Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Calm Down! Tiger Woods Ain't Going Anywhere
With all this stuff going on about Tiger Woods, you now have talking heads discussing what the damage is to his career. They say he'll never be the Tiger Woods of old and we may start to see his career decline a bit.
I'm not so sure about that.
Yes, he's going to take a hit. He wants to be a private guy and now all his business is out there on Front Street. His first tournament he plays in will be a media circus with not only ESPN and The Golf Channel trailing him, but all those entertainment shows will be there too. He'll be watched like a hawk and every movement will be scrutinized.
That is pressure that no one wants to deal with, it's embarrassing and the shine on his legacy has been tarnished. He won't be the cozy Tiger that could sell us razors, cars, Nike or whatever anymore. He'll lay low on that front ... as will his sponsors. Those endorsement deals? Well they won't be as lucrative. At least for a while.
It will all come back to him eventually.
The two examples that spring to mind make me believe so. The last elite athlete to have something like this happen to him was one Kobe Bryant. The difference there is that Kobe was also being charged with sexual assault and there are still people who believes he got away with it. He admitted his transgressions in front of the world and his wife was there at his side. Needless to say this humbled him like he had never been humbled before.
He did what Tiger will do. He will submerse himself in his sport that the focus and drive will guide him back. The two places where he can be left alone are holed up in his home and out of the golf course. Yeah, there will be some drama on the links, but it isn't like his home is any quieter.
Kobe dealt with boos everywhere he went. He heard the "rapist" chants and every city he and the Lakers went to, that was the big story. He took it and just went out there to be the best player he can be. Less than a decade later, Kobe Bryant is a champion again and regarded as one of the best players to ever play.
The other example ... which isn't really the same ... is Andre Agassi. Now, we didn't know that Agassi was doing meth in the late 1990s and that's what led him to his rapid decline (we all blamed Brooke Shields), but the man -- in an individual sports -- quit his addiction and worked his way back to championship status. Now Agassi had none of the media or fan scrutiny that Kobe faced or that Tiger will. But Agassi is an example of what focus and determination will do for someone.
That's how I feel Tiger's career will go on. His smile won't adorn many posters or magazine ads for a while. The pressure might get to him at the start. But eventually this will all die down and Tiger will work his way back to the top of the sport and back to the top of the sports world. I mean, it's not like he wasn't the top winner last year or anything. This shouldn't take too long.
Brought to you by the Sportz Assassin at 11:30 AM