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Nov. 29 2009 - 4:20 pm | 22 views | 1 recommendation | 5 comments

Media, blogs not only ones spreading Tiger Woods accident rumors. Blame Google, too

“This is a private matter and I want to keep it that way. Although I understand there is curiosity, the many false, unfounded and malicious rumors that are currently circulating about my family and me are irresponsible.” — Tiger Woods, via his Web site.

Yes, malicious rumors are definitely irresponsible, but so too is Tiger Woods’ bizarre decision to once again put off a meeting with Florida authorities to discuss what looks less and less like a routine traffic accident.

Clearly, the longer Woods avoids dealing with police and the longer he relies onnondescript, inane written statements like the one he issued Sunday on his Web site, the more a curious public conjures up these malicious rumors.

Audio tapes of a neighbor’s call to 911, released Sunday by the Florida Highway Patrol, reveal next to nothing except what appears to be a distracted or inattentive neighbor with a lousy cell phone connection trying to get help for Woods

So with an indecipherable 911 tape, vagaries from Woods, incomplete information from the authorities and little else to go on, media ranging from the mainstream to the blogosphere are predictably tattooing the golfer with rumors about what precipitated the wreck.

The most common version from armchair investigators is that Woods’ wreck emanated from a domestic dispute with his wife over an alleged mistress, which would cast a different image on his wife’s golf-club attack on his Cadillac Escalade. The official version is she took to the car with a golf club to smash out windows in order to rescue someone with a few facial lacerations. You can begin to see how these strange explanations, coupled with an aversion to talking to cops, are ripe for rumors.

But while we can’t say with any certainty whether any of this is true or not, Woods can’t just blame the news outlets and bloggers for stoking this speculation. Google seems to be in on it, too.

These are the suggested searches I got when simply typing in “Tiger Woods” in the Google search bar:

Apparently, Woods' golf career isn't a high priority in the mind of the Web.

Apparently, Woods

To clarify, I think the “tiger woods 10 cheats” probably refers to video gamers looking for nefarious ways to screw their competitors in the PlayStation game Tiger Woods PGA Tour ‘10. But otherwise, you can see how Google has been an instant portal into the alleged stains on Woods’ otherwise unblemished image.

What a bummer for Woods. Spending all those years perfecting a spectacular golf game for so little in return from Google search results.


Comments

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  1. collapse expand

    While someone in his predicament should be given the benefit of the doubt and have his privacy respected, his celebrity works against him and makes it next to impossible. It only exacerbates the situation and fuels lurid speculation when meetings with authorities are repeatedly made and canceled. The whole incident is rapidly taking on a distinct odor of fish.

  2. collapse expand

    Mr. Vockrodt,

    The trap so many celebrities fall into is blur (or obliterate) the barrier between the public celebrity persona and their personal lives. They trot out their family history, kids, parents, dogs, or whatever and say “See how interesting / fabulous / beautiful I am and / or my family is, you should buy / see / listen to my products.” This does indeed work, it does generate more income than the opposite approach. However when things go wrong, this more lucrative approach then blows up in the face of the celebrity and it is far too late to close the door. It is like the 5th Amendment, you cannot waive it to testify in your favor at your own trial but then not the let the prosecution ask any questions. Celebrities cannot have it both ways.

    • collapse expand

      davidlosangeles,

      You’re right. It’s like Sarah Palin trotting out her family to score points in her vice presidential bid and then getting all upset when the media points out some of the problems facing that same family. Really, all a celebrity’s call to respect their privacy does is try to rally their supporters into attacking the messenger — in this case, the media and sports fans wondering what the hell is going on — instead of question the subject under scrutiny.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
  3. collapse expand

    Has the media invented a new form of justice? Guilty until proven innocent.

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    A MacGuffin is a term coined by Alfred Hitchcock to describe a plot device that props up a movie or story, even though we discover later on that it lacks the importance we thought it had in the overall scheme of things. This is the role that professional and college sports play in our lives when we really think about it.

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