Just got back from CNN and they were reporting on poor ol' Tiger Woods. According to the easily duped news channel, Tiger just wants to golf and to have his privacy. Some horrible fan posted a video of his son swinging a golf club and it sent Tiger into a tizzy.
"I Don't Like Fame"
That statement is the anchor of the article and it chafes me like no other quote. Let's stop there and agree not to talk about Tiger's Kids right now. Let's talk about Tiger.
For the few that are uninitiated, Tiger Woods became famous at 2 on the Mike Douglas Show.
At 5, he was sitting on Fran Tarkenton's lap as his Dad was promoting him on That's Incredible.
Again, if you, Tiger Woods, are mad about Fame, be mad at your Dad, don't be mad at some overzealous fan today. Since your Dad paraded you around to multiple TV shows, probably for cash, making you golf's version of Michael Jackson.....
You know what? We're not even going to dwell on poor ol' dead Earl. We are going to focus on Tiger.
In 1995, Tiger Woods defended his U.S. Amateur Title and a year later he would win an NCAA Individual Golf Title while at Stanford. Tiger would go pro at the tender age of twenty and quickly signed endorsement deals with Titleist and Nike. He dominated Golf like no male since Jack Nicklaus or Arnold Palmer.
In 2009, Michael Jordan became the first Billionaire Athlete.
In 2009, Tiger Woods became the first Billionaire Sportsman.
Also, late in 2009, Tiger's World came tumbling down.
Long story short, what Tiger Woods wants from life is the dichotomy between money and privacy.
Here's how sports work in America. When you're a kid, you go outside and play your favorite sport for fun. After a few years of fun, things get a bit more serious in travel leagues, then high school, and so on. Once you turn pro, the business model changes. People PAY to watch you participate in sports, (or in Tiger's case, Rec Activities.)
When Tiger had his little "incident" during the Thanksgiving Break of 2009, he could have flat out walked away from golf. He was embarrassed that his marriage was unraveling in public view and struggled to maintain his privacy. But Tiger also lost millions of dollars in endorsement deals because he was selling the public an image of himself that no longer proved to be true.
Tiger liked cashing big fat checks from Multinational Corporations that wanted to tie themselves into the "Tiger Brand." Tiger could have been just a golfer, but he wanted to sell the public the whole package. Then when things went sideways, he begged for privacy.
Listen, I know it's hard to disappear when you're a billionaire, but let me hit the crux of my point. You can mostly disappear from the public eye if you want. Tiger could have stopped playing golf and simply retired. Tiger could have stopped doing commercials.
But he didn't. What people like Tiger Woods want to do is to be able to keep their privacy while dictating their image. People who watch golf partially pay Woods' salary. If there were no fans, there wouldn't be million dollar pay days. If he didn't win a ton of tournaments, he wouldn't be in such high demand for commercials. You are selling your privacy for cash. In Tiger's case, piles and piles of cash.
You are arguing that Tiger should be able to make a billion dollars without public scrutiny? Okay, if he invented a magical golf club that always struck the golf ball spot on, I'd listen to that argument. In our hypothetical example, he would be selling a club that every golfer in the world would be dying to own. Tiger would be selling an inanimate object.
Tiger Woods the Billionaire Golfer is selling himself. In this specific case, you can't sell Tiger, then say don't pay attention to Tiger.
What Tiger wants:
1. To plow skanks in anonymity.
2. Make a Billion Dollars.
3. Be left alone.
4. Golf. (On his own timetable.)
How many American Men want what Tiger wants?