FanDuel - WFBC

February 23, 2010

Dan Jenkins on Tiger Woods: "Nice (Not) Knowing You": Legendary sportswriter Dan Jenkins unloads on Tiger Woods in a commentary for Golf Digest. "Sure, he can come back and even win again, if he man's up, but if he does he will only be a hero to the 'you-da-man' and 'get-in-the-hole' crowd. And I can't imagine him coming back as a 'humbled man.'"

posted by rcade to golf at 03:14 PM - 19 comments

Unfortunately! Tiger has brought out the NBA,NFL,and MLB fan. And they believe he is bigger than the game. Try to place the name Nicklaus,Palmer,Snead,Jones in his place? You would never find them in this predicament. Tiger is not a caretaker of the game!

posted by scotsman at 03:47 PM on February 23

Well, that came off a little bitter.

posted by justgary at 05:09 PM on February 23

That's what I was thinking. He clearly should have given himself some more time and space before writing his Tiger column.

posted by bperk at 05:17 PM on February 23

Just a little bitter.

How do you get from this (from the article):

I covered Tiger winning his 14 professional majors, but I can't say I know him. I knew the smile he put on for TV. I knew the orchestrated remarks he granted us in his press-room interviews. I knew the air he punched when another outrageous putt went in the cup. That's it.

I once made an effort to get to know the old silicone collector. Tried to arrange dinners with him for a little Q&A, on or off the record, his choice. But the closest I ever got was this word from his agent: "We have nothing to gain."

To this:

They never pretended to be the All-American Daddy-Pop Father of the Year Who Also Wins Golf Tournaments.

If you don't know him, how do you know what he pretended to be? (and please don't say because of his commercials and advertisements).

Or how about this?

Kids flew B-17s in daylight bombing raids over Germany in World War II. Kids fought in Korea and Vietnam. Kids are serving today in Iraq and Afghanistan so Tiger Woods can live in a world where he can win 14 majors and match that number, the last time I counted, with 14 casting couches, most of them reserved for blondes.

So now Tiger's a bad guy because he didn't fight in a war? What branch of the armed services did Jenkins serve in?

posted by cjets at 05:22 PM on February 23

Here's some more "they don't make 'em like they used to" from Jenkins circa 2001.

Now get off my lawn, you young whippersnappers!

posted by cjets at 05:24 PM on February 23

Jenkins isn't bitter at Tiger; he's rankled by how pampered, inaccessible and humorless pro golfers have become. Here he is in a 2001 interview: "Until today's era of rich, spoiled brats, players sort of respected you more if you dragged them down to your level. Today you've got guys who aren't even Tiger Woods who are constantly fawned over by fans and sucked up to by tournament committeemen."

Jenkins grew up in Fort Worth and was close enough to Ben Hogan to golf "30 or 40" rounds with him at Colonial. It must be quite a comedown to be on the outside depending on spoon-fed quotes from a bajillionaire's marketing team and never interacting with golfers as real people.

One of his comments from that piece is pretty interesting in hindsight: "Only two things can stop Tiger -- injury or a bad marriage."

On preview: You beat me to it by three minutes, Cjets. I should edit the comments and hog the glory.

posted by rcade at 05:27 PM on February 23

So now Tiger's a bad guy because he didn't fight in a war?

That wasn't his point. He was responding to the agent calling Tiger Woods a kid.

posted by rcade at 05:40 PM on February 23

"Jenkins grew up in Fort Worth"

Now I understand why he's so angry.

posted by mr_crash_davis at 05:49 PM on February 23

You beat me to it by three minutes, Cjets. I should edit the comments and hog the glory.

Heh. Timing is everything.

posted by cjets at 05:53 PM on February 23

He was responding to the agent calling Tiger Woods a kid.

I understand that. I still think it's an off-topic rant, justified by the slimmest of threads.

posted by cjets at 05:58 PM on February 23

Jenkins isn't bitter at Tiger

Sure he is. I get that he's bitter at the sport, at the present day pro golfer in general, but Tiger is the epitome of what he hates, and I don't think he's trying to hide that fact at all.

What's ironic is that his whole 'get off my lawn' rant about how times have changed goes both ways.

Arnold Palmer is, perhaps, the most beloved golfer of the last 50 years. Arnold Palmer also had a well-known reputation as a ladies man in his day. Reporters, yes, reporters from the Golf Writers Association of America, often ran into Palmer with a woman on his arm, a woman who was not his wife, Winnie. They never reported it, and more they never even THOUGHT about reporting it "It was none of our business," one of those writers told Ian O'Connor for his seminal golf book "Arnie and Jack." Now, the golf writers insist that it is not enough for a few of them to hear Tiger Woods apologize about his business, no, they insist that they must have more participation in the process and they insist he must answer questions or they won't even listen. Yes, the rules have changed.

Ah, the good ol' days.

posted by justgary at 06:06 PM on February 23

They never reported it, and more they never even THOUGHT about reporting it ...

Would today's golf writers have reported on Tiger Woods' mistresses if they knew about them before the rest of the media? The PGA would've cut off their access forever.

Sure he is. I get that he's bitter at the sport, at the present day pro golfer in general, but Tiger is the epitome of what he hates, and I don't think he's trying to hide that fact at all.

We don't disagree. I just think Jenkins isn't reacting to being personally snubbed by Tiger, despite the last dig in that piece.

Now I understand why he's so angry.

Hey, now. Fort Worth is nice if you don't mind 110 degree Augusts. Lived there for three years.

posted by rcade at 06:10 PM on February 23

Lots of that article seems to ring true. He was/is a coddled guy. And the brand was built on purpose. It's just that it's all so hollow - from the media outrage to the brand to the apology.

To paraphrase Carlin: "America leads the world in the manufacturing and distribution of bullshit."

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 06:21 PM on February 23

"Fort Worth is nice if you don't mind 110 degree Augusts."

I lived in Irving during the summer of '98 when it was 100+ degrees for 50-some-odd days in a row, or some similarly ungodly weather record.

I minded it. :)

posted by mr_crash_davis at 06:29 PM on February 23

Would today's golf writers have reported on Tiger Woods' mistresses if they knew about them before the rest of the media? The PGA would've cut off their access forever.

But again, times have changed in other ways. Celebrities are covered much more today than before, and athletes are celebrities. I have no idea how Tiger hid this for so long, but if Palmer was popular today and openly being seen with other women, we would have found out. He lived in a different time and didn't need to worry about it.

I agree with the article in general. I just don't think it's as simple as he's implying. There's a lot that's changed since the era he so loved, and I think his anger has kind of blinded him to, or allowed him to ignore the big picture.

posted by justgary at 06:32 PM on February 23

It must be quite a comedown to be on the outside depending on spoon-fed quotes from a bajillionaire's marketing team and never interacting with golfers as real people.

Or maybe it's a comedown being a golf writer and not being, y'know, allowed to talk to the golfer.

posted by wfrazerjr at 07:00 PM on February 23

More from the Posnanski article JustGary cited.

In Tiger Woods case, I'm not even sure why I'm supposed to be forgiving him. At least with A-Rod and McGwire and the various PED users and the law breakers, well, you could say that they misled the fans who were cheering them. But this Tiger thing is different. I don't know his wife. I don't know these women he cheated with. These aren't close and personal friends of mine. He never promised me that he would lead a chaste life. He never misled me. I may be surprised he lived the way he lived, and it might lessen my opinion of him as a person (assuming I already had an opinion about him as a person) but all in all, I never really had any intention of asking Tiger Woods to babysit my kids.

As usual, he says it better than I could.

posted by cjets at 07:25 PM on February 23

I lived in Irving during the summer of '98 when it was 100+ degrees for 50-some-odd days in a row, or some similarly ungodly weather record.

I minded it. :)

Can you come back for a visit? It snowed in Dallas again today, 25 degrees lower than normal...I'm ready for summer.

As to Tiger, I'm amazed by how much press this guy is getting, including on sites like this, given that so many people feel that what he did is none of our business. I do agree with Jenkins on one point, I have a hard time imagining Tiger coming back as a humbled man. He had an aura of respect and invincibility about him that I doubt will still be in place. I know that his caddie is saying that he won't allow hecklers, but how many guys can he fight at one time? Should be interesting.

posted by dviking at 07:55 PM on February 23

He lived in a different time and didn't need to worry about it.

Like a time when you were able to go to a bar and have a drink and smoke. Those days are long gone.

To paraphrase JG:

Ah, the good ol' days.

posted by BornIcon at 07:39 AM on February 24

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