Talking to Tiger: Advice for Getting Out of the Media Sandtrap of the Year

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Tiger Woods has had a fairly bad week, starting with his attention-grabbing car accident last Friday. Since then, kiss-and-tell stories have flourished and skeletons are tumbling out of his crammed closets -- so many that a Hoarding intervention may be warranted. The damage to his marriage is hard to estimate, though his wife is reported to be receiving a lump sum payment and better terms in a renegotiated nuptial agreement as compensation and economic incentive to stand by her man.

So Tiger apparently had the public fooled into thinking he was a straight-laced family man, which was pretty brilliant public relations work as we've learned this week. So why has he failed like a Greek hero this week to get ahead of the dark story? It's inexplicable. Maybe his publicist is good at forward spin but lousy at damage control? The upshot is that Tiger seems to need help. I stepped up to offer ideas pro bono on my blog this week, cross-posted below, and I'm hoping you have some recovery advice for him as well. Boyfriend needs it.

2009 Australian Masters - Preview Day 3

Tiger, Tiger, oh you little Cheetah Tiger,

For such a talented strategist on the green, you've been slipping on a mudslide, haven't you, dude? You certainly aren't out in front of the story of Tiger's Fall From Grace, and I have to say it looks as though you may be due even more media heat to come, but who knows? That's the point, no one knows which iron you've been swinging or where you've been duffing, so everyone wants to talk. Even worse for you, it really sucks to have a major PR mess-up this late in the year, because you are going to appear on all sorts of "best of" and "worst of 2009" lists.



There is always time, though, to make things better.

I know you sports guys like it brief and to the point, so I'm throwing down an action plan for you to save your media face. Here is what you need to do to get yourself out of this sandtrap.

1. Break it off with any illicits and always talk to law enforcement right away. Always get those out of the way ASAP. It doesn't work to duck their calls, and pulling a White Bronco move never makes you look good. When the world is watching your phone ring, you've got to pick it up, it's as simple as that.

2. Talk to the press, too. Thank the public for the way they have worried about your health, your marriage, how they sent balloons, started prayer rings, all of that. Say that it really moves you and your loving wife and you are paying that kindness forward by giving a million dollars to family charities this holiday season. Ho Ho Ho! Do your best to look like a bumbling millionaire Mr. Magoo on this one, Ace--if Mr. Magoo were a young superstar athlete instead of a short old blind version of Thurston Howell III.

3. Be photographed with a copy of Post-Partum Depression for Incredibly Dumb Daddies, though don't say any of those words (except Daddy) out loud. Maybe even be photographed with your kids! But not with golf clubs. Seriously, NO golf clubs for a few months, even (or perhaps especially) at home. After a month, wean back with miniature golf, see how that goes over before going all big-boy golf.  Point is, you are a FATHER! Who feels horrible he treated his WIFE WHO IS CARING FOR HIS TINY BABY. Seriously.

4. Move out of Florida. Immediately. No one trusts Floridians. Also stay away from California, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Oregon and Louisiana. Arizona is good, people trust Arizona. Ohio would be great. "Golf Ohio" sounds sweet, doesn't it? It has symmetry.

5. Take your family on a convalescence cruise. Doctor's orders. I shouldn't have to say this, but don't bring any other women with you. I'm not kidding, Tiger. Make it a Disney cruise. Wear the damn ears. Listen, no one likes the ears, but you have to wear them. And to help with your kids Sam and Charlie, one word: Manny. Better yet, wear that baby. Not only would a babypack make for a great photo op, but it will help people forget about the golf club elephant in the room.

6. Stop in the Bahamas on your way back and change your name. "Tiger" always sounded like you were up to no good, if you ask me. Which by now you are wishing you had, am I right? Take your grandfather's name, in fact. Or Charlie, after your son. Better yet Sam, to match your daughter. That's a cool story, go with that, Sam Woods.

7. If people persist in asking where you were headed in the wee hours of Friday, just tell them the truth: you went to Jared's. Do NOT mention the BOGO Black Friday deal you were hoping to score.

That's all I've got Big Boy. Hope these free tips help. If you need more advice (and it's looking like you do) just say the word and I'll flip my meter to on.

See you on the back nine,

Deb Rox
Media Advisor to the Stars

The Internet has kicked in with lots of great commentary on this one, to be sure.  Anything Hollywood posted some of quotes from old interviews where he touts the health of his marriage. Your Tango writes about the payout deal. Judy Howard Ellis writes about the  fallen hero meme at Politics Daily.  How about you? Thrown down some advice in the comments.

Deb Rox often needs free advice herself.  Feel free to tweet it to her @debontherocks, or slam it in the comments at Deb on the Rocks. Lunch dates work well, too.

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