When is much too much still not enough?
In the continuing case of the media vs. common sense, as per the latest Tiger Woods episode, the media have widened a chasm the public can’t bridge. The long-ago vanquished honesty in addressing Woods has only confirmed that the media’s disregard for conspicuous truths continue to cultivate the public’s rotten faith.
If we read or hear one more time that Woods, following at least his third rotten-driving escapade, is “lucky to be alive,” I’m going to retch. Woods’ good fortune instead again lies in the fact he hasn’t killed anyone, including himself.
Lucky? At least twice while driving after taking prescription drugs, he was lucky to have not committed vehicular homicide — in 2009 and 2017.
His 2009 physical hassle with his ex-wife after her discovery of his infidelity culminated with a car “accident” after he’d ingested the strong prescription sedative Ambien. Yet he escaped a DUI charge.
This time, despite official reports that he was speeding as he crossed the center median, leaving no skid marks to indicate that he applied his brakes, then rolled up an embankment, has already been determined “an accident,” the media again portrayed Woods an innocent victim of fate to which he claimed no memory.
The truth, thus far, is that he crashed his vehicle. A civil court judge once explained to me the difference between a crash and an accident. Big difference. The preliminary evidence shows it wasn’t an accident, as caused by unlucky fate as the New York Times reported, but this was the result of his flagrantly reckless driving — even if no drugs were involved this time.
Facts have rarely been applied to Woods. As the media-anointed world’s greatest human — it was never enough that he was the world’s greatest golfer — he’s entitled to be bathed in unconditional glory, heroism and sympathy.
Has anyone’s serious transgressions been indulged or ignored as much as his? In 2017, when loaded on prescription painkillers and found by police in his car, semiconscious on the wrong side of the road, he was a sympathetic media figure despite pleading guilty to reckless driving. His bad back excused him.
And so, with his finest-husband label removed, he returned to being the finest son, father and human atop life’s leaderboard, a fiction known to viewers and readers as it was mass-produced by pandering, gushing, and intentionally blind media.
His far flung, expensive amateur career — no agents allowed by rules — was an obvious loop-holed, unsavory business deal, as his father was paid as an IMG “Talent Scout,” scouting only his son until he turned pro then immediately delivered to IMG. Two days later he was in commercials for Nike. Obviously, the contract was already done.
Though he’d previously insisted that he not be considered “a black golfer,” in his first Nike ad he portrayed himself as a victim of racism, claiming there are courses he’s not allowed to play. Which ones? He didn’t name any. He was the most privileged amateur in golf history.
In 1997 Woods jetted off to play a small tournament in Thailand, an act the media celebrated as paying honor to his Thai mother. The $480,000 appearance fee he commanded? Why ruin a sweet story with significant facts?
When other pros threw foul-mouthed fits on the course, TV’s commentators made shame-shame. When Woods did the same, which was often, it was either ignored or his devotion to perfection was cited as an excuse, something to admire.
He was frequently treated by Dr. Anthony Galea, flown to Woods’ Florida home from Canada, until Dr. Galea was busted for importing mislabeled drugs despite no license to practice in the U.S. Huge story, no? No. That, too, was given the media silent treatment. TV returned to abandoning coverage of majors to show Tiger departing the parking lot.
TV’s golf hosts — CBS’s Jim Nantz and Nick Faldo, and NBC’s Dan Hicks — didn’t even hint at his self-destructive excessive entitlement. They stuck to the lie that he’s a superior soul, so much so that only his bad shots were altered by a sudden wind. And a few years ago he “matured” to become an even better person!
Sunday, appearing in a remote with Nantz on CBS, Woods looked drawn, his eyes baggy. A clue? I’ve no idea.
But this time, like when he was found in a drug stupor on the wrong side of a highway, there is no Team Tiger to blame Charles Barkley and other stars as enablers for his 2009 philandering misadventures in Vegas.
Nevertheless, already the dishonest cover stories have replaced logical honesty, as if anyone is doing Tiger Woods a favor by delivering nonsense to us, as if we don’t already know better and for years.
Yeah, a “driving accident.” He had nothing to do with it.
And why are his media-declared comebacks from self-destruction framed as heroic? Unlike most who veer off the road at high speed for no good reason, he has been given three strikes while others are issued one and they — and/or their victims — are out.
I hope he grows better, especially stronger of thought, as in consequences. But the very notion that he may never play competitive golf again was caused by cruel fate, an “accident,” is both predictable and preposterous.
Rare sightings of good basketball sneak onto court
Hoops: Patient fans of genuine basketball were treated to two throwbacks, Sunday.
1) As seen on MSG, the Knicks beat the Timberwolves, 103-99, despite taking just 18 3-pointers to Minnesota’s 35 — proof that NBA teams can win playing good, few-gimmicks basketball.
2) On CBS, a kid in the Michigan State-Ohio State game hit a jumper from about 12 feet, just in front of the foul line. In the NBA, such a fundamentally successful shot has become rare. To reach “the next level” the kid needs to step back about 12 feet.
Diagnosis: Doc tribute is spot on
Hockey: NBC’s hour-long Sunday tribute to Doc Emrick, captured his unforced ability to embrace TV and radio audiences and to allow him to thank those who nurtured him. A more humble, grateful broadcasting superstar can only be equaled, never surpassed.
The Rangers’ MSG team of Sam Rosen and Joe Micheletti may be left to explain how a team that led the NHL in “good jobs,” “good efforts” and “good saves” failed to make the playoffs.
In Las Vegas, where sportsbooks know professional sports touts to be perversely comical cons aimed at the most vulnerable — if anyone could pick winners, they wouldn’t tell you for any amount of money — the NHL’s Vegas team has announced a partnership with a Mexico-based tout service, seriously, apparently with Gary Bettman’s approval.
By the way, WFAN this week sandwiched sports gambling sucker-betting ads with one on how to improve your credit rating.