Commentary

Tiger Woods Won't Take Questions -- But We'll Be Watching Anyway

Tiger Woods won't be taking any questions after his live "public statement" on Friday. 

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.

5 comments about "Tiger Woods Won't Take Questions -- But We'll Be Watching Anyway".
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  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, February 18, 2010 at 12:17 p.m.

    Completely gutless, he is. You know the questions he'd have gotten would fall over backwards being respectful, yet he hides behind his PR firm.

  2. Jackie Fishman from BCBSA, February 18, 2010 at 12:23 p.m.

    Per your point about athletes controlling stuff... that is exactly the problem. He controls the wrong stuff. If he really had control this situation would not exist to begin with.

  3. Dennis Fitch, February 18, 2010 at 2:52 p.m.

    Frankly, I'd love to hear him say something to the effect that he'd obviously been stupid in his personal life and that became fodder for the media mill. However, his personal life remains just that: personal. He should not be mistaken for anybody's priest, minister, rabbi, emam, monk or personal ethician, he is a golfer. From this point on, questions about golf will be answered and questions about his personal life will be ignored.

  4. Marla Goldstein from Around The Bend Media, February 18, 2010 at 8:21 p.m.

    Tiger Woods is a professional golfer. Period end. The only explanation for his behavior owed is to his wife and family. Oh, and to the companies to whom he serves as a product spokesman/endorser. That's all.

    If you're not married to him or not paying him to endorse your product, you really don't have a dog in this hunt. It's all salacious at this point.

    Like my sainted mother used to say, Just because someone asks you a question, don't mean you owe them an answer.

  5. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, February 20, 2010 at 3:42 p.m.

    Tiger Woods broke some of his contracts. He flouted high moral standards. Let's not forget those floosies (nice word for whores who got paid off in cash or cause celebrete) who knew and know he would not leave his wife and children for THEM. This is not a new male-female activity. All said, he didn't brake any public laws not counting his car crashing into a tree. When an advertiser or sport, etc., puts all of its marbles into one big bag, what does it say about that particular advertiser/sport? they've got nothing else? Risky business from the get go.

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