Sunday, December 27, 2009

The New Token Minority

I saw a commercial for the Golf Channel today and was struck by the total disappearance of Tiger Woods. His complete banishment from the golf world is astonishing. Here is the man who single-handedly raised the profile of the sport into a respectable TV viewing event. He is the highest paid athlete in history. He made it cool for kids to want to learn golf. Adults paid hundreds of dollars to go see tournaments where he was playing and ignored those where he wasn't. Yet Tiger's philandering now makes his previous golfing appearances inadvertently portentous and laughable.

Take for instance this article about Tiger in Golf Digest in January 2008, "The Year of Living Dangerously. Learn what really happened inside his camp..." Indeed. Only now we now he's been "camping" for many years before that. A year later in the January 2009 issue of Golf Digest there is a cover story of Tiger entitled "Tiger's Comeback. There's a reason he's smiling." Seems like he had at least 10, or is it 14, reasons to smile, I've lost track of how many.

To keep the magazine from further embarrassing itself Golf Digest has removed Tiger's monthly advice column. Tiger's appearances on billboards all around our city has been pulled off. There are more jokes about Tiger Woods than anyone can count. To prevent the Golf Channel's commercial from looking like a lineup of middle aged white guys, there is a new token minority prominently featured, the exciting young player, ranked #39 in the world, Anthony Kim. Good luck Tony. You've seen the perils of success and hope you learn from it. And that advice isn't from any of Tiger's Golf Digest columns.

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