren't bad enough, Lopez has Kato Kaelin chime in on Tiger's women and 15-minutes of fame.



Tuesday
Dec082009

Tiger Accident Clippings, What Now? Edition**

You wake and just when it seems like things could not get any more bizarre it seems several online sites posted a slew of items overnight. As feared, we've moved from the revelations of girlfriends to the sale of revealing photos phase in the saga.

NBC affiliate WESH reports (with video) on the woman who reportedly was rushed to Health Central from Tiger's address:

The wife of Tiger Woods was seen leaving Health Central Hospital on Tuesday morning after a rescue call to the couple's Isleworth mansion.

Dispatchers received a call from the home at 2:36 a.m. A radio log showed a woman was transported to Health Central Hospital in Ocoee. The log also showed the patient initially refused transport, but was later listed as an advanced life support patient.

Several celebrity news Web sites reported that the mother of Tiger Woods' wife, Elin Nordegren, had arrived in Central Florida on Monday. It is not known if she was the patient.

AP confirms the 911 call came from Tiger's home.

They also are reporting that Tiger was admitted as an "OD" or overdose patient, which only adds more to the mysterious denial of a subpoena for blood test results.

And he will not be attending Bryon Bell's wedding.

Tim Finchem's worst nightmare: reports of Playgirl in negotiations to acquire nude photos of Tiger. Hard to believe Tiger would allow that, but then again he also left a voicemail identifying himself and he did like Ambien.

Reed Albergotti attempts to figure out what role Mark Steinberg is playing in this and can only conclude:

He has sent several emails to individual media outlets. He hired Mark NeJame, the most prominent criminal-defense attorney in the Orlando area, to handle Mr. Woods's defense, which has resulted in a $164 ticket. The only direct communication from Mr. Woods has come in the form of two statements posted on his Web site.

Steinberg does make a new TMZ acquired log of the FHP investigation, calling to reschedule an interview on November 28 at 2:45 p.m.

And Eugene Robinson in the Washington Post draws some pretty bold conclusions from Tiger's behavior, but also notes this about the legs this story has:

I'm beginning to fear, actually, that the unfolding may never end. If you're the richest, most famous athlete on the planet, and you have an eye for cocktail waitresses and nightclub hostesses, the opportunities to cheat are probably limited only by the number of hours in the day. It's becoming clear why Woods's initial mea culpa was worded vaguely to cover any and all "transgressions." Wouldn't want to leave anybody out.