Gil Asakawa's Nikkei View | tiger woods
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I've avoided the media feeding frenzy over Tiger Woods because it just didn't seem that big a deal. I was concerned when the first reports of his accident came out and some media outlets reported he was seriously injured, but that turned out to be incorrect. When he was released with minor injuries, I decided it was a minor story. Then the story grew legs -- female legs. Tiger's life is primarily lived on the golf course. He'll go down in history as an incredible athlete, maybe the best ever in golf. He'll also be revered as both the first and greatest African American and Asian American in golf (like Barack Obama, he's claimed by both communities with equal adoration). His private life makes headlines too, sure. But he doesn't live in a 24/7 media bubble like, say, Jon and Kate Gosselin (oops, I didn't mean to ever mention that Fallen Asian American Dude ever again...). Tiger has taken care to keep his private life, well, private. So it saddened me to see the media circus that exploded over his accident, and the reports of his having an affair. It cheapens his stature as an athlete, and whatever his private screw-ups, they weren't related to his sport, like Michael Jordan or Pete Rose's problems with gambling. And he wasn't smearing his romantic dalliances in the tabloid media's lenses like that Fallen Asian American Dude, for the sake of an extra 15 minutes of fame. Tiger doesn't need a mere 15 minutes -- his accomplishments will shine for a damned long time. I was also saddened that he didn't respond in a very smart way. Some experts started whispering that he's damaging his mega-profitable brand by not speaking to the police and the media about the accident.

Update 18 June: News media are reporting Tiger Woods will miss the rest of this year's golf season because he needs more surgery on his left knee. That's a big bummer, but not surprising, given how he grimaced after many of his tee-offs. I almost winced with empathy pain as he twisted his knee each time. Everyone's favorite hapa/Asian American, Tiger Woods, is important enough news to accomplish a pretty impressive feat. I'm not just talkin' clinching the U.S. Open Championship in a nail-biting last round and sudden death match against Rocco Mediate. I'm talkin' about pushing up the publication date of one of the most popular magazines in the country, Sports Illustrated. MinOnline.com reports that the July 23 issue of the mag, which had been scheduled to hit the newsstands with a Woods cover on Wednesday, was rushed to the printers early, and is already out, one day after the golf superstar's victory.