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Tiger's Effect on a Fan

Introducing Pro Caddy and Brand New Blogger Mark Huber

Posted Jan 11, 2011 by Mark's Kaddy Korner

tiger fan

First of all, I’m a golf fan, not just a Tiger fan. I’ve admired the game for a long time, especially the players’ character at the highest level. The PGA Tour doesn’t have an extensive criminal dossier for its members like the NFL or the NBA. The PGA Tour advertises with the high end of society; Rolex, Accenture, Tag Heuer, Cadillac, etc. are all after the upper class dollar, and to have a squeaky clean, racially mixed, photogenic spokesman has filled their advertising needs, not to mention the PGA Tour’s vaults and Tiger’s pockets.

Was there some sort of corporate cover up through all these transgressions? Major League Baseball allowed steroids to flourish while the clubs reached new attendance records. Did someone strong-arm the media, covering up Tiger’s huge blemish, so they could fill the coffers? Tiger’s superior golf wasn’t the only gate attraction. His drawing power was designed in corporate offices and choreographed along the way. His squeaky clean image, inseparable family man persona, and disciplined moral background were all part of Tiger Woods, Inc. This is a very difficult punch to take; I’m still reeling from the steroid knockout a few years back.

In our day and age it’s amazing the paparazzi didn’t uncover Tiger’s infidelities until now. Years ago our superstars were immune from such censor, and could sneak around behind everyone’s back, taking care of Maslow’s bottom rung in his hierarchy of needs. Mantle and the boys weren’t hitting the weight room after hours; they were hitting on someone else. We all celebrated Joe “Willie” Namath’s sexploits, Arnold was admired because of his sex appeal on and off the course, and Jordan got away with sheer decadence.

We were taken advantage of folks. I really hate to admit it but we have all been duped. And the reason, like so many other things in our society, is corporate greed. We followed Tiger first because of his golf, then sucked into his image, and if we could afford it bought the wares he was peddling. None of us were allowed beyond his corporate image, but we were led to believe all our kids should grow up like Tiger. The PGA Tour, Tim Finchem, corporate America, and greed have taken another large bite out of our behinds. They thrived and flourished off damaged goods just like MLB did during the steroid era. If they had only promoted his golf and not his character all would have been fine.

Sports fans can handle the truth but we don’t like being misled. We can watch Tiger utter expletives during competition and laugh about it because he’s human. Please don’t advertise a Picasso when there’s a kindergarten finger painting beneath the canvas. We enjoy wallowing in each other’s frailties and apparently “The Chosen One” (his father’s choice) has a moral weakness, we all do. Hiding these character flaws to make a buck, promote a product, or boost attendance is a frigid slap in the face.

Tiger’s indiscretions are personal family issues. Misrepresenting a sports figure for commercial purposes seems immoral to me, but that’s assuming folks in the corporate world knew what was going on in the back of Tiger’s Escalade. Major corporations attach themselves, but also create the legends they want representing their product. From now on let us create our own heroes.

I feel like I’ve been misled and I definitely owe Phil an apology. All these years I’ve been in Tiger’s corner, hopefully a couple of youngsters will come along to fill the other two corners of the ring. Anthony, Ricky, and whoever else is out there, please just be who you say you are. We’ll accept you unconditionally as long as you tell us the truth.

This whole circus has raised sincere doubt in my mind. Maybe none of our sports heroes, commercial spokespersons, media hosts, politicians, or movie stars are who we think they are. Maybe we should look for true people/heroes in our everyday life, our schools, our fire and police departments, our neighbors, our Armed Forces, and our families. Hitching up with sports stars seems a bit precarious these days, I think I’ll look closer to home.

- Mark Huber

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