Monday, April 12, 2010

He's Not Talking To You, Tiger


So, by now, you've seen or heard or read about the Tiger Woods ad for Nike that he did. It's filmed in black and white and he's just standing there, staring into the camera, a Nike swoosh visible on his sweater and on his hat, as a voice narrates a few sentences. The voice, we've learned, is that of his late father Earl Woods. I'm not sure how we knew that, but someone made sure that we knew. What we didn't know right away was where in the hell that voice footage came from.

And if you think that you're going to get a straight answer from anyone in Tiger's camp or from the Nike fellows, well, you're wrong. It took
ABC News to figure out where the voice footage came from. (And yes, I'm as shocked as you are that they were able to uncover it before some blogger did.) According to them, the statements came from "Tiger: The Authorized DVD Collection," distributed by Buena Vista Home Entertainment. But it wasn't Earl Woods speaking to Tiger at all. No, the deal was that "In the original context, Earl was not talking to Woods, but about the golfer's mother Kultida." Soooo...what now?

When they made the ad, they cut off the first part of what Earl had said. Earl's full quote in the film is: "Authoritarian. Yea, Tida is very authoritative. She is very definitive. 'Yes' and 'No.' I am more prone to be inquisitive, to promote discussion. I want to find out what you're thinking was, I want to find out what your feelings are and did you learn anything?" Earl then adds, "So, we were two different types but we co-existed pretty well." Wait a minute.

Let me get this straight. He wasn't talking to Tiger AT ALL? He was explaining the differences between his style and the style of his wife? So, they edited in the "Tiger" at the front and then made it so it was like he was talking TO Tiger? What the hell is that all about? Was Tiger aware of this? Of course he was.

He was asked about the commercial during his little Q&A session with reporters after his first round at The Masters. The woman who asked him about it asked why, since he has previously said that talking about his dad's death was a private issue, would he allow that to be the basis for a commercial. That seems like a reasonable question. What I didn't find so reasonable was his answer. "Well, I think it's very apropos. I think that's what my dad would say. It's amazing how, it, uh....how my dad can speak to me from different ways. Even when he's long gone. He's still, still helping me. And I think that any son who has lost a father, and who meant so much in their life, I think they would understand the spot.” Wait. What now?

You think that it's very apropos? You DO? First of all, you DO realize that he's NOT actually speaking TO you, right? You do realize that it was a commercial that you did for Nike, right? But all of that aside, he wasn't speaking those words to you when he DID speak them! No, he was speaking them to your mother! It wasn't ADVICE at all! He was just explaining the difference between her and him. He wasn't trying to teach YOU anything!

And I'm going to take umbrage (because I rarely get to do that these days) and I'm also going to get a little testy with his pity comment at the end of his response. Oh, so anyone (excuse me, any SON) who has lost a father wouldn't HAVE to question what the spot means, is that it? So, if you are questioned on the spot, then it's just be insensitive jerks who don't know what it means to have their father die? I don't think that's it at all. Now, granted, I was not my father's son, but it doesn't change the fact that he's dead. And I've gotta tell you, if someone came to me and said that they wanted to take some stuff that my dad said and use it completely out of context so that I could make a few bucks when people see an ad and run out to buy golf shirts, I don't think I'm going to go for that. I think that, out of respect to my father, I'm not going to essentially dig him up in an effort to rebuild my tarnished image. I don't think I'm going to do that AT ALL.

Are you kidding me? There are plenty of cards out there that people like to play, but I think that the one that I hate the most is the dead relative card. Just because you know someone who died, that doesn't mean that I'm going to feel sorry for you. It happens. Get over it. And the other thing that I hate is when people talk about someone that they've "lost". What is that supposed to mean, exactly? I used to really enjoy it when people would come up to me and say something to the effect of, "I hear you lost your father." I enjoyed responding with, "I didn't lose him. I know exactly where he is." My dad would like that I give that answer. And I like that he would like it. What he wouldn't like would be me whoring out his voice so that I could make a buck or two. No, he'd have a couple things to say about that (and none of them are printable).

What a bunch of crap this commercial is. I guess that it has already run its course. From what I understand, it was aired a couple of times before or during The Masters and that was it. I don't expect it to be seen in the future, nor do I care if it is ever shown again. I'm just not real big on using your dead dad to sell shoes or shirts or whatever it is that he's pitching. I'm also not real big on using something that your dead dad said to your mom in order to try to make people forget that you are the nation's number one serial fornicator. How about you leave the dead folks out of it and you just start acting like a respectable human being instead?

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