December 01, 2009

A temporary setback
Barry Stavro

Los Angeles Times

Short answer: very little.

When Tiger Woods tees off at Augusta National in April, he'll be the favorite to win that tournament for the fifth time and to get another step closer to breaking Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 Grand Slam titles. Whatever legal or marital issues Woods may face - if any - in the wake of his car accident last week, it will be a temporary setback.

Many other athletes have dealt with far more serious PR and legal problems, such as Kobe Bryant when he faced rape charges in 2003. A few years later, Bryant won the league MVP award, won a gold medal in the Olympics, plus another NBA title. Now his Lakers team is favored to win it all again this season, and - surprise - his popularity worldwide is at its zenith.

The same will happen with Woods.


Never will be the same
Teddy Greenstein

Chicago Tribune

Tiger Woods should look on the bright side: Page views on TigerWoods.com must be surging. And that's good for his merchandising arm. (Spend $50 and save 10 percent!) Now the bad news: Woods is now a TMZ.com all-star, even trumping the White House crashers.

For years, Woods controlled nearly every droplet of information regarding his personal life and his golf game.

Not long after he told a dirty joke that GQ magazine printed, he took on the life of a turtle. His agent's favorite word is "no," and his caddie is best known for throwing a fan's camera into a lake.

If only "Stevie" Williams could come drown those pesky satellite trucks in the Atlantic Ocean.

Woods has lost control of his message, his image. His world never will be the same, and here's guessing his golf game suffers.


A tarnished image
Paul Doyle

Hartford Courant

While making history on one golf course after another since he was a toddler, Tiger Woods has carefully crafted an image away from the greens. So will his post-Thanksgiving escapade hurt his image? And has Woods made matters worse with his PR missteps?

Of course his image is tarnished, probably forever. And we're not sure Woods could have changed that with a hastily arranged news conference or a better-prepared statement.

Ultimately, Woods is a golfer, and his career is still on a historic arc. But in the short term, the world wants to know why his wife had a club in her hand in the middle of the night.

As more details emerge, the public face of Tiger Woods likely changes, with the old image vanishing.


Good luck with silent act
George Diaz

Orlando Sentinel

Get out the Band-Aids to stop the bleeding, Tiger.

The world's most celebrated golfer is in a dicey jam: How does one reconcile a fierce need for privacy with the world wanting all the little details involving your fender-bender?

It's going to be impossible to minimize the damages (to the career, not the car) unless Tiger steps forward and gives the world some clarity over what happened outside his home early Friday morning.

I understand that's not fair, but Woods lives in the world of celebrity, where different rules apply. Tiger's best move is to divulge minimal details, beg for forgiveness and wait it out. His career will be fine.

Until then, good luck with that plan, buddy. The silent treatment is only going to cause more screaming in the gallery. And you know how finicky you are about people making noise.


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