Sports

What are those voices in Tiger's head?

The first week of April is the best sports week of the year.

We hear that every April from good sports fans left breathless by the intoxicating combination of the Final Four, the start of another baseball season and the first golf major of the year. If you have kids playing sports, the weather is finally in their favor. The NBA and NHL are gearing up for the playoffs.

I happen to think every week is the best sports week of the year because I hate playing favorites. But I agree this is a really good time of year, with an unending supply of wonderful stories and events.

Although, as it turns out, the most important thing that happened in sports this week had nothing to do with somebody winning a championship or hitting a home run or making an important putt. At least that's what the Internet tells me.

Apparently, the most important thing that happened this week was: Nike made a commercial. With Tigers Woods in it. And the commercial was in black and white. And Tiger didn't say anything. His dead dad's voice was used. But his dad wasn't talking about Tiger. What was Nike thinking? What was Tiger thinking? Should we demand an investigation? Is it possible that Nike and Tiger are trying to confuse us?

Let me help. Here's what Nike and Tiger were thinking: People should buy Nike stuff.

Sure, if we put our mind to it we could come up with some semi-cryptic Star Wars parallel where Nike chairman Phil Knight is Emperor Palpatine and Tiger Woods is Anakin Skywalker seduced by the dark side of the Force, but I'm not that big a Star Wars geek (as far as you know)... and besides, it's easier to take the commercial at face value.

Come on. A soulless megacorporation and a heartless athlete combine to make a creepy commercial using out-of-context words from the athlete's dead dad talking about his ex-wife which the commercial presents as a father-son talk, all done in the name of commerce. And we're supposed to be surprised?

They don't care if we're surprised or repulsed or confused.

Have a Nike golf hat.

Not that I want to encourage cynicism or anything, especially when it comes to Nike.

(Is it possible that the reason the Internet told me this commercial was the most important sports story of the week was actually some cheap trick designed to make me watch some of the 8 billion parodies of the commercial that popped up within seconds of the real commercial's unveiling? Incredible how little regard the WWW has for Tiger [and how funny, in a mean-spirited way, some people can be]. You people and your space-age computer machines are a little frightening.)

It's only a commercial, but you can't stop talking about it....

Unless you're a New York tabloid. Then the "news" is all about Tiki Barber and his girlfriend.

Now you might be thinking, "Tiki Barber? People barely cared about him when he played football, right? He's retired now — what do I care if he has a girlfriend?"

Ha! Don't be ridiculous! You care because he's a former athlete/Today Show correspondent! And we thought he was a nice guy, and he never denied it! And his wife is pregnant, but it's possible he's spending time with a 23-year-old! The New York tabloids have pictures! She's good-looking! It's also possible he once spent a night in her dorm room! A professional athlete/celebrity might be displaying questionable morals! Can't you see the link between Tiki and Tiger?! Questionable morals! Try to work up some outrage here people!

Or maybe just be glad you don't live in New York.

And enjoy the end of the best sports week of the year. You can watch golf today. I'll be watching baseball.

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