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It’s interesting watching the YouTube 7 part series of Tiger Woods when he did an interview with Oprah in 2001. Recently, it has been noted that the Oprah Show (along with many other media outlets) are attempting to get Tiger on their show to discuss the recent events in his life, and probably shed a few tears to help improve his image/ratings.

As I watch these videos…certain things he is saying really stand out. Watch for my commentary beneath each video.

Video #1

First off…it is noted here how good of friends Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley are. In fact, it is being reported both of them have been trying to reach Tiger to help…but are unable to at this time. Tiger has changed his phone number. I am willing to group Michael and Charles into a group known as “Enablers” simply because their behavior, I assume, matched that of Tiger. As we know, both Michael and Charles have also made many mistakes in their lifes, including infidelities, etc… Though Tiger is to blame for the recent events…it doesn’t help associating yourself with people that may promote or enable you to openly continue negative overtones in your life (such as infidelity). Drug users and alcoholics face this daily, it should be no different with relationship cheating. I love the quote from Oprah, “Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley took Tiger under their “protective” wings.

Video #2

“Sir” Charles Barkley goes on to say at the end of his segment how he didn’t say everything because of the “PG” rating of the show. How true does that statement from Charles sound today. Granted, this was in 2001, so Tiger’s “personal life” behavior may have changed over the years.

Charles apparently advised Tiger to NOT getting married until he was 30. Another statement that seems to have rung true. Apparently Charles also would call Tiger before every tournament. Maybe that still holds true throughout even 2009. However it sounds like Tiger’s phone is not ringing for Charles since he changed his number.

Tiger mentions how he looks up to Charles and Michael because in the sports entertainment business, “they have been through it all”, so he appreciates their advice. Maybe he was listening “too” good or not listening good enough…depends on which way their advice went.

Video #3

His message here is kind of ominous. He talks about how as a child, he wanted to grow up and take down the greats, which he has successfully done his entire career. How ironic he is now being taken down himself…but for his personal behavior, not what he does on the golf course.

Video #4

Nothing to report in this video, just watch it.

Video #5

Tiger goes on to say “If I can say, on December 31st, that I am a better player versus where I was on January 1st, for the rest of my life…I’d be a pretty good player”.

Couple things. Tiger’s golf future, at this moment, is an unknown given he is taking an indefinite leave from golf. As a “player”, I would say 2009 was a good year for him. As a “playa” (slang), I would say 2009 was a very very bad year.

Newsweek apparently posted a quote that says “If you want to know what its like to face someone like Tiger, punch yourself in the face..because dominators don’t just beat you, they make you beat you”. Under the assumptions of recent news reports since Tiger’s accident..sounds like the quote should say “if you want to know what its like to face someone like Elin…”

Video #6

This video starts off with a “bang” of a comment…directly about how he takes his responsibility as a role model on and off the course very seriously… talking about how when he was a kid he looked up to particular people. Again, ironic as he will have to deal with that very issue of people “looking up to him” given recent ethical/moral dilemmas he continues to face in his personal life, which unfortunately has been made VERY public.

Hearing the children talk about how much he not only conquers golf, but everything his in life is strange to hear looking back.

Video #7

Nothing to comment about, just watch.

Final Thoughts

My comments above are not to be critical of Tiger Woods given his recent personal life events, but to provide commentary based around statements made in the video in 2001, statements that when looking back just seem to be ironic or even false. I think its fair to say throughout his years on the tour, children especially (even myself back in the late 90’s up to the present) including adults have been mystified by his approach at golf, but what appeared to be his approach to life. He was bigger then golf…bigger than life because the stars were aligned, and our main complaints of him may have been his verbal lashings we would hear on the course, throwing a few clubs, and minor things.

Even with the latest revelations about Tiger, I still watch that video as if I watched it in 2001, just that I have today as a context to compare it with…but I admit he still amazes me how he approaches questions, how he approaches the game of golf..and “if” he comes back, I do think he can pick up where he left off, from a golf standpoint. I still think he will continue to amaze and mystify us, it just won’t be 100% or like it was because he has now shown us that he truly is human and extremely flawed.

My biggest concern right now is whether he is mentally doing “ok” and even if he returns to golf…how will the mental scars he has experienced with a possible divorce and child custody affect his play. Golf is 90% mental, 10% physical.

One thing is for sure…”if” he comes back…his relationship with the media will be extremely short..if at all. In his years on the tour and as a celebrity…he has made A LOT of people a A LOT of money, notoriety, and honestly he has basically been thrown under the bus by A LOT of people including some of his endorsements, who I am VERY certain were well aware of his off the course behavior. Hypocritical? I think so.

What are your thoughts?

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