Dear sports establishment: STOP CRAMMING TIGER WOODS DOWN OUR THROATS
Masters coverage: Of networks, pundits, kneepads and chapstick.
I watched final round coverage of the Masters today and in case you didn’t hear yet, Jordan Spieth was transcendent.
There was a problem, though. The network obviously focused camera time on the Spieth/Dustin Rose pairing, which is where all the drama was (not that there was much actual drama once they made the turn onto the back 9), and they also showed us most of what Phil Mickelson, who wound up tied with Rose for second, was doing.
So far so good. The remainder of the attention was given to the guy who finished … fourth? No. Fifth? Nope. Sixth? Nuh-uh. No, 99% of the rest of the time the idiots at the unnamed three-letter network were shoving the washed-up has-been who was tied for 17th, 13 fucking shots off the fucking lead, down our throats.
Who am I talking about? This guy. The guy who used to be king of the douchebagging world, the guy who won everything in sight, and who by the way fucked everything he could catch and that was great fun until his wife found out and tried to perform a vasectomy on him with a 9 iron. Since then he’s won dick and there is no reason to expect that will ever change. Tiger is done. Finit. History. Toast. K bye.
I may have missed a shot while I was up grabbing something to drink, but to my recollection the aforementioned network never, at any point, showed us eight of the players who finished ahead of Woods. They only showed us a couple shots from Hideki Matsuyama, who tied for top round of the day.
This ain’t the first time we’ve talked about this little obsession the sports media has with the golf world’s most famous whoremonger, and I’ll be surprised if it’s the last time we have the chance. But I think a lot of us are about fucking over it. Tiger Woods didn’t invent golf, and while he was awesome once upon a time, he’s no longer a thing. There’s a whole new generation of fantastic young golfers playing through – Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, Webb Simpson, Keegan Bradley, and Patrick Reed, to name just a few. Honestly, we’re coming into a golden age of talent the likes of which we probably haven’t seen in 40 years or more, and Tiger Motherfucking Woods is among the least interesting topics of discussion in the sport.
Imagine if this was college football. Once upon a time Army was the best team in the land but nobody wants to see them now.
But the media establishment hasn’t figured this out yet. Instead of cultivating audience interest around these emerging young superstars, they remain wedded to the old narrative that if Tiger isn’t involved, nobody cares. This leads them into coverage that mortgages the future by reinforcing that nobody but Tiger matters. Self-fulfilling prophecy, anyone? I can’t listen to ten seconds of local sports talk when the subject turns this way. It’s about as bad as when the old line American football heads start ‘splainin’ to me how ‘Mericans ain’t never gonna like soccer.
Not that anybody is listening, but I’ll say it anyway: Dear sports punditry – shut the fuck up and stop trying to force-feed us Tiger! We. Do. Not. Care. Anymore.
Golf has the potential to be insanely interesting over the next two decades. If these asswaffles don’t fuck it up, that is.
Hmmmmm. Not sure I agree. (1) A guy who hasn’t finished a tournament in almost two years and who hasn’t played in three months finishes top 20 in a major. That’s a story, whether Tiger or no. (2) The last few tournaments, Tiger has imploded/exploded at some point. That’s plenty of reason to watch. The car wreck syndrome. When Daly plays, the camera follows him, too. (3) Tiger is one of those charismatic characters that people watch. The ratings when he plays are still higher than when he doesn’t. By almost 50%. http://www.sbnation.com/golf/2015/4/13/8400427/tiger-woods-masters-2015-tv-ratings. Ask someone who’s in marketing–that’s a pretty good reason to keep a camera on him.
How good an idea is it to invest heavily in stories that are dying to the exclusion of the stories that will sustain your business in the future? Put another way, how wise is it to sacrifice the long term health of the operation to this quarter’s numbers?
Well, talking about Tiger does get them off talking about Dustin Johnson, who is Tiger without all the majors…