by Jeff Skinner
When Richard Nixon was in the White House he and his cronies had the “Enemies List.” If you did or said something that Nixon didn’t like or that made him look bad, boom, you were on the list. Needless to say it was a pretty long list. Tiger Woods may not call it the “Enemies List” but you can be certain he has one. Maybe he calls it the “Pain in the A$$ List” or the maybe it’s the entire membership of the Golf Writers of America. Whatever he calls it, he added Alex Miceli to the list yesterday. Oh, let’s be real, Miceli was probably on it long ago.
After their terse exchange about Hank Haney’s book, Miceli is surely never getting some one on one time with Woods. Miceli is in good company as many of the most respected sports writers have a slot on the list: John Feinstein is a charter member as is Steve Elling. Lately one of Tiger’s preferred sportswriters Jaime Diaz went from trusted member of the press to traitor, turncoat and spy. Diaz has co-authored the Haney book.
Tiger has never had any use for the press and has treated them with disdain for years but somewhere along the line he needs to wake up and realize that this is the world he created. He certainly reaped the rewards of his game and his celebrity prior to his scandal. For him to treat the press, the fans and most everyone else the way he does is simply wrong.
I can understand the anxiety he has over Haney’s book but the Navy Seal issue is something he spoke about before. From the Associated Press, “It was a change from the way he handled a press conference in December 2010. Tom Callahan had written in “His Father’s Son” that he would not have been surprised if Woods had followed his father into the military. Woods was asked that day where Callahan came up with that notion.
“Well, I’ve always wanted to become a SEAL,” Woods said back then. “That’s something that I told my dad from the very get-go — either I’m going to become a professional golfer or I’m going to go become a Navy SEAL.”
So if Tiger had commented on it earlier why wouldn’t he say the same thing here? It probably is because of his feelings towards Haney. Tiger feels betrayed by his coach and former friend. Woods looks to have drawn the line here and will do everything he can to avoid any reference to the book. The funny thing is, the more that is made from these exchanges and non-answers, the more books get sold. Haney’s publisher has to be jumping for joy each time Tiger tries to deflect a question about the book and Haney.
As it is, Woods will continue to not answer those questions and give any reporter who asks them the “evil eye.” But nowadays that evil eye doesn’t have the power it used to and there are more writers ready to take Tiger to task for his boorish behavior.