The cure to filling the Tiger Woods void on the PGA Tour this year?
You are looking at him. Balding guy with the goatee, in the corner of this posting. Up to me and my homies.
Canada's Steve Ames is one of the most outspoken players on the PGA Tour and can usually be counted upon to offer a dissenting view even on the thorniest issues. But he whiffed when he told the Ottawa Sun that the media is the key to keeping folks interested while Woods is in hiding.
Zrrrt. Wrong. What a Canucklehead.
The story reads: "Ames argues other players can pick up the slack, and he says it's up to the world media to do a better job of telling their stories."
Oh, it's on us, huh? Let's break this down.
The media incessantly writes about Woods because the constituency wants to read about him. We get Tiger-tired at times as well, but there's an appetite -- grandmothers in Des Moines want to read about Woods -- that must be fed. That mindset is not going to change, and in fact, could become even more pronounced: Woods is more of a lightning rod than ever before. People continue to read about him because they love him or hate him.
You want it, we serve it up in the media buffet line.
However, assuming that it is the obligation of the media to "sell" the rest of the tour's player roster to fans in his absence is absurd. More than a few veterans and key players barely cooperate with the media, often making telling of any story a difficult, or dicey, proposition. The tour has done little in the recent past to appease the print media, as access to top players continues to erode. Our hands aren't just tied -- in some cases, they are cuffed.
Those at the national websites and major print outlets have always tried to tell the stories of the other guys. The writers and TV folks want people to read/watch, period, whether Woods plays or not, and thus we are forever trying to find the best fare to present. Fresh faces, fresh stories, hot rookies, etc.
When Woods was out for parts of 2008-09, everybody did the best they could with a somewhat vanilla lot of second and third options. That has never changed. But putting the onus on the media to more effectively entertain the readers while Woods is MIA, well, that's neither an obligation nor a reposponsibility.