A Fawn in the (Tiger) Woods

Lenny KosteckiCorrespondent IApril 8, 2009

ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 28:  A Tiger Woods fan at the 16th hole during the third round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by Mastercard at the Bay Hill Club and Lodge on March 28, 2009 in Orlando, Florida  (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

I have a curious relationship with Tiger Woods. Well, if you can call it a relationship. I know he exists; he has no idea I do. As one-sided as it may be, it is what it is.

Before I blindside Tiger with an opinion that will resonate with the intensity of a gnat circling the hindquarters of a cape buffalo, let me say I’m not a big fan of the media. Ironic, I know, with me using the very devil to preach. 

The only thing I detest more than the media itself is their propensity to fawn. You know what I’m talking about, the constant stroking via coverage provided with soft hands and hushed voices. The wide-eyed, mouth-agape, gee-whiz microphone jockeys.

Whether movie stars, athletes, or those beyond any cohesive relevance (hello, Paris), the fawning is sickening. And let me tell ya, Tiger is stroked more than a freshly washed teddy bear.

Tune in to any golf tournament blessed with his golf bag, and pretty much that’s all you’ll see that round. All Tiger, all the time. Even when he’s not playing, you’re sure to see replays of when he was. Any other coverage is just a bookmark until the chapter is once again titled: Tiger!

I think there’s a commandment of some sort within golf broadcasting that involves “Thou shalt not not covet Tiger.” It’s embroidered and framed in the production trailer lest anyone forget.

Now before you throw your striped head covers at me, let me say I respect Tiger in a way only another golfer can. I know how hard it is to do what he does in the conditions he does it. I respect it immensely. 

And I realize he has no control over the media and how it brings him into our living rooms. But dang it, I just can’t stomach all the fawning, no matter how dominant he is, no matter how many records he holds, no matter how beautiful his wife is. Yum, by the way; maybe if she got the coverage...

No, my dislike for Tiger has nothing to do with Tiger himself and everything to do with the likes of The Golf Channel, ESPN, and CBS.

The fact that I root against him is really me paying homage to him. I always root for the underdog. Can you point to any recent instance where Tiger’s opponent wasn’t listed as an underdog?

And yes, I realize he’s a ratings bonanza, which equates into TV dollars stacked higher than Johnny Miller hate mail. His recent absence from the tour brought that home like a hot rivet in the britches. I understand all this, but it just doesn’t temper my dislike for the situation.

I’d even venture to guess Mr. Woods himself grows extremely tired of it.

Really, I don’t know what can be done outside of Tiger retiring to a golf community on the outskirts of old Stalingrad. I realize he deserves every accolade he receives. I realize the media is playing his popularity like a fiddle, with the PGA Tour in the orchestra pit. I get it.

It’s all rather confusing for me. I enjoy watching Tiger play, but not so dang much. And I really can’t blame the media for riding the stream of money Tiger oozes, but I hate them for it. It’s a quandary wrapped in an enigma.

And here comes The Masters and a healthy Tiger. Talk about bittersweet.