Airwaves: Media go wild over Tiger Woods scandal

Tiger fever is all over the place this week. Unfortunately for the ex-Stanford star, it is not the type of fever he wants. We all know the details of what has transpired. Tiger Woods gets into an accident and a stream of rumors that could fill a Dean Koontz novel has followed. Every media outlet in the nation has chimed in with its own research and opinions. Well, here are mine.

I have always praised the guy and have the utmost respect for him and what he has done with his life. My opinion has not changed, in fact, I might like him more now because, guess what, he is human.

Let’s all take a chill pill and look at what he has brought to the sports world on and off the golf course.

On his Web site this week, he apologized for past transgressions. Well, his transgressions are none of our business. I am not 100 percent sure what he means when he says this, but I think I have a pretty good idea.

Tiger is a special cat, always has been, always will be. We have lived in a world where some of the idiotic TV and Internet gossip-scoop shows and sites live for “news” like this. They seem totally intent on destroying a celebrity’s life. Look at the Kobe Bryant story, the Marv Albert sex scandal and the William Jefferson Clinton saga in the White House no less. The only thing this story has done is take the lead topic of the week away from college football and the NFL.

Hang in there, Tiger, this too shall pass. Hold your head high, keep that backswing intact and move forward.

Oh, and by the way, even though I am not a golfer, I love your Nike attire on the course. I love the fact that you never wear the same outfit twice.

– My condolences to rugged ex-NFL linebacker and current ESPN college football analyst Chris Spielman.

On Nov. 19, his lovely wife, Stefanie, lost her longtime battle with cancer. I know Spielman and he is a top-notch guy in all areas. He was back to work in the booth the week after she passed away. At the funeral, he said this about battling cancer: “Today, we celebrate her life, tomorrow, we fight!”

 

FSU should have held on to Bowden

Major news took place in the Sunshine State this week when legendary Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden stepped down from his head coaching position after 34 years in Tallahassee. Bowden, who has come under heavy criticism of late for his average win-loss record, virtually put FSU on the map. He is Florida State when you think of it.

There is much debate as to whether Bowden was treated fairly. I know this, he compiled a great body of work during his tenure.

My only question to those geniuses in the president’s office at FSU is that you force out a legend and give the reins to a guy who was the No. 2 man during this recent decline?

Surely “coach-in-waiting” Jimbo Fisher shares some blame for what happened. Who is this guy? A respected offensive coordinator who helped LSU to a national championship is who, but he has no head coaching experience. FSU is gambling with its beloved football program.

The other issue that goes along with this is whether or not Bowden should have been allowed to decide when and how he would retire. Granted, he is 80 years old, but guys like him and Penn State’s Joe Paterno have earned the right to step down when they, and they alone, are ready. Both men are bigger, yes, bigger, than the schools they serve.

– Speaking of coaches stepping down, San Jose State’s Dick Tomey is retiring. Tomey is a good man that was good for college football. I thought it was a great move, on the suggestion of the late, great Bill Walsh, when the Spartans hired Tomey.

– Charlie Weis is another coach that will not return next year in the same coaching garb. Only difference here is that Notre Dame owes the rotund coach some $18 million in guaranteed salary. Not a bad sendoff.

 

On target

Derek Jeter has been named the Sport Illustrated Sportsman of the Year for 2009. Michael Phelps, aka Aquaman, won it the year before. What is amazing is the fact that he is the first New York Yankee to ever win the award since its inception in 1954. Of all those great players who have been associated with the pinstripes — Mickey, Yogi, Roger, Joe Torre, King George, etc. — not one has won this prestigious honor. Congrats to the captain, he deserved it, but my goodness what a shock that he was the first Yankee.

 

Who said it

Tim Lincecum
“I am sorry it took so long,” the long-haired Giants pitcher said to an ESPN director after it took longer than expected to tape a recent “SportsCenter” commercial. Word is that it was a successful and humorous 30-second spot. Details of the commercial were keep quiet, but the promo should start airing shortly before the start of the baseball season. I can’t wait to see it.

Michael Kay
“They should let Yankees fans push a button and listen to the Yankees announcers during the [playoff] broadcasts,”  the Yankees’ broadcaster said. Obviously, he was serving as his own PR man, but the idea is not a bad one. Presently, people need a TV and a radio to accomplish the feat. Kay has a point that some local announcing teams have a much bigger fan following than any crew Fox or TBS can put together.

 

One to watch

Chevron World Challenge: With Tiger Woods obviously not playing in the Chevron World Challenge — the tournament he usually hosts — this week, it will be interesting to see how NBC covers today’s final round. Will Tiger dominate the conversation or will the network simply try to concentrate on golf? The action begins today at noon.

Artie Gigantino spent 25 years as a coach at the major-college and NFL levels, was lead college football analyst for Fox Sports Net for seven years, was with CBS for one year and was an executive with the Raiders for three years. E-mail him at agigantino@sfexaminer.com.

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