I was talking the other day about how the PGA has been ripping on Tiger Woods. I was getting into how odd it is that everyone is forcing his apologies and at the same time, not accepting them. I thought about that wild Nike commercial and about the judgment tour officials have been placing on him (although if you wanted me to guess the job of a man who loves to sleep with hookers, I am going with “PGA Tour Official”. I started thinking about all of it and then it hit me.
Tiger should get the hell out and make the world pay. Tiger should go super villain. He already grew the ugly molester goatee which screams “I went villain”. All he has to do now is quit pretending he wants to be with his wife, quit pretending sex addiction rehab isn’t the most hilarious concept ever and just keep doing what he loves doing: Courting hookers and winning majors.
On ESPN Radio before the masters, they talked about how the PGA grew in prestige, interest and purse size since Tiger joined. In fact, no one cared before he started golfing. Literally, golf was just this side sport we watched when you got home from being drunk all day at a horse race or something. Once Tiger joined, Nike got involved. ESPN cared. It was a sport again. Or for the first time. I don’t know, I hate golf.
Check out some stats USA Today’s Jim Halley put together:
Purses: There were nine PGA Tour millionaires in 1996. Last year, there were 78. From 1986-’96, the total purse on the PGA Tour increased $37.5 million. In the Woods’ decade, the 10 years since, the purses have jumped $186.1 million.
Ratings: Sean McManus, President of CBS News and Sports, says Woods has had a direct effect on the growth of golf on TV, with ratings spiking 35% to 50% for regular tour events and major championships when Woods is in contention. Last weekend The International, minus Woods, drew a 2.1 rating. A few weeks earlier, the Buick Open, which Woods won, drew a 4.3 rating.
Marketing: * * * According to a 2004 study at Indiana University, before Woods’ professional golf debut in ’96, a typical annual increase in new golfers was 1%. The ”Tiger Woods Effect” lifted it to 5%. The percentage of African-American golfers has doubled since ’96, the study said.
So if all of this is true, Tiger is bigger than the game of golf. He is bigger in his own sport than Michael Jordan ever was in basketball because it is a game of individuals. That is why I am suggesting in addition to keeping the goatee, leaving Elin and doing whatever he wants to whoever he wants in the bedroom, Tiger woods should leave the PGA Tour.
Leave the Tour? Are you crazy? Yes, maybe I am. At the same time, I think if Tiger peaces out and starts his own tour, he will get more viewers and revenue. He completely undermines the talent pool of the PGA if he leaves as it will be clear that no one playing on the Tour is competing against the top competitor. Tiger has the money and sponsors (even still) to just start his own tour and make it lucrative. If he couldn’t get famous courses to participate, he could afford to build his own. We could call it Tiger Ball. And yes, I like the sexual innuendo. I don’t like it. I love it.
On this new tour, Tiger could attract top talent that care about things like big money sponsors and people actually watching golf. He could be a total womanizer and scoundrel. He could be himself without the judgment of other golfers who frankly are probably doing the exact same thing Tiger did just with less attractive women (you heard me John Daly). I mean, I am pretty sure Phil Mickelson is not a big enough draw alone for the PGA to survive. No offense, Lefty.
The conduct on the Tiger Ball tour would be totally different. No dress code. No rules on sponsorship. If you can find a talented golfer who can shoot four under in a banana hammock with the Saab logo on the crotch, sign him up. You want a caddy that is smoking a blunt, of course you can. Hell, the slogan for the league should be something like “Driving From the Rough” or “No Cleats, Just Balls”. I don’t know, let’s shake things up. When you chip on onto the green and it is rolling to the hole, players should be encouraged to scream stuff out like “Get in there bitch!” or even just yelling “Boom!” as loud as you can. I think in Tiger Ball you can just drink mint juleps the entire time and get rewarded for good, drunken play. Like a birdie is actually a -3 if you can sink the put after taking three shots of patron being fired out of a Super Soaker like it’s Squid Row, yo. You starting to get it?
Tiger Ball would seriously destroy the PGA Tour in ways no other start up league could take down it’s maker. That is the world I want to live in. Please feel free to leave comments on your rules for Tiger Ball. I’ll compile them.