Rick Reilly has some advice for Tiger Woods. Grow up.
The ESPN columnist wrote a short article for ESPN.com and aired a companion piece on SportsCenter bemoaning the actions of Woods and warning all superstars of the "digital posse."
The "digital posse" is a phrase Reilly uses to refer to tabloid media outlets such as TMZ or the National Inquirer. Reilly no doubt feels a level of superiority with respect to these print first, ask questions last media channels.
Reilly chastises Woods for believing he was capable of getting away with certain transgressions. He seems as offended by the minor issues of club throwing and swearing as he is the more major "transgressions" Woods cryptically eluded to on his website.
Reilly also invokes the memory of Woods' father claiming that the late Earl Woods would have scolded Tiger for this alleged behavior. And finally, Reilly glibly speculates on the possibility of Woods' wife leaving him before any of his corporate sponsors do.
Reilly has taken on two roles in this particular story; media watchdog and Tiger Woods'surrogate father.
Reilly believes he knows what's best for a grown man who has become one of the most successful athletes of all time.
"At 33 Tiger Woods really did need to grow up," Reilly opined on SportsCenter. "It's a shame he has to do it now in front of the whole world."
In this segment—capping sentence, Reilly deftly shames the athlete and the media at once. The athlete, whom Reilly has spent the last decade covering, and the media of which Reilly doesn't realize he is still a member.
When Reilly bemoans the presence of the "digital posse", he uses images owned by TMZ of Woods' traffic accident without irony. He refers to the current state of celebrity media in America as a world of "instant convictions", while speculating on the personal family life of a man who has not admitted to anything beyond a "transgression".
Reilly seems proud of his "digital posse" phrase, yet doesn't want to admit membership in the posse. Even though he is speculating on a story that has not passed the realm of alleged, and he's doing so simultaneously on two media platforms, Reilly still believes he's above the fray.
Rick Reilly has already judged Tiger Woods so we don't have to.
Before the digital ink was dry on Tiger Woods' website, Reilly was already wagging his digital finger. Reilly has replaced the torch and pitchfork with blog entries and voice—overs. He might not know it, but he may be the leader of his own posse.