I Don’t Even Like Golf

9 Apr


Nike has been getting some flack for its newly launched ad campaign featuring Tiger Woods. The slogan that is under fire is  “Winning Takes Care of Everything” and it comes on the heels of Tiger’s return to the #1 ranking in  World Golf Ratings  for the first time since October 2010.

In case you don’t have a TV or have never sneaked a peek at grocery store tabloids, let me enlighten you as to why Nike is receiving criticism for taking this tact for their advertising.

Picture it,  Thanksgiving, 2009. Woods is involved in an early morning one car accident in his neighborhood where he collided with a fire hydrant, a tree, and several hedges.  He was largely unharmed but did receive some facial lacerations and a ticket for careless driving.  There were all sorts of stories flying around about the incident and involved anything from drugs to marital discourse to mental illness.

Woods released a statement on his website taking sole responsibility for the incident and called it a “private matter” and credited his wife for helping him from the car. Shortly after this statement, he dropped out of golfing in his own charity golf tournament and all other tournaments for that year.

A few days after that,  US Weekly released transcript of a voice-mail left by Tiger for a woman with whom he was allegedly involved.  WELL, after that bit of dirty laundry,  things accelerated and unraveled at a rate I have never seen before.  Cocktail waitress after cocktail waitress came out of the shadows to claim that they too were having affairs with Woods. TWELVE women in all. I am sure I am not the only one who was absolutely stunned and kind of impressed simply because of the time management skills that had to be involved in all that juggling.

I don’t mean to sound crass about the affairs but let’s be honest, Tiger Woods was a golfer and *GASP* a human being. Not an infallible super hero. Not even a life-coach. He was, however, an EXCELLENT golfer.  In 1997 he was the youngest golfer to win the Masters. Two months after that he set the record for the fastest-ever ascent to #1 in the Official World Golf Rankings. He was credited with bringing some much-needed excitement to the game of golf…BEFORE all of his marital woes came into the light.

After all of his marital infidelities were made public, Woods made a statement apologizing for his “transgressions” and apologized to “all of those who have supported [him] over the years” and he asked for privacy for his family during this time.  Shortly after that statement, Woods admitted to infidelity and announced that he would be taking an indefinite break from professional golf.

His fall from golf hero to despised cheating husband was epic.  Woods became an easy punchline for late night talk shows and people seemed to HATE him.  Suddenly, companies that had clamored to work with him before were now backing out of endorsement deals. Accenture, General Motors,  Gatorade,  Tag Heuer, and AT & T all dropped him as spokesperson for their products.  Nike continued to support him.

In 2010 Tiger placed #68 in money list ranking in the PGA tour summary, from #1 the year before in 2009. The following year, 2011, was even worse with Tiger placing         # 128.  2012 found him back at # 2 and as of March 25 of this year,  Tiger was back at # 1.

Now that Tiger is back on top, divorced from his wife, and dating Olympic skier Lindsay Vonn,  does winning take care of everything? Of course Nike knows that tagline is controversial but Nike is not afraid of controversy. Remember the 1996 ad campaign at the Olympics proclaiming “second place is the first loser”?

I have read several news stories about the public outrage this Nike ad has incited. The people who are making comments like “will never buy Nike again” and  “Nike should be ashamed of itself” and of course my favorite “won’t somebody please think of the children?” would not be happy unless Tiger Woods lived in a darkened hole never to golf again,  forever ashamed of himself. Tiger getting out of that head space to become a champion again is the last thing some people want to see.

It didn’t matter that he took full responsibility, entered a 45 day therapy program and went on TV and once again apologized for his actions and made the following statement, “I thought I could get away with whatever I wanted to, I felt that I had worked hard my entire life and deserved to enjoy all the temptations around me. I felt I was entitled. Thanks to money and fame, I didn’t have to go far to find them. I was wrong. I was foolish.”

Tiger_Woods_drives_by_AllisonIf you’re looking at Tiger Woods to be your moral compass and you feel truly disappointed in the man, then I can only suggest you look elsewhere for guidance. Woods wrote a book called How I Play Golf.  It is not called Keys to a Happy Marriage, or Live Like Tiger.   He is a golfer, and an incredible one. I am not married to him. I am not dating him. He does not owe me or you (unless his ex-wife happens to be reading this) anything at all.

The fact that Tiger Woods achieved such great heights in his golf career is impressive. The fact that he rose to those heights, fell publicly and spectacularly off of that pedestal only to rise to those heights again, is no less than astounding.

If you just don’t like him that’s cool. But,  if you are sitting atop Mt. Judgemore, I would like to remind you to tend your own garden.  If you want to boycott Nike because of their affiliation with Tiger Woods, then have at it.  I will make a huge assumption here and say that odds are that the people making such disparaging comments and expressing outrage are not the target demographic that Nike is going for anyway. I have a feeling they will get by somehow.

Winning might not take care of everything, but winning is nice when you’re a pro golfer. It’s also nice to shut the mouths of those who wish you would do anything BUT win.

10 Responses to “I Don’t Even Like Golf”

  1. Miss Molly April 10, 2013 at 12:48 am #

    Wow, this is so good! You’re right on the money with it and I’m glad somebody (you!) said it. Also, as a former resident of Nikeland, you can be sure they don’t mind a bit about all that ranting and raving. They’re lovin’ it. (Mt. Judgemore – what a great name!)

    • Amy April 10, 2013 at 5:28 pm #

      Thank you! I always have a split second moment after I hit that publish button that I am just way out in my thinking and I have ostracized everyone. So glad to read when people I admire agree with me.

      Yes, I was pretty proud of Mt. Judgemore myself 🙂 Thanks as always!

  2. bensbitterblog April 10, 2013 at 5:30 am #

    That is the great American story. Happens all the time. Greatest, can do no wrong, fall from grace, apologizes, is redeemed. When does the movie come out and can I have a small role?

    • Amy April 10, 2013 at 5:28 pm #

      I will have my people give your people a call 🙂

      • bensbitterblog April 10, 2013 at 9:10 pm #

        So your people will call me direct? Not even my wife would do that for me. And she likes me.

  3. Ned's Blog April 10, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

    It’s absolutely true that we elevate people to a god-like status not because we are looking for an example to follow, but more often because we revel in their fall from grace. It’s the same reason “reality” TV shows are so popular; they have taken a cue from the early days of Jerry Springer and similar shows, realizing people like watching people who are either worse off than they are or people who have hit bottom from somewhere high above the rest. I’m glad Tiger is back. Not because I like him all that much, but because it’s a reminder that everyone makes stupid, often selfish mistakes. While it’s important to recognize that, what’s more important is how you learn from it and, hopefully, become a the kind of person who won’t make those choices again. At least, not until you have your own reality TV show…

    • Amy April 10, 2013 at 5:33 pm #

      Totally agree with everything you’ve said. I am not a huge Tiger fan either, BUT, I do hope he has learned that his choices were foolish and selfish and that he has learned from them. I have such respect for people who can admit they totally screwed up, not blame anybody else, and overcome their crap to succeed.

      I am afraid if I had my own reality TV show it would be super boring. I’m dull.

      Thanks for reading, I’m enjoying your blog and look forward to reading more.

      • Ned's Blog April 10, 2013 at 6:09 pm #

        Thanks, Amy — I’m enjoying your blog as well 🙂

  4. datinginvegas April 10, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

    Great post!! Plus it’s true. It doesn’t matter if we do not agree-winning pays off. Seems we are in a culture where we don’t want our kids to realize there’s always a winner and a loser. I loved it when my martial arts teacher told a class of students that sometimes just trying your best isn’t good enough. He said the 49’ers tried their best and lost. Instead of saying, “I tried my best,” they came home and practiced harder for next year. I know some may think that’s harsh but I like that my sons are learning that. (Not to excuse a cheater..cuz that’s bad!) Good stuff as usual!!!

    • Amy April 10, 2013 at 5:31 pm #

      Thank you so much and I agree. I think we are not doing our kids any favors to gloss over that there are winners and there are losers and honestly, like what you said, sometimes your best isn’t enough to win.

      Thanks so much for reading 🙂

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