Sunday, November 28

HBO’s Tiger Highlights a Curious Blank at the Heart of a Golfer’s Life | Tiger Woods


TThe black Mercedes sedan had two broken tires when police found it idling with its brake lights on and flashing light on the side of an empty six-lane highway at 2 a.m. When police appeared on the scene, the man behind the wheel was asleep. Hearing him slurred as officers asked him where he was going and where he had been, he may well have been somewhere on the fifth planet from the sun and not in the dormitory community that is Jupiter, Florida. And when he added that no, he hadn’t been drinking, one officer couldn’t help but wonder, “Are you sure?”

Things only got worse once the man, abandoned to prescription drugs, as it happened, pulled his 6-foot body out of the car and onto the cool asphalt, an undulating vision of Florida man chic in long sleeves, shorts and bare feet. He couldn’t keep his hand down following a beam of light, he couldn’t follow a straight line with his heel and toe, he couldn’t recite the alphabet because he thought they were asking him to “sing the national anthem backwards.” When asked by the officer if he had anything prickly on his person, the man, after initial denial, confessed to having “some screws in the body”, memories of surgeries on his left knee and back. The whole incident takes about 20 minutes, maybe less. And as the police cam B-roll says, OMG, it’s pretty G-rated. It’s only after the mind races to connect it to the creepiest police videos that have filled our timelines for the past six years, And this summer in particular, this clip of Jupiter takes your breath away. That’s when you realize thatIt really might have been the last time we saw Tiger Woods.

Dash cam footage of Woods’ DUI stop in 2017 is just one of many pivotal moments remembered in Tiger, a two-part documentary about the superstar golfer debuting on HBO this Sunday in the US, And the second part will air the following week. It is an HBO Sports documentary par excellence, which means that it gives a complete and fair look at the rise, fall and recovery of one of the most sphinx figures in history. You won’t be surprised to learn that Woods politely declined an invitation to participate in this project, but rest assured that his face and voice are well represented in a wide variety of archival interviews dating back to his appearance in Mike Douglas. Show at the age of two with Jimmy Stewart and Bob Hope.

Given how incredibly 45-year-old Woods has been a certifiably famous person, you might be wondering what else there is to learn about a man whose life would become a marker of time in ours. (Where were you when it was crushed in Augusta in 1997? Or when it hit that fire hydrant on Thanksgiving in 2009?) But there’s plenty of protein here for viewers who don’t mind keeping in mind our shared obsession with the sports of “goddesses”. Heroes and celebrities just to watch them fall. “What’s interesting to me is the speed and jubilation that the media and, in some quarters, the public, experienced their downfall,” says Tiger co-director Matthew Apache. “That was very revealing.”

In Woods’ case, however, the high expectations began with his late father, Earl, who told Sports Illustrated’s Gary Smith that his son was “The Chosen One.” Earl’s presence looms large in the first half of the documentary, and the bond between father and son cannot be lacking in the pride and power with which the boy repeatedly refers to himself as black. It’s not until the money from Nike starts rolling in and Earl’s infidelity becomes a threat to his son’s holy brand image (oh, the irony) that you hear Tiger referring to his breed as “Cablinasian”. It doesn’t matter if that wasn’t the word the Jupiter police used in their report.

Woods’ DUI charge, which came down to a reckless driving guilty plea, remains on the document as a baddie in a horror movie. But it’s easy enough to find a haven amongst a host of minor characters in Tiger, ranging from close family friend Pete McDaniel to veteran Steve Williams, none of whom are, sadly, anywhere near Woods right now. And yet: “What surprised me most in the process is that the people who even had bitter divisions with Tiger are all fiercely protective of him,” says Apache. “These are people who really had a front row seat to the pressures and expectations placed on them and felt that part of their job was to protect you from the world. Gaining the trust of these people was extremely difficult. “

Dina Parr, the golfer’s high school girlfriend, experienced one of Woods’s toughest breakups, via letter. And yet his home videos of a teenage Woods on the loose offer a glimpse of the sweet soul beneath the automaton that hits the driver with that blood-red Sunday polo shirt.

But she is unlikely to be the woman in Woods’ life that viewers of this documentary are most interested i At Neither is Elin, his ex-wife and mother of their two childre At No, that honor goes to RacheChiselel, the first of several women to be singled out as Woods’ lover and easily the greatest to the documentary makers. And watching the show reflect on the feverish tabloid media effort to get the other lovers out of her and Woods in 2009, with the daily revelations of lost voicemails and the golfer’s marathon sex drive, is to remember a simpler timeWherere the National Enquirer, not TMZ, was the most sordid gossip rag and the Taiwanese news animation was totally one thing.

Woods’ sex addicted downward spiral fuels the second half of the documentary, and leaves you wondering if Elin could have forgiven her husband’s transgressions had they been adventures and not completely ruined emotional relationships, and if Woods even one black women in his life. They do not appear in his romantic life and neither in this documentary. “I don’t think it’s a fluke,” says executive producer Sam Pollard. “Growing up in America as a person of color, when you’re engaged in the white world, sometimes you don’t connect with your own people the way people assume you would.” Not even Royce, the older half-sister from Earl’s first marriage who fed Woods and washed his clothes while breaking NCAA records at Stanford, appears. Think about this like the blank space in an otherwise textured portrait of a complicated ma At

At the very least, Tiger should make you sympathize with the man, who, despite his incredible athleticism and enormous fame, never seemed to choose to be The Chosen One. Might as well make you reread the statement issued after the police murder of George Floyd and how far he went to empathize with law enforcement who “train so diligently to understand how, when and where to use force.” Those typical Woods words seemed so cautious and even cowardly back then, especially when compared to the more assertive tone of Michael Jordan, the greatest political defender of all time until last summer. But after watching the documentary, you appreciate the statement for what it is: the words of a man who is just trying to survive one more day in America. It sounds very black to me.


www.theguardia Atcom

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