Friday, April 9, 2010

On Tiger: A Few Quick Thoughts

1. Yeah, I didn't really understand the commercial, either (New Nike tagline: "Tiger Knows Dead People.") The question that Tiger's "father" seemed to be "posing" was about probing for explanations, about promoting discussion, whereas everything Tiger has done in the wake of this scandal has been engineered to shut down the dialogue. This is the another reason why it makes no sense as anything other than a skeevy ploy to somehow misdirect the discussion.

2. Here is the second reason why it makes no sense: The day before the commercial was released, the chairman of Augusta National, Billy Payne, launched a searing moralistic tirade against Tiger's actions. That is to say: The leader of perhaps the nation's second-most exclusionary, misogynistic and potentially racist organization sat in moral judgment of the world's most famous Cablinasian. If Nike had sat on the commercial, this would have been the story, and Tiger would have come off as Job-like. Instead, we were left to debate an advertisement that elicited patrimony in order to entice us into buying shoddy apparel constructed by Chinese schoolchildren.

3. I covered a few Masters back in the decade before the previous decade, and while the galleries were largely male, the ratio of males to females in Tiger's gallery, at least in the camera shots I saw, seemed especially striking. This is not exactly surprising--I once spoke to a woman who worked her entire life at a restaurant directly across the street but had never actually found a way inside; it's not like Betty Friedan was on the guest list--but it does seem like Tiger's welcoming reception at Augusta has as much to do with the demographics and nature of the Masters as anything else. I expect at the U.S. Open, or for that matter the Greater Greensboro Open, the reception could be far different. Though the results may not be.

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