Should we feel sorry for Tiger Woods?
After Tiger Woods' latest golfing debacle, I posted this on Facebook, "Even the Tiger Woods haters have to feel a little sorry for the guy, no?"
I was legitimately wondering what the people's sentiment is these days about the star we loved to hate a few years ago. A man who wrecked his marriage in scandal, lost his touch on the golf course, becoming a punchline for every comic from the Catskills to Las Vegas.
A woman friend of mine immediately shed light on my experiment and commented, "You're kidding, right?"
Apparently Tiger has not quite won the hearts and minds of the American public.
Woods missed the cut for the PGA Championship in Louisville last weekend. His golfing career is in tatters, and he will never be a candidate for the honor of Husband of the Year. He is not terribly popular in a lot of corridors.
He is down and people are happily kicking him around.
Tiger has been ailing with various serious ailments for several years, and is still widely vilified for the way he treated his wife. Sports-talk commentators aren't shy about wondering about the billion-dollar question in 2014.
Was he on performance-enhancement drugs during his ascent and in his prime?
The media are joining the chorus of anti-Tiger sentiments. They lovingly built him up and now they are viciously tearing him down. This is what journalists tend to do. We love to discover someone, the more unknown the better. Then we have a blast building up the stature of the rising star. However, when someone arrives in the people's minds, then we turn on him or her. It is a syndrome. It happens all the time.
Look at any actor or politician or athlete.
What we in the media love most of all — which is good for Tiger — is the comeback.
We want to see someone make it all the way back.
Tiger is in that situation. The media loves winners. But right now, Tiger is not a winner, God knows. But if he lets his injured back heal over the winter and roars back next year, the perception of him is likely change — because we all love winners.
It's anybody's guess whether Woods can reclaim his golden touch on the links. It's a good bet that the media will show him no respect until he wins another major tournament.
I guess this says more abut the media than about Tiger, eh?
Jon Friedman writes the Media Matrix blog for Indiewire.com. He is also the author of "Forget About Today: Bob Dylan's Genius for (Re)Invention, Shunning the Naysayers, and Creating a Personal Revolution." Read more reports from Jon Friedman — Click Here Now.
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