Is Tiger Woods all out ?
Posted on 6:18am Saturday 12th Dec 2009
Since 1998, Tiger Woods has taken over the role of the world’s most popular and recognized athlete. His predecessor in that position, Michael Jordan, also set a high standard for dignity and respect. While Tiger Woods’ excellent play may be comparable to Jordan’s, Woods does not even come close to Jordan when it comes to being a gentleman.
In a recent interview for Golf World magazine, Tiger threatened to leave the PGA tour because of a lack of respect shown to him. Among other things, he was upset that commissioner Tim Finchen does not “ask him how he’s doing.”
Give me a break. This is a man who is making over $40 million this year alone. Is he really so self-conscious that he needs to be asked how he’s doing? I would imagine that he’s doing pretty well. If I was being paid in the tens of millions for hitting a little white ball into a little hole, I would be happy too.
Later in the interview, Woods claimed that he was being cheated out of money because the golfers do not receive any television revenue from the PGA. Tiger is only half right about this point. While he will not receive a set amount from the television companies, part of the large purses available to the winners of golf tournaments are from these large television contracts. So indirectly, Tiger is indeed getting money from the TV deals.
But even without the television companies paying him directly, Woods is doing quite well for himself.
The main issue at hand is that Woods feels that he is bigger than the PGA tour. He says that he could take his game to any country in the world and people would still watch him. What Tiger does not realize is that he is trying to bite the hand that feeds him. While Tigermania has bolstered the success of golf, there was still a large core base of golf fans without him. The PGA tour would survive without Tiger Woods — Tiger Woods might not survive without the PGA tour. He would surely lose a lot of the money coming to him right now. Without Woods beating the likes of David Duval, Phil Mickelson and Davis Love his marketability goes down exponentially. Nike would probably not be interested in their poster child any more. Furthermore, no other tour in the world pays their golfers money even comparable to what he would make playing for the PGA.
More importantly, Tiger Woods is using his position as role model and ambassador the wrong way. Many impoverished, inner-city children have taken up golf to try and emulate their hero. The message that they are getting now is that money is more important than anything else, and you can never get enough greenbacks.
Tiger Woods should take a step back and realize how easy life is for him. He tours the world free of charge and has millions of adoring fans lining up just to get a glimpse of him. He makes more money than the GDP of some small countries. The man should just shut up and play golf. Otherwise, he may start to lose all of his fans.