"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Diamond in the Ruff


It has clearly been a tough week for Tiger Woods. Over at Esquire, Charles Pierce weighs in with his take:

Tiger Woods and I go back a long ways. A little bit over twelve years, truth be told. Back then, I wrote a profile of him just prior to his winning the 1997 Masters, the first major accomplishment of his professional career. Over the course of a day’s worth of interviews, which were themselves the result of negotiations with his People at the International Management Group that were so protracted they should have been moved to Panmunjom, Tiger made some distasteful remarks and told some puerile and sexist jokes. Seeing as how they occurred during my limited interview time, I included them in my story, along with some not-overly-subtle intimations that Tiger had a reputation even among golfers as something of a chaser. The quotes were a Media Thing for a brief time, and the ensuing dust storm looks positively charming compared to what’s certainly coming after the events of this past weekend, which already appears to be something between Al Cowlings on the highway and an episode of The Real Housewives of Gated Communities. Back then, all that happened was that Tiger’s People at the International Management Group accused me of wiretapping a limo driver. (Me and Gordon Liddy!) And that Tiger’s father, Earl, whom I still miss, told Charlie Rose he hoped my story wouldn’t do permanent damage to his son’s career, and that Charlie Rose waved a copy of the magazine and told Earl he intended never to read the story. This is why Earl was an entertaining con man and Charlie Rose is a salon-sniffing Beltway yahoo.

Better still, Esquire has reprinted Pierce’s classic 1997 profile, “The Man. Amen.”

Well worth checking out.


1 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 1, 2009 2:39 pm

I've never read Charles Pierce before, and based on this excerpt, hope I never do again.

2 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 1, 2009 2:47 pm

[1] Agreed.

3 Alex Belth   ~  Dec 1, 2009 2:53 pm

LOL. Pierce is an acquired taste. He's like Tom Wolfe, a real stylist. But I think his take on Tiger is spot-on.

4 Yankee Mama   ~  Dec 1, 2009 3:20 pm

I actually thought Pierce was witty, perhaps cynical, but hey, it makes for good reading.

I like the part where he talks about the plucky wife using a golf club in ways in which it wasn't intended.

(I'd go for the lob wedge myself. But, whatever you do, don't use the 2-iron because Tiger's the only one alive who can hit anything with a 2-iron.) Great line and oh so true.

I also like the image of Tiger's people getting vapors any time there was a potential blemish on his persona.

What I disagree with is his opinion that Tiger's image is forever tarnished. That remains to be seen.

I do agree with Alex that Pierce captured the essence that is Tiger Woods, persona, brand and narrative.

5 Alex Belth   ~  Dec 1, 2009 4:52 pm

4) agreed. If Kobe's rep survived, Tiger shouldn't have an issue. He's just got to keep on winning.

6 OldYanksFan   ~  Dec 1, 2009 5:36 pm

Fom Hangin'Chad at Lohud:
UPDATE, 5:03 p.m.: A few minutes later comes official word from the Yankees: The Yankees announced today they will not offer arbitration to any eligible players (OF Johnny Damon, INF/OF Jerry Hairston Jr., INF/OF Eric Hinske, DH Hideki Matsui, C Jose Molina, OF Xavier Nady and LHP Andy Pettitte).

7 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 1, 2009 6:52 pm

[6] That strategy worked last year, why not expand on it?

8 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Dec 1, 2009 8:40 pm

Cosmic/Karmic justice for Mr. Woods, someone totally lacking a social conscience (look at his corporate sponsors, whether Nike or in Dubai..)
Too bad the media will only focus on his putter and not his far more serious problems (Dave Zirin excepted!)

9 Joseph   ~  Dec 1, 2009 9:34 pm

So this guy says he's Tiger's friend? Yeah, riiiiiiight. Just like the bitch who wrote the hatchet job on ARod said she actually really liked Alex. I can't even remember her name. Boy did she drop off the radar along with sales of that character-assassination tell-all.

Btw, thumbs up to Tiger for telling those nosey cops to take a hike three times. With the crime-infested jungle Florida has become, ya think they'd have something better to do.

10 Joseph   ~  Dec 1, 2009 9:45 pm

Oh yeah, Selena Roberts. I won't use the four letter word that come to mind when I think of her. I bet she was doing fist pumps all the way through the Yankee's playoff run every time Alex got another huge hit.

11 Joseph   ~  Dec 1, 2009 9:48 pm


damn, make that COMES to mind.

12 Will Weiss   ~  Dec 1, 2009 10:44 pm

[3] Dead-on, Alex. Great call. I forgot about the Profile in 1997. It was tremendous and maybe even more poignant now than it was almost 13 years ago. ... I immediately thought of the atmosphere at Westchester when I covered the only time he ever played there in '01, at the tail end of his initial round of dominance. People were oohing and aahing and moaning at his making or missing putts on the practice green.

He blew a tremendous opportunity to be a person here. Or, like in Bulworth, to be a spirit, not a ghost. He's chosen to be a ghost.

13 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 2, 2009 2:10 am

[11] Yeah, you like her...

14 bags   ~  Dec 2, 2009 7:50 am

The latest Woods piece may be mean spirited, or it may be insightful. (I'm guessing the latter.) but either way, that guy can write.

15 RagingTartabull   ~  Dec 2, 2009 9:25 am

a few weeks after the '97 Masters my dad found himself in an elevator in Chicago with just himself and Tiger. My dad asked him for an autograph for "my son whose a huge fan" (I have never been, nor will I ever be, a golf fan)...Tiger looked at my dad and said "absolutely not"

In conclusion...fug him, he's getting what he deserves and I hope it gets worse.

16 The Mick536   ~  Dec 2, 2009 9:47 am

[1] Right there with you. As for Tiger, what a schmuck. In addition to turning off VPR's "Its Only a game," my Tiger watching days are also over. His press conferences were getting quite boring. Everyone who fawned over him must have known he hunted. It is not that men his age shouldn't, but don't do it while you project the image that you don't. Being as I am not that interested in the game, but rather the people who play it, he has lost my fanship. Tell me what happened and then move on. I will use my Gillette scrub, because Jeter and Roger promote it. But I will look at it and the shaving cream differently because of this.

As for the reference to Kobe, I don't think so. You expect it from basketball players, not from golfers, even though they are no less or more human. Lots of people play golf. Not so many, especially ones with money, play basketball. The golfers answer to a higher class of people who will be far more unforgiving.

I hear Chrissie Evert is available. She likes golfers. He should sit down and talk this out with Bill Clinton and the universal father confessor Jesse Jackson. They will give him cover while his lawyers and hers examine the pre-nup. Then he could make a pilgrimmage to Latrobe to talk to Arnie and channel Byron or Bobby T.

Tell me, how does his wife fare in all of this. Can she still carry the little ones onto the 18th for a kiss, at Augusta, for example, after he wins next year?

17 rbj   ~  Dec 2, 2009 12:51 pm

Let's see, massive health care debate, wars in Iraq & Afghanistan, recession, and people are getting worked up over Tiger and the White House party crashers?


The thing is, I don't buy/not buy products based oh who endorses them. I buy based on: do I have a need, and does this fill that need.

18 Will Weiss   ~  Dec 2, 2009 9:18 pm

[15] I have heard similar stories. It's a shame. The '97 Pierce profile piece brings a bit of that out, particularly the scenes from the photo shoot. Everything on his terms. Always.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
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