Tiger Willies

After watching Tiger Woods at the Masters last weekend, it's hard to say who disgusts me more: sycophant fans and media, or Tiger himself

I continue to be amazed and bewildered by the long line of sycophants and enablers amongst us — fans and media alike — when it comes to self-indulgent professional athletes like Tiger Woods.

I loved watching the Masters this weekend, but if I heard one more commentator comment on how well Tiger was playing despite “all that he’s been through,” I would have teed up a Titleist and smashed it through my big screen TV with a 460 cc headed driver. [SIGNUP]

Been through? Oh, you mean that predicament Tiger put himself through by going through a parade of ho’s and gold diggers the way those same golf media members go through a free buffet? You mean skanking around on your pregnant wife, then getting snagged sexting on Thanksgiving night while you assumed Elin was too groggy from that afternoon’s turkey? You mean nearly obstructing justice by not coming clean about what happened that night, thereby igniting the volcano of gossip rag reporters creeping through your trash and having sponsors abandon you as if you had canker sores?

And while I’m at it, let me blast the man himself for his demeanor this weekend on the hallowed Augusta grounds. See, when you hold press conferences asking for the public to trust and worship you again, you can’t be sniffing through press conferences with your usual pompous attitude. Or you can’t hit errant drives, slam down your club and yell “Goddammit!” No one else on the PGA Tour does that. See, it’s not just about you anymore. It’s no longer Tiger’s World. Remember, there is a gallery out there watching you. And in that gallery are children, children about the same age as yours. And the only way you got away with it in the first place was because the doting golf media let you get away with it, because to rip you for it would have gotten them a trip to Palookaville, which is to say they never would have gotten another Tiger interview ever again. Reform means to reform all the way. Become more human. So people can think you’re an okay guy again.

Here’s my favorite Tiger Master’s moment. After the first day of the tournament, Tiger was asked whether he had seen and had any reaction to the airplane which dragged around a sign that read: “Hey Tiger, did you mean Bootyism?” It was a snide reference to Tiger’s comment in his first private…er…public press conference that he was going to re-embrace his Buddism teachings.

Tiger said he didn’t see it, which of course he did (or at the very least he was told about it).

Perhaps he could have showed more of a human side, a disarming and even charming self-deprecation by saying something like, “Yes, I saw it. I have to admit, that was pretty clever. But that’s something I’m going to have to sit back and take because I deserve something like that.” Instead, he indignantly sniffed, “Didn’t see it.” Please.

There was a time when I could admire Tiger Woods because he turned into the best golfer the game has ever known. I thought it was a matter of time before he broke Jack Nicklaus’ major championship records, and it’s kind of cool to think that you watched the best the game has ever had. But today, I couldn’t care less whether he makes a cut. It’s not because of the women. It’s not because he’s a stone conniving liar. It’s not because he continues to wear red on Sunday, which is fashion statement now very played out and tired.

It’s because I just think the guy is a bad seed.

My Parting Shot

* Glad to see Ed Snider get all pumped up after the Flyers got into the Stanley Cup playoffs by the skin of their teeth with a one-goal advantage over the New York Rangers in a shootout. Hey, the Flyers put forth a very clutch performance on Sunday. Brian Boucher came out of nowhere to withstand some intense pressure in goal. And the Flyers probably have a fighting chance against the New Jersey Devils in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. But Ed, don‘t you think the reaction for getting the eighth and final spot (okay you Flyers sticklers, the seventh seed; Montreal lost their final game of the season) was a bit much? I was waiting for you to send Bobby Clarke out on the Wachovia Center ice to skate around with a homemade, tin foil Stanley Cup! Face it, this year your team was a bunch of underachieving mutts and your general manager did a lousy job putting it together. More than that, you continue to be trapped in the ’70s with your philosophy with this team. Gee, who didn’t know you would drag ol’ Kate Smith out to sing “God Bless America” — and I can’t wait until you unfurl the duet with Kate and Lauren Hart. Snore.

Listen to MIKE MISSANELLI weekday afternoons on 97.5 The Fanatic.