Breaking news here: The first murmurs that the Tiger Woods sex scandal is old news are being heard after roughly two extremely tawdry weeks. In his level-headed and mercifully short essay in this week’s Sports Illustrated, Phil Taylor explains how this is working: “While it’s a stretch to say that the prying tabloids and websites did Woods a favor, they will eventually come to his rescue by replacing his scandal in the headlines with someone else’s. Just as Manny Ramirez pushed Alex Rodriguez aside…” – you get the idea, I’m sure.
To this, it might be added that the Woods story has also moved, by sheer weight of commentary (and the need for Woods and his deeply embarrassed wife to awaken each day), to a tipping point. In other words, Elin has moved out, Tiger has taken a break from golf, and the corporate sponsors are dividing into two camps. Nike stands behind their spokesman of ten years with their “full force” of support for him and his “family.” Whatever that means…perhaps they’ll send over a swoosh grill for an intimate barbeque. Gillette, however, is distancing itself “for an unspecified period of time.” As James Thurber might put it, “it is well-known” that razor blade makers have always been more attuned to morality than those guys who sell t-shirts and such. Moreover, should any more bimbos come out of the woodwork to put their names on that list of Tiger’s paramours, they’ll now be getting check marks (or swooshes) no higher than 15th down.
Of course, the disappointing news to gossip hounds is that the next scandal du jour will be very minor league next to Woods’. Taylor again: “[N]o one in recent memory has acted in a manner so at odds with his public persona…” (that is, “classy, dignified, admirable”). Nonetheless, we need candidates to replace Woods now.
Thus, to the sports pages! Americans love the notion that athletes should be paragons of virtue, reflecting some noble, metaphoric ideal of the cleanliness of honest competition…or something. At any rate, entertainers don’t make for such tragic and entertaining falls. Take on one hand, say, Alec Baldwin leaving a rude, hurtful voice message for his daughter; on the other you have Woods cavorting with a porn start who dresses up, or half-way up, as schoolteacher-disciplinarian. See? The second is just so much dirtier. (Photo hounds can simply Google “Joslyn James.” Several sites feature the referenced photo. Note the vaguely 50’s hairdo.)
So, here’s something that might appeal to those who hang out with bookies: The Pittsburgh Steelers’ profound decline this season might suggest that some of their recent games have been fixed. And, ooo! Steelers d-back Ryan Clark has characterized his team’s fall as “despicable, sad.” Could something be read into “despicable”? Nah. That’s really a stretch.
Hold on. Here’s something rather promising: According to the AP, and duly reported in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs has been barred from contacting the mother of his children. It seems, as per court documents, that Suggs knocked Candace Williams down, then sat on her, “holding her neck with one hand and a bottle of bleach with the other.” This begs for an articulate comment, I’d say, but the only thing that comes to mind is: “Whoa, dude, that’s so ghetto,” and of course, that would be open to unpleasant, politically incorrect sniffing. Besides, I’m sure that all over America’s suburbs, doctors and lawyers and investment bankers are busy knocking down their significant others after grabbing a handy bottle of bleach. Further, it might be observed that Suggs plays for a team with a well-established reputation for fielding a very nasty defensive squad. This incident may not be all that far off Suggs’ regular behavior.
OK, then, let’s try politics. South Carolina Governor Terry Sanford’s wife is leaving him. Duh…and yawn. The other shoe drops, and it’s about time.
The sciences? The press is clearing climate scientists of falsifying data in e-mails “taunting skeptics.” Those guys’ names are…zzz…bottom line: “…the messages do not support claims that the science of global warming was faked.” Again: duh.
Hmmm. It looks as though we’ll have to deal with Tiger a bit longer…how much will the sunken Gillette deal cost him? Will his 16th sex toy have, perhaps, a recognizable name?
Can’t somebody link him to Madonna or Amy Winehouse…or Margaret Thatcher?
Borenstein, Seth, Raphael Satter, and Malcolm Ritter. “Climate scientists didn’t fake.” The Philadelphia Inquirer 13 December 2009: A1+.
Fredrix, Emily. “Woods’ ad future is bleak.” The Philadelphia Inquirer 13 December 2009: E1+.
“HLN News [1-330 p.m.].” HLN. Philadelphia. 12 December 2009.
Smith, Bruce. “Sanford’s wife seeks divorce over adultery.” The Philadelphia Inquirer 12 December 2009: A3.
“Steelers at a loss to explain collapse.” The Philadelphia Inquirer 12 December 2009: E5.
Taylor, Phil. “The Sadness.” Sports Illustrated 14 December 2009: 48+.
Thurber. James. “The Rabbits Who Caused All the Trouble.” Fables for Our Time and Famous Poems Illustrated. Renewed copyright ed. New York: Harper & Row, 1968. 95-96.