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He said she said, and my sources told me...


"You Gotta Be Kidding!"
by Mickey Charles, CEO Sports Network


Tiger Woods had his much-anticipated press conference and the obvious questions were asked, albeit with some trepidation. Others strayed from the lascivious and medical to embrace the reality of the moment...golf. It was a welcome relief, unlike Vanity Fair trying to be the National Enquirer for the month. Woods was candid, spoke with authority, and had as much of a handle and grasp of the expected as he has on his golf clubs, and will have at the first tee on Thursday.

Vanity Fair concerned itself with one thing, and one thing only, just like every other publication...how many issues do we have to print, how many will be sold, how much will we make? All tied together into that "one thing." Everyone is claiming to have had a session of sorts with Tiger Woods. As of last count, six women in my neighborhood have come forth, and two of our administrative staff are considering the end results - interviews, photos in magazines and newspapers, some TV appearances, radio interviews, maybe even a book.

Well, my sources tell me that their sources are wrong and that what her sources told his sources which they heard from the person granted anonymity has denied all else by the others.

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods makes his 2010 debut at this week's Masters Tournament.
Woods was heralded as a paragon of morality and family virtues...the ideal superstar with the perfect family and recipient of the rewards that come with being an American Idol. A multi-million dollar smile, clean-cut, Stanford grad, possessed of enviable talent on the fairways and greens and enough income to make loans to third-world countries. Then, the sources came out of the woodwork, the opinions of people with PhDs but sorely lacking in common sense and actual experiences, journalist hacks (not all, but many) who thrive on the "public's right to know" which is an absolute incomprehensible and ludicrous claim to voyeurism for the numb and torpid that lead vacuous and unimaginative lives. A tireless and indistinct existence will do that to the folks who seize upon these commentaries, no matter how fraught they are with nonsense.

There is some insane pleasure derived from seeing the mighty fall. It comes with most mentalities. Why? Because they are not there and never will be.

This is the week of The Masters and Tiger will be Tiger. The magic in his mind, body and intensity will focus as one and come to bear on just one goal...winning. He might, he might not. He figures to be up there among the leaders. I cannot imagine Michael Jordan stepping out on the hardwoods of a basketball court right now, years after retiring, and, with just an hour or so of warming up (maybe less) not being able to hit one jump-shot after another from around the arc. Once Woods strikes that ball on the first tee and it sails down the fairway, about 290 yards away, the tepid applause will grow louder.

No one in that crowd this week is prepared to throw the first stone, nor should they be. And, some peripatetic and erratic person might, just might, shout something derisive or manage to hold up a sign with a quote from the Bible. That is it. There will not be boos, jeers, any silence at all and everyone there will focus on the game, the players, the best there is, Tiger Woods.

There are no "sources" out there and confidants of his have not betrayed his reliance on, or belief in, any of them. The women? Some is true, perhaps much, but all? No one knows, and the stories will take on a life of their own. Bits and pieces will be put together in an effort to craft a puzzle, a finished product that tells the tale. The problem is that the pieces do not match, they all come from different "sources" that are unnamed, unknown and never a reality, always in a closet somewhere, clandestine ghosts without a name or even a past.

If you are not aware of Woods' training regimen then you are not able to comprehend the fact that performance-enhancing drugs are not part of his world. If you cannot comprehend what he means to the game of golf then you have been playing stickball and bocce too long while becoming a devotee of curling. If you must cling to peeking into the windows of his mind through those interviewed on morning talk shows then you have a serious problem relating to the world about you. If you are not able to grasp what took place and then move on, let it go, call it a day, then the Playboy Channel awaits because you need something desperately and this drama is close to ringing down the final curtain.

Elin Nordegren
One notable absentee from this week's event will be Woods' wife Elin.
Elin will not be there at the 18th tee if he is in contention or, possibly, the predicted winner. It is not, however, outside the realm of possibility that a nanny or governess, someone close to the family, will be there with his children. It will signal a first step. A few more tournaments and she will be there without the crush of journalistic humanity that will take place here with an appearance by her. Perfect place for her? The Ryder Cup with all the other wives among a dignified audience abroad in Wales in September. That works.

It is the American way, a ritual practiced since the birth of our country...raise the mighty, take them down and then resurrect them again, doing the second stage just to prove it can be done. Buzz Bissinger, who authored the Vanity Fair piece as a "contributing editor," took the lecherous and lustful aspects of Woods, recent dalliances, combined what he could dig up from text messages and claims by "sources" to embark on the sensual and wanton.

Woods had fallen off the pedestal, true, but it will be rebuilt faster than anyone can imagine. He loves golf, has proven how good he is at it and he will survive, walking through this year's Masters and jogging through it next year, at a near full gallop. He is not arrogant. He is confident. He is not beyond human frailties and errors and just proved that. Now there will be misconstruction by the Bissingers of the world about everything he, Woods, ever did or said, seriously or in jest.

To criticize Woods for not breaking bread or having a beer with writers on the tour in the evening is inane. They are "friends" of his, whose first name and nicknames he knows, but they are not his friends for dinner nor should they be. It is definitely possible, and probable, to create the image he did, sincerely so, whether crafted by himself, IMG or a combination and still be a different person for varying situations.

The alleged "link" to Anthony Galea, the doctor in Canada, will disappear faster than the winter snow. What Bissinger ought to do is show up at the gym where Woods goes in the morning and see if he can keep up with that regimen. It does not require drugs of any sort. Oh, by the way, I do know and that did not come from unknown and disreputable, or imagined, sources.

It is going to be one heck of a week in the world of golf...and a more than interesting balance of the year. The din will die down, the mysterious sources and their nonsensical drivel will dissipate and disappear. Woods and his wife, Elin, will put their marriage together and be admired for having been able to do so while golf returns to normalcy. All that will be missing for awhile will be some more sponsors to step up. But, in time, they too will come.

And, will those with nothing better to do with their time continue to prey on Woods?

You gotta be kidding!