15th Club, on 15 April 2018 - 06:24 PM, said:
I feel sorry for Patrick Reed, if Tiger Woods becomes his model for interaction with the press. The lying, the evasions, the false controlling. Tiger Woods has had, by far, the most brilliant golf career in a generation, but also by far, the sickest and most dysfunctional relationship with golf writers.
Golf is a game that I love, and golf writers are to a great extent my representatives; my eyes and ears on the game.
George Plimpton once said, "The smaller the ball, the better the writing (in sports)." It was such a wonderful line. So true. I always thought that the game (of golf) was the most interesting and that it lent itself to the best writing rather naturally. In part because golfers were some of the more interesting competitors, often not washed up after 4.25 years in "the League." There were no team dynamics, no players unions, no collective bargaining agreements, no draft picks and no coaches or general managers.
I always thought and expected that golfers and the golfing press would correspond on a higher level than with other sports.
Fantastic post. Tiger Woods was world class ignorant in his approach to the sports media, and it will impact the remainder of his life. He will never be a fraction as beloved and respected as he rightfully should be, if he had merely adopted an open and respectful approach to those old sportwriters, the guys who were late in their career when Tiger came around. Many of them had been on the scene since Hogan and were more than eager to lap up anything Tiger told them and hold it in awe, with positive spin. Those guys aren't looking to twist and condemn, per the laughable cynicism here and that Tiger somehow picked up, perhaps through his paranoid dad. They just want the athlete to make their life and career routine from the press room to the typewriter to the cocktail bar, a la Dan Jenkins, with a handful of direct thoughtful answers and an occasional one-on-one feature.
Once Tiger Woods somehow brainstormed to fear the media and proceed exactly opposite of what I described, famous Miami Herald sports columnist and Georgia native Edwin Pope wrote a lengthy column directed to Tiger, explaining that his media approach was unbelievably sad and misguided, and would accomplish exactly the opposite of intended. I've mentioned that column many times. Tiger was incomparably stupid to not only continue along the same lines but to even accelerate the avoidance.
Consequently, once the off course troubles began Tiger had nothing to fall back on, other than the dependable apologists here and elsewhere among simplistic angry males who likewise fear the media. Tiger became a laughingstock on virtually every forum that doesn't resemble this one. You should see those threads. The people who post in them acquired the impression of Tiger that he allowed, via avoidance of the media and overall pompous attitude. The long warm benefit of a doubt features of an accessible terrific family oriented prodigy did not exist. Nothing to help to deflect. We shouldn't know or care about Tiger's tipping tendencies but no kidding they'll become part of the persona when he gives you nothing else. Then once the troubles begin and the benefit of a doubt backdrop isn't there, naturally the tabloid types like the Guardian will pounce and Tiger is molded into anything the imagination can create. The joke to birdie ratio is lopsided in the wrong direction. And likely never to flip. Self-inflicted buffoonery.
I rooted for Patrick Reed last Sunday, largely because I followed him at Doral years ago during that breakthrough win. But often I checked the gallery in the background last week, specifically for the lukewarm reluctant response. It was glaring. Nantz and Faldo were too timid to describe what was going on. Someone like Johnny Miller would not have been. Reed is respected as a bulldog but otherwise he gives fans little reason to care about him, or root for him other than briefly for patriotic purposes. Make no mistake, the gallery would have preferred Rory, and if a playoff had ensued it would have been avalanche rooting interest for Fowler or Spieth or countless other possibles.
Reed hasn't helped himself with media attitude. But it's like the golf world has handicapped the situation overall and doesn't care for him. I doubt many fans know or care about the cheating claims, etc. It's obvious when you follow Reed on the course that he has few friends out there. I don't see typical interaction and banter on the range or putting green. I'll be attending the Players so it will be interesting to see how it varies this time, and how Reed handles things.
Regarding family avoidance, it generally heals later so you might as well be sharp enough and mature enough to sense the big picture and do it now. I doubt Patrick Reed will figure that out. He seems more like a details guy than a wide scope guy. The world is friendlier to wide scope guys. The details guys can be remarkably stupid. Somehow they convince themselves the details matter.