A Serious Look at Tiger Woods Scandal...Sort Of

Greg RiotAnalyst IDecember 18, 2009

Why Pay Attention to the Tiger Woods Scandal?  Because It’s Important!

All joking aside, the Tiger Wood scandal actually might be the most important single event in sports to happen in maybe this decade.

Sure, in sports a lot of great things, and bad things have happened this past decade, but the Tiger Woods scandal may transcend all of those things.  Why?  Because unlike the steroid scandal in baseball, unlike Michael Jordan’s issues in the 1990’s, Tiger is a single player, a single entity that controlled, and still in a way controls, a lot of money and therefore a lot of jobs.

Lest we forget, Woods, the persona, not the man, accounts for billions upon billions of untold revenue, or, at least, that’s the understanding.  Jordan did the same in the 1990’s, but Jordan played for the Chicago Bulls, an organization that was part of a much larger organization, the NBA. Woods?  Yes, he plays on the PGA Tour, but the man plays for himself. 

Top  Reasons to Pay Attention to the Tiger Woods’ Scandal

To See the Effects on Golf:  Before really looking into this reason to pay attention to the Woods’ scandal, it’s important that we make a clear distinction.

First, all of the stats showing that Tiger brings in marketing dollars to the PGA Tour is correct, but they come from Tiger Woods the persona, the marketing entity, not Tiger Woods the individual.  Tiger Woods the individual was introduced to us on the morning after this past Thanksgiving when the bozo ran his car into his neighbor’s tree.

So, Tiger’s marketing ability now probably doesn’t mean much.  What effects of the Tiger Woods persona, the marketing entity, falling on its ass is what we need to pay attention to.  Folks, let me tell you, it’s not going to be pretty.  Tiger wasn’t just a golfer.  Tiger was golf.

Pre-Thanksgiving Tiger is gone. Golf is hoping that post-Thanksgiving Tiger the man named Mr. Woods, is as popular as Pre-Thanksgiving Tiger.  My bet would be, no he won’t be, so the PGA had better start scrambling because even if Tiger returns in, let’s say February, he might not bring in the dollars he used to after the initial tournament or so.  That, of course, leads to reason #2 to keep paying attention to this scandal.

To See How Golf Adjusts:  Things aren’t going to be pretty.  Everybody knows this, but will the PGA, like Commissioner Finchem asserts, “survive”?  Sure, it will survive.  It’s the PGA, but will it excel?  If Finchem picks up the phone and calls NBA Commissioner David Stern, then, yes, maybe it will. Stern decided to create stars in his league and it’s worked!  The NBA isn’t just Kobe Bryant or LeBron James.  It’s also KG, Steve Nash and Dwight Howard.  Oh, yeah, I forgot about D-Wade. 

Who could Finchem turn to?  Phil Mickelson, obviously, who beat Tiger the last two times the two best players in the world faced each other.  Besides Phil, there’s Rory McIlroy who hit a ball 40 yards as a 2 year old and has a cherub face, Anthony Kim who has a huge following in the Korean community, and the young, sweet looking but pit-bull like Rickie Fowler who just secured his tour card.  There are plenty of “stars” in the waiting for Finchem to create.  Then there’s the Japanese star, 17  year old Rory Ishikawa who outplayed Tiger in the 1st round of the British Open this past year.  There are plenty of stars for Finchem to create.  He just needs to find a way to do it.

To See What Other Sponsors Drop El Tigre:  I have a friend who has worked in the advertising industry for over 10 years.  He just read a story in Adweek stating that Tigers’ popularity has, well, plummeted.  The issue with this is that advertisers can’t afford to keep dumping money into the sinking ship that is Tiger Woods.  What other advertisers will run from Tiger?  Who knows? There’s only one, really, that matters, and that would be Nike.  Nike has a ton invested in El Tigre, obviously, but what will happen if, and Nike is big enough to do this, the swooshers decide to drop him?  Read below to find out.

To See How Awful the U.S. Economy Will Become if More Sponsors Drop Tiger:  When Michael Jordan returned to the NBA, McDonald’s stock skyrocketed.  When Tiger returns the PGA, will the same happen to his sponsors?  I’m not so sure.  The economy is much different now than it was during Jordan’s era.  What’s more likely to happen is that the Tiger scandal will end up costing some folks their jobs.  Why?  Every major corporation in the United States appears hell bent on cutting costs.  Tiger was a marketing behemoth.  He still is in many corporations.  Don’t be fooled.  The Tiger persona demanded an entire “team” of marketers.  Some of those teams may be obliterated all together.  Oh, we won’t hear about it, and those who lose their jobs will have to sign waivers stating that they won’t talk about it, but it’s going to be a fact.

And, yes, stock prices will drop and a lot of people will lose a lot of money on Wall Street too.  Some already have, I’m sure.  As if Tiger didn’t feel guilty enough, right?

To See Who Tiger Ends Up With:  Okay, maybe this isn’t the most important reason to watch the scandal, but before getting to the next reason this has to be addressed.  What’s the best way to repair your image with the public when you’ve been out screwing cocktail waitresses and porn stars?  Find an “anti” to shack up with.  Tiger will return and he will return with a girlfriend whom everybody either knows to be an incredible person, or someone unknown that has a spotless record.

Think about it.  Tiger wins his first tournament back and instead of them asking about the porn stars they ask him, “How’s Jill doing?”  “Oh, she’s doing great.  You know…after reflecting on everything, I believe that I’ve always been in love with her.  I never stopped loving her and I really think that me acting out was a way to try to temper that love.  Now that I am back with my soulmate…I feel complete, you know?  I don’t have to win.  I don’t have to prove anything anymore.”  Jill, by the way, turns out to be Tiger’s girlfriend from Stanford that he felt the need to dump shortly before 1997 because, well, he just couldn’t meld his personal life with his professional life.

To See If the New Girlfriend Ploy Will Work:  The new girlfriend ploy, by the way, is the only way to get the old Tiger persona back.  I should be charging Tiger for even writing this, but, hey, I love golf El Tigre, so the idea is your’s for free, man!

America loves the comeback kid!  The best way for Tiger to do that is to admit that he didn’t just make transgressions, but that he was actually addicted to sex and that it was no laughing matter.  He needs to come up with even more sordid things he did before coming back.  Really, you ask?  Uh..yes!  There’s a thin line between a person that disgusts us and a person we feel sorry for in the United States. 

Think Robert Downey Jr., right?  He was a buffoon and we hated him until we saw him, with our own eyes, stand up in court and say to the judge, “I have a problem, sir.  I am a heroin addict, sir.  Going to jail will not help me.  I am an addict.  I admit it.  I do not justify it”  Blah, blah, blah.  Sure, it was dopey, but it worked!

Here’s another publicity stunt for you, El Tigre.  Yes, this one is free as well!  Stand in front of the judge before the divorce is final and say, “I am giving Erin 65% of what I currently own right now.  65%, sir, because I cannot justify what I did.  Damn the pre-nup!  I deserve this!  (turn to Erin..eyes watering), I am so sorry, Erin!  So, sorry!”  It would really work if Jill, standing next to you, dotted a tear form her eye and patted you on the back.

Paying Attention to Tiger’s Problems is Fun and We Could Use Some Fun:  The economy is in the tank, most of the movies out there suck, the NFL is nearing the end of its season, we can’t really afford to attend that many sporting events right now anyhow, there are meds in the tap water, nobody knows what to do with Afghanistan including our Commander in Chief, the world seemingly is going into a deeper and deeper funk everyday.

Don’t we deserve a break?  The Tiger Woods scandal is a break.  It’s actually fun to read about this crap and comment on it and converse about it.  If it wasn’t fun, then nobody would be doing it.  But here we are.

Don’t be so self-righteous, people.  Larry David, the Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm creator, would probably agree with me…having fun at someone else’s expense is okay at times.

At least you’re making us laugh, Tiger!  Take comfort in that if you can.