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Tiger’s Mess Will Test the Media & the Public’s Short-Sightedness, Part 1 of 2

The media loves to pounce on big-name celebs who get caught doing bad things, doesn’t it? Of course, all that pouncing in the form of cameras flashing and taping, and reporters digging for the dirtiest of the dirt gets consumers’ attention with genuine ease. But even celebrities like Tiger Woods, who over the past month has unwillingly become a huge celeb off the golf course, only seem to get their 15 minutes of fame. Then they seem to be forgotten pretty quickly.

Of course, the jury’s still out on how Woods’ admitted extramarital affairs will affect his celebrity both on and off the course in the long run. Perhaps one of the most common situations involved former President Bill Clinton’s trysts with Monica Lewinsky. Now, more than a decade later, we see how that played out: He’s still looked upon as a wise, if not brilliant, politician. People flock to see him speak — he makes millions doing so. And no doubt, he could easily show up on the TV screen and pitch products if he so chose to (well, maybe not for a cigar company). But at the same time, nobody’s ever forgotten what he did with the most famous White House intern on the planet.

The sportscaster Marv Albert and his bizarre extra-marital affairs also comes to mind. He remains a prominent basketball play-by-play man for TNT, but his stock plunged after his “thing” surfaced. His longtime gig as the New York Knicks play-by-play man was the primary casualty at the time. But fans still love to hear him call out “Yes!” don’t they/we?

In Tiger’s case, he’ll presumably either find a way to patch things up with his wife Elin and be able to brush his numerous affairs under the carpet. Or, they’ll wind up divorcing and his way of life with the assorted ladies will simply become an acceptable thing that simply will be him being the ladies’ man he’s presumably been all along.

Taking an indefinite hiatus from tournament golf is probably wise. Let this news die, then resurface when the time is right. Then win a few tournaments, give the fans more thrills with a few championship-winning, 25-foot putts on the 18th green, and all anybody will care about anymore is how many of Jack Nicklaus’s records he breaks.

Nobody will forget what he’s done or that Nicklaus was always true-blue to his wife and family, but the news he’ll make will once again be all about golf, rather than fodder for Us Weekly or the Inquirer.

Later in the week, Part 2 of this series will focus on the long term marketing impact on Woods’ sponsors.