By Gregory Moore
“The Masters is where I won my first major and I view this tournament with great respect. After a long and necessary time away from the game, I feel like I’m ready to start my season at Augusta.” – Eldrick ‘Tiger’ Woods
That one paragraph probably says more for Woods than when Michael Jordan simply faxed over his famous two word return to the NBA.
What Woods is doing is something that definitely has Ari Fleischer’s fingerprints all over it because let’s face it, we have all speculated that Woods would probably be back playing golf around that time but what Fleischer is doing is something so masterful that if he pulls this off, he will forever be known as “Mr. Fix It” when athletes f#@k up their professional reputations.
Why would I make such a claim about this strategy that even Bam Bam Rubble can understand?
Because when you are crafting someone’s image that has been so beaten up, sometimes its easier to do things in a setting where you control what’s going on; even when you may not be fully in control.
And so with Fleischer coordinating his image makeover magic with Woods’ return in April, what could happen is the re-launch of a career that was already meteoric based upon on simple notion: Tiger having success at Augusta.
Think about what is in the process of happening. Look at this potential scenario and see if you don’t agree with the perceived outcome.
Woods plays in the Masters and finishes in the Top 5 that weekend.
The sports world is abuzz and the tabloid media is on fire.
Woods then goes on and possibly plays in the Zurich Classic in New Orleans two weeks later and finishes in the Top 5 there; possibly winning it.
Again the sports world is abuzz and the tabloids sizzle.
Woods then plays in the Players Championship and wins his first major of the year.
The sports world is now out of control and the tabloids’ sensation starts to dwindle down considerably.
Woods goes on to play in the Byron Nelson Championship and finishes in the top five again.
The sports world proclaims that the King is back and the tabloids move on to something else.
Four courses where the golf image can be reborn back to its legendary state of mind.
Four chances to completely re-make a public image that will have new sponsors clamoring to be a part of the rebirth of one of golf’s greatest players.
If you don’t think Fleischer hasn’t done what I just did, look at the tournament schedule, and if you don’t think Woods hasn’t done the same, then you don’t understand what is about to happen because it is coming.
Tiger Woods will be back to being “Tiger” on the links in short order and it will all start with that opening paragraph of this piece.
In the process, Fleischer will have another successful rebirth of another sports legend’s reputation and the rest of us will be back to enjoying what we have always enjoyed; watching Tiger play golf.
As for the tabloids?
Well they’ll move on to the next big story.
Whatever that may entail.