A Tiger in the Rough

December 01, 2009 - 8:51 pm

Thanksgiving is a day to show appreciation for the family members and friends who give their love and care to us in every aspect of our lives. It is a time to reflect and value the smaller things in life that are often overlooked in one's busy schedule. Yet, after getting into a car accident early Friday morning outside his Florida mansion, Tiger Woods is just thankful enough to be alive. From the moment Orange County police officers found the No. 1 golfer in the world lying in the street with his wife by his side, rumors, reports and gossip about the cause of the accident have flooded media outlets across the country. Refusing to meet with the authorities, Woods has remained silent on the details concerning the incident, generating a PR catastrophe. Now, after damaging the front bumper and the grille of his brand new Cadillac Escalade (along with a smashed window courtesy of his wife, Elin Nordegren Woods), Tiger has gone from being the face of the PGA Tour to the poster boy for rumors involving alleged affairs and domestic abuse disputes. Sure, Woods may be entitled to keep personal matters discrete from the public eye. He may consider the crash to be a private situation. He can even claim sole responsibility for the accident in hopes that authorities will not press the issue further. Yet, when one of the most popular athletes in the world becomes involved in a hot, juicy scandal, the superstar goes from being on the cover of best-selling sports publications to the front page story of the latest tabloids and gossip magazines. This is not the first time the man who is arguably the greatest golfer in history has been the center of controversy. Here is a sample of a few occasions in which Tiger has found himself in the middle of a conflict. "Fartgate" On Aug. 2, 2009, during the Buick Open, a video caught Woods releasing what sounded like flatulence while waiting to take a shot. Despite winning his third career Buick Open, Woods' victory was overshadowed by the suggestion that the golfer let out a whiff of gas on national television. Pacing around uncomfortably on the 18th hole, Woods was heard laughing along with his caddy Steve Williams after a loud noise echoed from where he was awkwardly positioned. Wii In December 2008, an advertisement for the game Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 featuring Woods was banned from the airwaves. The advertisement revealed the image of Woods swinging a Wii controller while the video game character imitated his trademark movements and reactions with a Wii logo at the bottom. However, although the ad was meant for all formats, the footage was obtained from the Xbox 360 version. This led the Advertising Standards Authorities to ban the commercial from future broadcasts, stating it misled consumers to believe the graphics were taken from the Wii version. "Noose" Comment On Jan. 4, 2008, Golf Channel anchor Kelly Tilghman sparked controversy when she made a divisive comment during Hawaii's Mercedes-Benz championship. Discussing with her co-host, Nick Faldo, how young golfers could potentially challenge Woods, Tilghman joked they should "lynch him in a back alley." Although Tilghman apologized for her poor word choice and Woods acknowledged the fact that no harm was meant, she still was suspended for her remarks. The situation did not end there. In the Jan. 19 edition of Golfweek Magazine, the image of a noose appeared on the front cover of the issue in response to Tilghman's comment. Under the picture, a caption read, "Caught in a noose, Tilghman slips up, and the Golf Channel can't wiggle free." As a result, it was the magazine's editor Dave Seanor who suffered instead of Tilghman or the Golf Channel, as he was fired immediately for the publication. "Kobe Special" Woods may have sunk himself in a deeper hole after a report from TMZ indicated that Tiger told a friend in a phone conversation on Friday he needed a "Kobe Special." After his friend asked what Woods was implying by this suggestion, the golfer replied, "a house on a finger." Apparently referring to the ring Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant bought his wife after admitting infidelity during the infamous Colorado sex scandal, Woods' comment led many to assume Tiger had engaged in an extra-marital affair with a woman named Rachel Uchitel, who vehemently denied the report.