November 30, 2009

THE ENTERTAINMENT VALUE OF SPIN:

The Tiger Trail (Joe Posnanski, November 29th, 2009)

This is going to sound very, very wrong … because, well, it is very, very wrong. But I’m sorry. I’ll admit this straight out: I am fascinated by this Tiger Woods accident story. I’m fascinated, and I’m paying close attention, and I will read whatever stories come out about it. Sure, I know it’s wrong. I know it’s gossip. I know it’s rubbernecking on a highway. I know. Tiger Woods and his family deserve some privacy in their lives. They should have the right to go on without having to share the most personal details of their lives. They should not have to deal with reporters and photographers stalking them. And so on. I believe these things with all my heart.

And still … I’ll read every word. I cannot help myself. I’m dying to know. But I suppose I should clarify — I’m not dying to know what really happened that night. I have a pretty good guess at that. No, I’m dying to know how Tiger Woods and his people are going to handle all this. [...]

[F]or an athlete like Tiger Woods to make billions of dollars he needs to be in the public eye, as a spokesman for a company, as a star of commercials, as a person people can believe in and even love. You would think the person would need to show a little bit of himself — even if it’s fake and just a persona. People who knew Johnny Carson would often say he was nothing at all like the person who hosted the Tonight Show. That was a character he played when the camera lights popped on, night after night after night.

But Woods — well, remarkably, he really has not even created a public character for himself. He is, instead, a blank slate.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at November 30, 2009 6:55 AM
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