Tiger Woods is a weird cat.
I’m pretty sure we sports fans have come to terms with this already but his latest off-road incident, and subsequent hospitalization, only further proves my theory.
Nine years ago, an Emmy-award documentarian and I came up with the highly, under-appreciated “Out of the Woods Driving School” video. The idea for said video came one Thanksgiving afternoon back in 2009. Tiger Woods had wrecked his car in the wee hours of the morning. (Sound familiar?) Hours had passed and we knew absolutely nothing about the incident. (Just saying there’s a trend here.)
There were no TMZ reports, no police statements, no authorized word from Tiger’s camp. Nothing, not a peep. It turned out, as we discovered later, that Tiger’s wife (now ex-wife) had taken a golf club to his SUV, doing more damage with that club than Tiger had ever done at Augusta. Elin found out that her husband (now ex-husband) had been driving around town on Percocet banging Perkin’s waitresses… or something like that.
In Tiger’s defense, who among us hasn’t pissed off their partner to the point that she would take a tire iron to your windshield, not that I’m speaking from experience. (Seriously, if you haven’t been there, you’re not trying hard enough.)
A dozen years later, Woods has done it again, wrecking his car in the wee hours of the morning. As far as we all know, he’s still being hospitalized. Again, not a peep from inside the chamber, probably because he doesn’t want us to know. The fact that ESPN hasn’t stationed a full-time reporter outside Tiger’s hospital window amazes me.
The mere fact that Tiger, or anyone for that matter, is powerful enough to control the media in this day and age is not only impressive but downright frightening. If you recall, I was recently barred from Twitter for making what I thought was a damn funny Tiger Woods joke. I hinted that David Spade, who had golfed with Woods the day prior to the accident, may have been the one behind the banning but as it turns out it might have been El Tigre who removed my Twitter privileges. Lesson learned: don’t poke the Tiger.
Only yesterday, ESPN and other media outlets released a statement claiming “detectives won’t reveal cause of Tiger’s crash.” What the hell is that all about? I mean, isn’t this stuff public record? Am I the only one who has this visual of Tiger Woods sitting in his hospital bed, godfather-style, handing out cold hard thousands to local authorities? Pay to the order of. Not even Robert Kraft, owner of the Patriots, (net worth: $6.9 billion) had enough coin to cover up the fact that he’d been getting hand jobs from Asian massage parlors. Not even Donald Trump (net worth: $2.9 billion) had enough money to change the fact that half of America despised him. Those guys are wealthy, one would think more so than Woods, yet Woods is somehow, someway covering up, once again, the fact that something was amiss the morning he drove his SUV off a cliff.
If you don’t think that Tiger Woods is one of the most powerful men on this very planet then you, my friend, are disillusioned.
If you watched Showtime’s two-part documentary on the man, you’re aware of his unique upbringing. His obsessive father molded him into the man, and dominant athlete, he became. From Merv Griffin appearances at three to jingling change during his kid’s backswing to banging random strangers in his nearby trailer while his son practiced his putting within earshot, Earl Woods makes Richard Williams and Lavar Ball look like well-adjusted, stay at home dads.
So here we sit, once again, wondering what happened; the mystery of Tiger Woods. We don’t know about his surgeries, only that they were multiple. We don’t know about the car crash, only that there was one. We haven’t seen video one of him rehabbing. We can only assume he is. We don’t know if he’ll ever play golf again. We will only when he wants us to know and not a moment sooner. I mean, we are talking about a man who bought himself a yacht and named it “Privacy.”
Tiger Woods is one of only five professional athletes to reach billionaire status. That’s with a ‘b,’ people. LeBron is also in that top five but not even he can afford to pay Americans to get them to like him. Tiger, on the other hand, has forged a love-to-hate-and-back-to-love relationship with his fans with relative ease… and a hefty bank account designed specifically to influence our opinion of him.
It’s truly uncanny how he controls the media. One would think at least one rogue police officer would leak information about the incident. I suppose their commitment is strong especially when the payout is that much stronger.