Wednesday, December 16, 2009

638 Athlete of the Decade

638 Athlete of the Decade

You have to think there are two Tiger Woodses. The Good Tiger and the Bad Tiger.

The Good Tiger just got a splendid, if meaningless award from the sports writers who serve and who are served by the Associated Press. He is "Athlete of the Decade." The Bad Tiger probably is due for the same award in a different sport. But there probably is no voting for that one.

There's no question Woods is the greatest golfer of our time, and close to the greatest of all time. His stats on the course are incomparable, his performance filled with grace, good humor, and big bucks. Some say he yells at the on-course entourage when in his way. But any golf pro and most amateurs do that, too. Not yelling at a guy whose shadow is in your path getting out of a sand trap is like an NFL tackle not tackling someone. It's part of the game.

The other sport is costing him. Two endorsements have been withdrawn and more may be. His wife is livid and ready to leave. His kids probably keep away from him. The sport of greens and cups and slices and woods and irons and sand traps and fairways may translate to the sport of bottle blonds and, um, cups and slices and sand traps. But the entourage is smaller, the screaming louder and the endorsement deals lacking. So far.

But this is, after all, America. Careers can be saved, new endorsements gained.

Tiger's agents may already be working on new deals. Contacting people like Simmons or Sealy or some hotel chain or condom maker. Or he can write a book, "My Life as Athlete of the Decade in Two Sports."

Or we can look at Tiger as we look at Bill Clinton. Energy and skill is energy and skill. An attractive, rich, famous guy in any field is likely to continue being attractive, rich, famous and energetic off the course -- or the presidency -- off the field as much as on the field.


--The Boeing 787 is made out of stuff that no plane has previously made of. They call it carbon fiber. That's sort of plastic and sort of not, but the thing got off the ground, eventually and had a successful test, now -- does anyone really want to buy it and does anyone really want to fly in it?

--"Law & Order SVU" went after the right wing hate mongers this week. And the right wing hate mongers' replies ranged from non-existent to "producer Dick Wolf is evil and the writers want to put their own words in the mouths of the characters." So, the question is do people who watch the show listen to the hate mongers and vice versa?"

--"SVU" proves conclusively that Ice T can act, which is good because it means he'll continue to make a decent living, if only from re-runs. But his pioneering efforts in Gangsta rap are so 1980s and probably are a thing of the past.

I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you're welcome to them.®
©WJR 2009

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