Today we got another glimpse into why Tiger Woods was able to fool so many people for so damn long. And it had nothing to do with what Tiger himself said at his press conference at The Masters.
This question, from longtime San Francisco-area golf reporter Art Spander, was much more telling about why Tiger was able to carry on multiple extramarital affairs while on Tour:
You (Tiger) and the rest of us discovered a lot of media we didn’t know existed until the accident. I just wondered your response to the mainstream media, which was a lot more critical, obviously, than it had been; were you surprised, or did you sort of expect that?
Tiger’s response is irrelevant.
What matters is the mindset of Spander, who has been covering golf for decades and is among the closest media members to Tiger. I myself have worked Tiger Woods press conferences while sitting in the front row of media rooms next to Spander, including at The Memorial in Ohio and past Tiger Target/Chevron Challenge events.
What’s clearly, completely lost on Spander is the media he was mocking in his question to Tiger is the sole reason the golfer has changed his life - for the better! (At least if you believe Tiger.)
Tiger spent the entire press conference criticizing his own behavior and telling anyone who would listen that he’s a completely changed man. But if it wasn’t for the media Spander tried to marginalize in his question, Tiger would still be cheating on his wife and Spander and his other cronies would still be asleep at the wheel letting him get away with it.
David Dusek, deputy editor of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED’s Golf.com also noted today:
I spoke with a local who said she turned down more than $5,000 from a tabloid for her Tuesday badge. She was afraid the reporter/snoop would get kicked out and she’d lose the badge forever. She also said there is a semi-organized movement down here not to assist or cooperate with tabloid media outlets. I strongly doubt Tiger is going to hear anything but polite, quiet applause as he plays … unless he makes a few birdies and eagles.
I went to college at the Univ. of Georgia, have been to Augusta many times and have attended The Masters as a fan. Lived in the South for 12 years total.
I can promise you a major factor behind the positive reception Tiger received was fans motivated to lash out at the same (tabloid) members of the press to whom Spander was referring. The media members who actually had the gall to stand up to their false god. The media members who forced Tiger to come clean and tell the truth.
Tiger tells us that he’s now a better man for what happened. So then why are the fans embargoing media members who did something that forced Tiger, by his own admission, to become a better person?
The best part is that those very same fans are browsing the NATIONAL ENQUIRER every time they wait in line at the Piggly Wiggly - rushing home to tell their husband/wife about Tiger’s most recent extramarital affair.
What these anecdotes reveal is that well-respected, venerable golf media members like Art Spander aren’t just like the fans, they are fans.
That’s precisely why Tiger got away with what he did all those years.