Tiger Woods Circus & Social Disease

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A note to my sponsors

 

 Over 90% of communication is non-verbal.    You hear that little stat thrown out often when people talk about interpersonal human relationships.  Is that number completely accurate?  I don’t know, but I one thing remains certain:  The majority of human communication is established non-verbally.  Such defines the abomination that was Tiger Wood’s presentation and press conference.

  He uttered an obviously carefully written speech by a team of professional speechwriters.  The speech itself was extremely well written.  It hit the right notes, and appealed to the right emotions.  These speeches are written to hit certain psychological points and this speech hit those points.  It appealed to people’s compassion and it appealed to our sense of being humans all too capable of making mistakes.

  One thing was lacking:  Any sort of demeanor that showed he was sincere. He lacked emotion.   It was more like, 

  “Awww, fuck, I gotta do this, because I am in hot water, and my advisors/publicists whom I pay good money for tell me this is the right thing to do.  Sponsors, are you watching this?  Shit, why can’t I just pay someone to read this for me?  Is Steven Seagal available?  He likes making dramatic speeches with no emotion that still trump my delivery….Hey, corporate sponsors, you are watching this, right?”

  Well, I guess Steve Seagal wasn’t available and Tiger was told to do the speech himself. His advisors forgot to give him one pointer: “Hey Tiger, try to come across as sincere and that you really care.”  Or maybe they tried, and this is still what we got.

 Agent Smith from the movie “The Matrix” could have managed to do a better job than this guy.    A soulless robotic speech that became worse with every minute really has stirred up tense reactions, specially from women.

 I suppose most men don’t really care.  They probably have the attitude of “Well, he wanted to bang a lot of chicks.  I’d do it too if I were in his shoes.”  But Tiger’s case is interesting because it resembles another “Scandal” from about 10 years ago, that of President William Jefferson Clinton.

  Intriguingly enough, a lot of women forgave Bill Clinton very quickly.  That’s what’s fascinating about it.  There was this attitude of, “Well, the guy is stressed, and he needed a release.”   In some places, the backlash turned towards Hillary.  Maybe she should have been keeping her man happy.  That’s what makes this comparison amazing. 

 Bill was the President, leader for the free world, fooling around with an intern inserting a cigar in her vagina, and yet most people (without a political agenda) were quick to let it go.  With Tiger, not so much.  One key element separates the two: Likeability.   Clinton comes across as likable, someone you could go to a restaurant and have dinner with as well as a glass of wine. 

 Tiger comes across as a guy who has stick up his ass.  Who knows, he may be a real nice guy to hang with, but his public persona does not convey that, and what’s what matters.  People see the public persona and make a snap judgment.

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  •         Identifying with each character

  Here is where it becomes fascinating: Women watching this identify with either one of two characters, the woman who was cheated on, or the one who was cheated with.  There aren’t any other options.

  In Bill Clinton’s case, women who forgave him identified themelves with either Monica or Hilary.  With Monica, they see it as some super filthy romance novel type of torrid affair in the White House.  Those who identify with Hilary, ultimately, come to see it as a mistake made by a man who is a good guy and means well. 

 In Tiger Wood’s case, it’s different.  Those who identify with the mistresses see it as some guy who just used them for cheap sex and was quick to sell them out.  Those who identify with the wife see it as a cheating guy who has no backbone. He went into hiding for months, then finally came out for a press conference where he took no questions, and will go back to hiding.

 If there is a quality more dislikable than infidelity, it’s cowardice.  It’s a guy who is just looking to save his ass and that’s all he cares about.  Such is the way Tiger Woods comes across to the female population.  They can’t see a redeeming quality from either perspective.  As a result, it induces a lot of anger from women.  No matter what, a percentage of women would have been angered by his actions.  There also would have been some who were understanding and very forgiving, a lot more than there are now.

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 In my estimation, Tiger had two choices: 

  •  Choice 1:  Admit the situation, make a quick apology, and get back on the golf course.  Allow his playing to dazzle people who do care about golf and those who don’t care about golf don’t watch anyway.   This is what Kobe Bryant  did and he was accused of rape.  Even one account of rape is far worse than multiple accounts of consenting adults engaging in extramarital affairs. 

  Truth of the matter is that in one year, no one is going to give a shit.  Really, no one is going to care in one year.  Some people don’t even care now. 

  •   Choice 2: Make a sincere apology, and move on.  This is what he tried to do, but the problem is that he doesn’t have that Bill Clinton “Likable” factor going for him.  By making a lengthy phony apology, he accomplished two things: 
  1. Made the situation into a very big deal
  2. Made himself look worse, by appearing to be a phony person.   

 As for me, I didn’t care about Tiger Woods before his “Transgressions.”  I don’t care about him now.  I don’t particularly like golf, and don’t even consider it a sport.  It’s a skill-game much like bowling.  Hence, I am rather indifferent to golf, Woods, and the entire issue.  Its sociological impact is what I find intriguing. 

 I find the social significance of this a bit alarming.  Considering that we live in a nation that is waging war on two fronts, Afghanistan & Iraq, an economy full of unemployed people, crashed real estate market, and not to mention that recent quake in Haiti has left people without access to so much as a band-aid. 

   Yet, the eyes of the nation are glued to a 30-minutes press conference because some professional golfer cheated on his wife.  Words can’t begin to describe the absurdity of this.  Basically, some dude you don’t know, who has a wife you don’t know, banged a bunch of sluts you don’t know (but perhaps would like to now), and he is apologizing for 20-minutes for something that is essentially between him and his wife. 

 If you think about it, it makes no sense at all.  It’s like, “Hey, I shouted at my grandma last week.  That was not a nice thing to do.  So……. I am going to apologize to Joe the plumber (or other random guy.)”

  There have been football players who have stabbed people, and killed people.  One guy was completely wasted on alcohol while driving and killed another man.  Granted, they’re not as famous as Tiger Woods, but people have done far worse. 

 I am not a spin-doctor but part of me thinks it would have been better if he has made a 5 minute apology a long time ago.  Something like “I fucked up, I admit it.  I am trying to work it out with my wife.  There are bigger problems in the world.  I am going to get back to doing what I do best, which is my profession and my occupation.  Let’s all get back to our lives…” 

 Instead he dragged it on, and now he is going to take a year off from his job, try to hide in the shadows.  No one will care in a year, except when he announces he is coming back, which will make the issue resurface briefly.  (Which is he should get back to golf quickly.)  All in all, it’  pretty silly.