I know I am a bit late to this party and by now much of the hoopla surrounding the book has died down, but actually I think that is the best time to discuss things of this nature because we have all had a chance to think it over a bit now. The thing is, I love biography books, I have read a number of them, most recently being the one about Steve Jobs. Since I work in that industry it was particularly interesting because I know many of the players. While Hank’s book about Tiger does not qualify as a biography, it is somewhat of a “story behind the story” book. The adage that the truth is stranger than fiction may not always apply but it is still very intriguing to hear from the horses mouth what went on behind closed doors. So for that part I will probably read the book.
Although to be honest I am one hundred times more interested in the book coming out by John Feinstein regarding Tiger than I am about Hank’s. Feinstein truly doesn’t have an axe to grind – he is not doing this book to “get back” at Tiger whereas I think Hank has a motive, one cannot be sure what it is but he doesn’t appear genuine.
That all said I don’t understand the hoopla. Is the Navy SEAL thing the only interesting story in this book? If so, who cares? One of the other revelations is he had to make compensations in his swing for his knee. What? Really? Get out of here! To me it is fluff piece, done to reveal very little in order to make guys like me think they are getting some juicy inside stuff, when in reality we are not getting anything. Unless there is something more than what has been advertised it all appears like a dud.
Then there is Tiger’s reaction. He has his agent issuing statements, he is answering questions about it like he is “really” upset about it. Many think that he is actually giving the book credence by responding so strongly. This is where my view takes a dramatic turn from what I have read from others. I think this is show of strength from Tiger, he is not really angry with Hank because he knows that what is in the book is piddly nonsense and won’t hurt his image at all. No, he is speaking in my opinion to the others who potentially have some dirt on him. He is saying if you come out and write a book I am going to go after you like a shark to a bleeding fish. I will attack you threaten you and potentially sue you. You can see how my reaction towards someone who knew literally nothing about me, think how it will be with you. I think he is telling other to think twice.
I may be way off base, but do you really think Tiger is upset that we know he thought about being a Navy SEAL? When I think about it, it almost sounds heroic. Pat Tillman’s story (another biography I read by the way) is one considered by everyone to be incredibly heroic, and Tiger’s might be even more so. The world’s richest athlete (at that time) giving up his riches and becoming a Navy SEAL. So why be upset about that? He did his workouts in army boots, does he really think we care about that? To me it is all a show, not for Hank but to the others. Hank is a pawn in this story in my opinion. Probably a much richer pawn, but not the key person Tiger is speaking too. I believe there are doctors, maybe lawyers, ex-caddies (paging Stevie), possibly ex wives and some friends who know much more interesting juicy stuff that he probably doesn’t want to come out and tarnish his image.
But maybe I am just a happy go lucky conspiracy theorist who still believes Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone. And in reality all of this does not change my view on Tiger, he still appears to be a selfish control freak. Of course I have never met him and likely never will, but he hasn’t done much to change that appearance. That said it all has no relevance to how he plays golf. The golf ball has no idea your mood, your thoughts, your attitude. Tiger can act any way he likes, as long as he plays good golf. In fact this may help him to focus, Tiger was at his best when he played angry, maybe this thing will help him to refocus post hydrant-gate and get back into his winning ways. He does now appear healthy, his swing looking much better after Hank so badly screwed it up, that maybe now he is able to focus and win.