Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tiger Tweets To Try To Tackle Troubled Times

Man, I can't wait for her to leave so I can go meet a much less attractive prostitute. won't work.

But in the wake of Tiger's wholly irrelevant attempts to improve his image, I figured it was about time for the Sports Casual take on things. I'm not interested in who got asked to do what in which position, or who gasmoigaddied whose gaflavitty, or even where Tiger would have ranked in that Duke girl's powerpoint. We're talking strictly sports and sports business, here. If you want that soap opera stuff, All My Children is on ABC weekends at 1 pm. I mean, uh, I don't know when it's on.

It's easy to see how Tiger lost his #1 ranking. It was remarkable how long he held it, really, but in the midst of domination we forget how slim margins of victory are in professional sports. In the Beijing Olympics, Usain Bolt, who dominates the sport, won by .2 seconds, a difference of about 2%. In Lance Armstrong's final Tour de France victory, he won by 4 minutes and 40 seconds, a margin of less than 0.1% of the total tour time.

Despite the perception, Tiger was only feet - not miles - ahead of the competition. In his 14 major championships, his average margin of victory was a little over 4 strokes. And that's including the two outliers. Get rid of those, and his average margin of victory is a little over 2 1/2. It's easy to see how, in the past year, Tiger got 2 1/2 strokes (and then some) worse.

For the companies that had substantial money invested in Tiger, the day the news came out regarding his transgressions can essentially be considered 25% Black Tuesday. Before the "incidents" Tiger was estimated to be worth roughly $600 million. Through the divorce settlement and lost sponsorship deals, he is poised to lose half (if not all) of that. Certainly, his image isn't completely worthless, but expect many of the remaining sponsors to let their deals lapse when the contracts expire.

The moral of this story? This was an astronomical collapse. No tweeting, no published Newsweek articles, no Mike & Mike interviews will resurrect the image that we once had. The only thing that can help Tiger? Winning. I don't see it happening anytime soon.

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