“Hello World?”

It has been reported for a while but Rory McIlroy was officially introduced as a “Nike Athlete” earlier today. This puts the two biggest names in golf under the Nike umbrella and predictably Nike already has a great commercial with them.

When Tiger Woods first signed with Nike this was the commercial Nike released.

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Rory McIlroy

The countdown is on for the coronation of Rory McIlroy. NBC goes on the air at 1:30 PM Eastern but McIlroy won’t tee off until 3:20 PM. There is rain in the forecast but hopefully it stays away. 

I didn’t get to watch his round live yesterday but caught up late night courtesy of the DVR. There is no way McIlroy blows this. This is not the same situation as the Masters. Yes, he had a four shot lead going into the final round there but that lead was gone by the time he was on the 2nd hole because Charl Schwartzel was shooting lights out. The lead is just too big here. He showed yesterday (I believe it was the 3rd hoel) that he would play it safe when need be when he just chipped out to the fairway.

There is already talk of him being the one to potentially chase down Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 majors. Padraig Harrington mentioned it this week too and McIlroy was asked about it yesterday. McIlroy’s response? 

“Oh, Paddy, Paddy, Paddy,I’m still looking for my first one. That’s all I can say. I’m looking for my first one. I’ve put myself in a great position to do that (Sunday), and then we’ll see what happens from there.”

He said all the right things including  but if there is a guy on the tour today who will chase down the record (or come close) it will be McIlroy. Yes, everyone talks about him shooting 80 but lets not forget that coming into this US Open he had played in eight majors and already had three 3rd place finishes. In those eight majors he has four top 10 finishes and 6 top 20. Keep in mind that he is just 22.

I absolutely loved the “Lets go Rory” chants yesterday. To me his is the anti-Tiger which is one of the biggest reasons so many (including me) have become big fans in such a short time span. The way he handled his letdown at The Masters can only be described as classy. Even in the aftermath of the disaster at Augusta I thought he would return to greatness. He is great with the media and even better with the fans. By the way make sure you follow Rory McIlroy on Twitter.

I know we’ve been here before. Sergio Garcia was hyped up as a potential Tiger rival (and the thought wasn’t crazy at the time) but I don’t think Garcia ever had the mental makeup for it which is a shame because I absolutely loved watching him play.

By the way, Oakley which sponsors (and dresses) McIlroy is busy selling shirts that he is wearing here at the US Open although like pretty much everything else they are available for cheaper on Amazon. 

Day 1:
Oakley Men's Elemental Solid Short Sleeve Polo (Marine Blue, Large)


Day 2:
Oakley Marked Men's Polo Racewear Shirt - Blue Violet / Medium


Day 3:
Oakley Angle Men's Polo Sportswear Shirt - Blue Violet / Medium


Day 4:
Oakley Hounded Men's Polo Fashion Shirt - Blue Violet / Medium


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Augusta National to be part of Tiger Woods ’12 video game – ESPN

Augusta National to be part of Tiger Woods ’12 video game – ESPN

This is great news. Despite not being a Tiger Woods fan I am a fan of this series and have bought a couple of these games in the past. Part of the appeal for me is playing real courses like TPC at Sawgrass and Pebble Beach through the game. Adding Augusta National to the list is a great step forward. Heck, it is the closest most of us will ever get to playing one of these courses!

According to the ESPN article the game goes on sale March 29th just before the 75th Masters tee off. 

Augusta National Chariman, Billy Payne had this to say, 

“Our desire to help grow the game of golf throughout the world is sincere, and it is that commitment that first led us to EA Sports more than three years ago, EA Sports, Tiger Woods and the PGA Tour have developed an extremely successful franchise that responds to one of the popular entertainment choices of kids today.”

“We hope our inclusion will foster an appreciation for the history and traditions of the Masters and inspire the next generation of golfers. Equally important is its ability to help further the mission of the Masters Tournament Foundation with the entirety of its proceeds.”

According to the ESPN article, 100% of the proceeds that the Masters receives will be given to the newly established “Masters Tournament Foundation”


Interestingly, for the first time since the series started, Tiger Woods will not be on the cover. The game is available to be pre-ordered on Amazon (who is also giving codes to a bonus putter in game with your purchase.
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Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 12: The Masters

Tiger Woods

Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of the Tiger Woods saga. Has your view of Tiger Woods changed in the past year? Has he already been forgiven by the court of public opinion? I figured I’d share three of my posts from the past year on this topic.

4/7/2010   – Nike Commercial starring the voice of Earl Woods
2/19/2010 – His return speech
12/2/2009 – Tiger Woods only has himself to blame

Doug Ferguson of NBC Sports has an interesting article on the topic.
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Nike Tiger Woods Commercial

Have you seen the new Tiger Woods ad Nike released today?

 I’m not usually one to support using people who have passed on to your advantage and making money but you have to agree that as creepy at this is, it is still powerful stuff. Darren Rovell of CNBC reported earlier today that the ad was shot a couple of weeks ago on Tiger Woods’ home course in Orlando.

Tiger Woods’ returns to the golf course on Thursday at The Masters. ESPN’s coverage starts at 4 PM Eastern tomorrow but they will air Tiger Woods’ tee shot at the first hole live at 1:42 PM on Sportscenter. While Woods has been away from the golf course his ability as a pitchman apparently hasn’t been tarnished that much, sales of Tiger Woods merchandise are actually up at Golfsmith this year.

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Tiger Woods Speech

Just got done watching the Tiger Woods speech. It was pretty much what I expected it to be. Completely scripted. Don’t get me wrong, there was some powerful stuff in their about “feeling entitled”. Him taking an extended break is definitely important. I understand the need for a written statement but couldn’t someone at Team Tiger get him a teleprompter or two?

Here’s a transcript from PGA Tour’s website.

Notable in her absence was his wife Elin. Good for her. Tiger’s mother was sitting in the front row though and was used as a prop by Tiger at the end. Did someone want to tell Tiger that no one cares about his charitable work today? What did speaking in front of his “friends” accomplish? He’s going to have to answer questions sooner or later, why didn’t he just start that process today? Did you notice the dramatic shift to looking at the camera when he was speaking to “his fans?” Who directed this? I seriously want to sit in one of these P.R meetings one of these days. What goes through these guys heads?

I was actually surprised to hear him say he doesn’t know when he will return to the PGA Tour. I think this layoff will cost him chance to catch Jack Nicklaus. Darren Rovell of CNBC wrote a good piece today on the sponsorship issues. Darren Rovell appeared on ESPN today as well to talk about the Tiger Woods brand. . Some PGA Tour golfers did issue statements in support of Tiger Woods. I loved Bill Simmons’ take on this. I disagree with Rick Reilly’s take on this. How can you say he accomplished something today? How can you say this was really well done? Is he angling to get an exclusive? Commissioner of the PGA Tour, Tim Finchem also made comments in front of a camera

If you hadn’t yet heard there is a book coming out on the Tiger woods affairs called, Unplayable: An Inside Account of Tiger’s Most Tumultuous Season. Just in case you needed to reminded, MSNBC has a timeline up for the last 2-3 months.

Haven’t caught much of the analysis yet. Will get around to it eventually. The networks treated this as a big deal. Katie Couric anchored CBS coverage. Matt Lauer anchored NBC’s coverage while Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos anchored ABC’s coverage. Did you hear that Charlie Rymer of The Golf Channel actually cried on the air!

I don’t understand the Tiger Woods apologists though. I don’t understand the, “50% of married men do this” attitude either. This isn’t a man who just had an affair (not saying that would make the situation right), this was a man who did this as a hobby. There is a big difference. I don’t understand the people who say, “this is a private matter” either. Sure, parts of it is. But he does need to come clean in public. You lose the “privacy” argument when you have your name plastered on billboards across the world. You lose the “privacy” argument when you have your own clothing line. You lose the “privacy” argument when you appear in advertisements around the world. You lose the “privacy” argument when you are the cover man for a video game franchise named after you. You lose the “privacy” argument when you make a living off of your name.

I don’t agree with the paparazzi standing outside his kids schools but Tiger Woods does need to come out and answer questions. I don’t have an ounce of sympathy for Tiger Woods. As I wrote previously, he brought this on himself.

I truly believe he cost himself a shot at Jack Nicklaus with this break he’s having to take. The Majors were lined up perfectly for him this year. Courses where has dominated in the past. One of the biggest advantages Tiger has had over the years is intimidation. Golfers have been afraid to play him and it has showed down the stretch of big tournaments as they have melted one by one. That aura is gone now. We’ve seen golfers and the golf media FINALLY speak up against Tiger. How will he handle the galleries? He had temper issues in the past and that was with with really friendly galleries. How will he handle comments from the galleries now?
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GWAA votes not to participate in Tiger Woods public statement – Press Tent

GWAA votes not to participate in Tiger Woods public statement 

Great to see. Neil Best of “Newsday” was the first to suggest this yesterday on Twitter. Why don’t we see this more often, especially in politics? This will be a sham. A sham that will be carried live on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN News, MSNBC, FOX News, CNN, ABC, CBS and NBC. As I mentioned earlier, him not answering questions tomorrow makes no sense whatsoever.

Not that the whole world didn’t know already, but we finally got some confirmation that Tiger was and is returning to rehab.

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Tiger Woods is back….sort of

Tiger Woods is back….sort of.

Word going around is that he will be having a News Conference Friday at 11 AM eastern time from PGA Headquarters. Lets not get carried away though, reports are that he will not take questions from the Press at the event. Why even both doing this? Who on Team Tiger though this was a good idea? Just come out and answer questions. He’s going to have to end up doing one of these again anyways to answer questions, why not just get it over with? Once again a horrible job from Tiger Woods P.R team.

As I said before, Tiger Woods has no one to blame but himself.

So Tiger Woods wants us to feel bad for him, but he won’t answer any questions and most likely will still be back for The Masters? Epic fail.

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Tiger Woods only has himself to blame.

Sooner or later these people will figure it out right? They are chased by cameras and reporters pretty much everywhere they go. Every little detail of their lives are scrutinized to the utmost degree. These people take full advantage of the fame and riches that come their way but unfortunately a lot of them let it get to their heads.

Tiger Woods is just the most recent in a long list of athletes who has failed not just his family and image but his fans as well. We hear all the time that what these people do on their own time is none of our business. I agree with that to a certain point but not when the individual involved has made hundreds of millions of dollars based on his image. If you want to ruin your marriage and family life, go right ahead as it is purely your decision but don’t try to insult our intelligence by appearing in a million different commercials and pitch products. As it turns out you lied to and shamed your family. Why shouldn’t we take anything you say with a grain of salt?

Earlier this year Tiger Woods became the World’s first Billionaire athlete.

Why is it that these people deny these stories when they first get reported? This isn’t the era of Babe Ruth or Mickey Mantle. You can’t even compare it to the 90s. There are just so many media platforms out there that the truth in matters like this pretty much always comes out. In this era of Twitter and TMZ there is no hiding. People would probably be a lot more sympathetic if these guys admitted to their mistakes right away. The lame excuses these guys make only makes matters worse as the lies they tell are so bad that all it does is lead more people to dig into your personal life. Seriously, did anyone believe anything Tiger Woods or his agents said in the days after the accident?

Why is it that privacy only matters to these guys when they do something wrong? Where is Tiger Woods’ search for privacy when he’s doing commercials for Nike, Gatorate or Gillette? Where is his request for privacy when his picture gets plastered in sporting goods stores and billboards around the world? Where is his request for privacy when he’s releasing his own video game everywhere and wants to be in the room of every kid with an XBox, PS3 or a Wii? Where is his request for privacy when he is making close to $100 million a year in endorsement money? He gets caught being an idiot and suddenly we are supposed to pretend that this is a private matter? I feel for his wife Elin Nordegren. Right now there are people digging into her life because of what Tiger Woods did.

I should mention that I have never been the world’s biggest Tiger Woods fan. Don’t get me wrong, you can’t help but be impressed by his resume on the golf course but Tiger Woods the man has never been easy to root for. He’s been an obnoxious bully and if he was anyone but Tiger Woods he would have faced a major backlash over the years. If you haven’t seen it for yourself just go check out some of the Tiger Woods clips on Youtube. Golf holds itself to a ridiculous uptight standard that doesn’t even let fans bring cameras or cell phones to a golf course yet Tiger Wood’s antics get excused.

This isn’t some new phenomenon either. Tiger has been cursing and throwing clubs around for a long time now. When he’s not doing something himself he has his caddy to the dirty work for him. We’ve all seen his antics on TV. Remember him tossing someone’s camera a couple of years ago? PGA Tour officials continue to look the other way because he’s Tiger Woods.

I was in attendance for the Final Round of The Barclays earlier this year. My Brother and I considered following Tiger Woods around for the day but gave up on it after jut two holes. He doesn’t interact with the fans at all. There were little kids yelling his name as he walked up the fairway and he wouldn’t even look over and nod. Yet, his galleries were huge based on his name alone. We decided to follow Padraig Harrington instead and he was simply amazing. He was right there in contention with Tiger Woods but the contrast in their behavior on the course was remarkable. Harrington took time on each hole to interact with fans (especially little kids). Phil Mickelson was also really friendly with the crowd despite being way behind the leaders at this event. Watching Tiger Woods in person that day made me even happier that I have never rooted for him in his professional career.

The sporting world fell in love with Tiger Woods and his father in the mid 90s because it was a great story. It is just unfortunate that like so many others Tiger Woods the man is not half as easy to like as Tiger Woods the athlete. If you want to live a public life and make the ridiculous amount of money based on your name alone, you can’t be a hypocrite and ask for privacy in a matter like this. You can’t have it both ways.

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Would you walk away from $1.2 Million?

Can you imagine a scenario where you would get the chance to win $1.2 Million but would willingly walk away? Keep in mind that I’m not asking you to do anything illegal for that $1.2 million. Confused? Remember the name Ross Fisher. It is a name you might hear for a very long time to come. By the time you wake up this morning this story might have already been played out but read on anyways.

Ross Fisher is a professional golfer. Chances are you’ve never heard of him. But Mr. Fisher finds himself in a situation where he is willing to pass up on the $1.2 million in prize money that he would receive for winning the British Open. The win would be the biggest of his career by a long shot and would come at a tournament that you can easily argue is the biggest in his sports. He comes into the 4th and final round this morning just 1 shot off the lead. Tiger Woods didn’t make the cut. Phil Mickelson isn’t playing in this tournament and several big names also failed to qualify for the weekend’s play or are so far back that they are non-factors at this point. Seems like he has a legitimate enough shot at the win doesn’t it? Just one slight problem though. Fisher’s wife is expecting the couple’s first child. Talk about timing. Ross Fisher has said that his priority is to be there with his wife in England. The tournament is being held in Scotland so obviously not a long flight over.

It is very much possible that Fisher could be in the lead in the final round and about to wrap up the biggest win of his career….but walk away from it. Can you blame him though? How can you not root for this guy? We hear so much about selfish athletes who care about nothing but money, it really is nice to hear of a guy who’s willing to leave so much money on the table.

This got me thinking….any other scenarios under which you would walk away from $1.2 million?

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