The Sports Guy has a column about Tiger Woods and how boring he’s become. To some extent, he’s right. Tiger never says anything the least bit controversial. He dominates the tour in a manner no one thought possible. He’s always on his best behavior and says nothing in interviews. I kind of like some of his ideas for how Tiger can spice things up. Like this one:
Back in 1997 you were covered in Nike gear, flashed that infamous toothy smile and talked with the same voice Dave Chappelle uses to make fun of white people. Nine years later? Nothing has changed. Maybe you’re a little thicker and have a little less hair, but basically you’re the same. Time to mix it up. Wear Kangol caps and fedoras. Show up for Sawgrass looking like Jules from “Pulp Fiction,” right down to the Jheri curls and muttonchops. Hit the Ryder Cup with a playoff beard. Why not a gangsta phase — Yankee cap, diamond grill, tons of chains — followed by a preppy phase, with Mr. Rogers cardigan and Top-Siders? The more phases, the merrier. Don’t knock it; it’s worked for Madonna.
He’s got a point. I’d watch that. I like this one too:
Add a degree of difficulty to the proceedings. Play the Masters without a sand wedge. Carry your own bag during the Buick Invitational. Play Pebble Beach in Birkenstocks. Putt one-handed at Doral. Not only would everyone be more impressed when you won, but you’d have a built-in excuse when you lost. And either way, you’d be reminding all the other golfers that you don’t even play the same game they do.
I like that. I think he should play in clown shoes. Anyone wanna bet against him winning even then? I didn’t think so.
You need to play up the whole “I’ve won all 12 majors that I led after the third round” thing. Would a little trash-talking kill you? Remember when Larry Legend sat in the locker room before the 3-point shooting contest at the All-Star Game and wondered out loud who was going to finish second? Why can’t you do that?
Hell, if he’s gonna do that, he should go all the way to Larry Bird territory. Casual basketball fans don’t realize that Bird was the biggest trash talker in NBA history. He never shut up on the court. Up and down, every trip, he was taunting his opponents. He’d tell his defender that he was gonna shoot a 3-pointer from the left corner on the next trip down court and that there’s nothing they can do to stop it. And then he’d do it. I swear, he modeled himself after Billy Jack and that whole “I’m gonna take my right foot and kick you on the right side of your face” scene.
Wouldn’t you kill to see that from Tiger? Wouldn’t you love to hear the network microphones catch him telling Mickelson, “You’ve got no chance, man. While your manboobs are still jiggling from shanking your next drive into the hospitality tent, I’m gonna be 75 yards up the fairway hitting a wedge to within 3 feet of the pin.” Or better yet, and more commonly, “It doesn’t matter how well you play. I’m gonna drive it behind a tree and put my bailout shot on top of the clubhouse and I’m still gonna make par. Because I’m Eldrick Woods, bitch.”
But here’s my favorite:
Every hero needs an archnemesis. Unfortunately, everyone’s afraid to cross you. Still, Sergio Garcia could be the guy: He’s smarmy and European, and with the right coaching and facial hair, he’d be a decent villain. Take him under your wing. Teach him some tricks. Build up his confidence. Then, orchestrate some sort of dramatic falling out. If we’re lucky, he’ll grow a Fu Manchu, start to refer to himself as The Serge, and say inflammatory things like, “Tiger Woods is just like the rest of America — lazy!” Every golf fan would be rooting for you to crush him. So it’s a WWE plot. The stuff works.
Absolutely. But it would be much funnier if Mickelson did it, and tried to make himself all scary and evil. Or Davis Love III, who makes Prince Charles look menacing. Better yet: Ernie Els. Think about it. He’s from South Africa. He could start ranting in news conferences about the inherent inferiority of blacks. He could refuse to play in the same group with Tiger, or show up in a “Jail Mandela” t-shirt. He’d be the perfect evil foil. And then one day when Tiger is lining up a putt, his sidekick Retief Goosen can sneak up behind him and hit him with a steel chair. The action figure business alone would be worth millions.