Tiger Woods Won't Take Questions -- But We'll Be Watching Anyway
No problem. I only have two small ones: Have you played any golf lately -- and when do you think you'll play again, giving TV golf marketers all those big rating points?
One could muse that perhaps golf-only questions would be okay. But his handlers know that a voracious press corps would try to slip in a few ones about his personal life.
But do we really need a press conference? Thanks to the fast-moving digital age, additional information may not be necessary. Woods voyeurs want something else: in-the-flesh responses, complete with facial expressions.
Here's an inquiry that Woods can't answer: What kind of ratings will your press conference get? No one has heard from Woods in some time. Will it be a case of "absence makes the heart grow fonder," or something of a train wreck?
ESPN did a feature on Wednesday about the return of Tiger Woods to the golf course possibly including some unusual audio extras -- heckling. This isn't what the mostly demure and polite golf fans are typically into. But the attention will surely be there - and that means ratings.
Point of reference: The 2009 Masters event posted an average 9.54 million viewers with Woods competing; the 2008 Masters was at 9.71 million with Woods.
We all know what a singular identifiable champion athlete like Tiger Woods, without controversy, has meant to a specific sport. It's what Lance Armstrong has meant to cycling races: significantly increased viewership.
Athletes are trained to control stuff: their training, schedules, diets, and, of course, their brand names. Why would we expect any less when it comes to their press conferences?
There's no question fans want more dramatic answers. There's also a need for more dramatic golfing from perhaps the best player in the world.