With the scandal over Tiger Wood’s sexual “indiscretions” showing little sign of cooling, a panel of top sportswriters wants the world’s No. 1 golfer to step up and come clean about the women, the car crash, the drugs — everything.
The comments were published in a special roundtable discussion by golf.com, and suggested growing concern about the scandal on Woods’s career and the game of golf.
Michael Bamberger, senior writer, Sports Illustrated led the panel along with Jim Herre, managing editor, SI Golf Group, Dick Friedman, senior editor, Sports Illustrated, David Dusek, deputy editor, Golf.com, Jim Gorant, senior editor, Sports Illustrated Golf Plus, Cameron Morfit, senior writer, Golf magazine and Alan Shipnuck, senior writer, Sports Illustrated.
TV ratings basically double when Tiger is playing in a tour event, (known as the “Tiger Effect”), according to Bamberger. The biggest topic of concern was what effect the scandal would have on the PGA tour, Tiger’s performance and the possibility he might quit playing.
“I see the Tiger Effect in full force — for his first tournament back. After that, it depends on how Woods performs. If he’s winning every time he tees it up, big ratings. If not, I see interest slipping,” said Herrre.
“I think it will be hard for anyone to look at Tiger in the same way ever again,” countered Friedman.
The writers put a lot of weight on what happens between Woods and his wife, Swedish model Elin Nordegren.
At last report, she had allegedly moved out of the family home after learning that Woods allegedly slept with porn star Holly Sampson, while another woman, Mindy Lawton, claimed she had sex numerous times in Woods’ house, but not the bedroom he shared with Elin.
“Much depends on the next move by Elin,” said Friedman. “If she decides to continue with the marriage, and they get counseling, and there’s contrition as well as evidence that Tiger has changed his stripes, the Tiger Effect can remain in force.”
Added Gorant: If Kobe Bryant teaches us anything, it’s that winning cures many ills.
The writers, who know Tiger from his many tournaments said the best outcome for him would be to keep Elin in the marriage and bot go on Oprah or 60 Minutes or Barbara Walters together. “Then everyone can move on.” But SI’s Evans wondered if Elin could ever show up at a tournament again!
The reporters marveled how celebrity Web sites like TMZ.com and Radaronline.com have been cited as credible sources by AP and ESPN, even though the websites’ sourcing is “beyond flimsy.’
“The fact is, we really don’t know what’s true and what’s not,” said Herre.
“There are no facts, really,” added Herre. “All we know is that Tiger isn’t in control of what’s out there. We have some text messages and a voicemail, but we have no bulletproof evidence of Tiger “knowing’ any of these women in the Biblical sense. At this point perception is much more powerful than whatever the reality is.
“This is why he needs to come clean,” said Gorant. “I don’t know about Barbara Walters or Oprah (too staged), but you have to take control of it. Look at what Letterman did.
The TMZ crowd won’t stop ’til they pick every last piece of meat off the bone. You can kill all the rumors and speculation by telling the whole truth. Then, everyone can start to ‘heal,’ whatever that means.”
He’s got that right.
To read the whole roundtable go here.
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