Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The New Tiger Order

Way back in 1996 Hulk Hogan, who had left the WWE (then the WWF) and moved over to WCW a few years earlier, shocked the wrestling world and traumatized millions of adolescent boys when he turned heel and started a new group of wrestling bad boys that he called the 'New World Order'.

Up until that point Hogan had been the biggest baby-face in wrestling history. He built a huge following of loyal fans on the basis of his wholesome American image, but put that all in the rearview mirror when he lashed out at those fans and wrestling itself for underappreciating his talent.

He even changed his nickname, scrapping the iconic Hulk Hogan to go with a new name that fit his new image and persona better: Hollywood Hogan. The yellow trunks and Hulkamania tank-top were out and a new look that was highlighted by a dark shadow beard grown in around his trademark moustache was in.

At first his fans were appalled, but after the initial shock wore off something strange happened: bad became cool.

You might be asking yourself, what does wrestling have to do with a sports blog? Is the CSJ drunk? Or does he have a secret wrestling fetish we've never heard about?

The answers: everything, no, and not anymore.

You see, there is a certain world famous golfer who could easily take a page out of the Hogan handbook.

The carefully cultivated public image that Tiger Woods spent his entire life building was all wiped away the instant he slammed his SUV into a fire hydrant only metres from his own house last November. The stories of infidelity and the relentless media mocking, along with his robotic and creepy press conference in March, and the current rumours speculating that his wife is ready to file for divorce have left Tiger with a lower Q rating than anyone ever imagined possible for him.

The result is that Tiger, the biggest baby-face in golf for a decade and-a-half, has now been cast as a villain. He's already turned heel, even if he doesn't want to admit it.

Late last week Tiger announced that his next tournament will be the Quail Hollow Championship that begins on April 29th. I'm not saying he should body-slam Phil Mickelson on the first tee or demand CBS play Christina Aguilera's "Dirty" as his intro music, but why not see how the other side lives? He's been the PGA Tour's good guy for more than 15 years, if he now has to be the bad guy, why not do it on his terms?

Keep the dark shades. Lose the razor. Give us even more fist-pumps. Win tournaments by 20 shots. Date Kate Hudson. Tell the world you made a mistake, that you weren't ready to get married. And then hit every hotspot in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and New York. Maybe even convince Sergio Garcia (playing the role of Kevin Nash) and Steve Williams (as Scott Hall) to move in with you and star in your own reality show. How does 'Isleworth Shore' sound?

In the end, just as they did for Hogan, the fans will come back to Tiger. Most people cheered for him because he was an epic winner and unbelievably exciting golfer to watch, not because they thought he was a good guy. Once this initial shock wears off, whether it takes months or years, he will win the fans back.

In the meantime, why not have some fun with it?

1 comment:

  1. Haha ... nice article. Funny stuff.

    If I was a near-billionare bachelor (which it seems like he will be) I know I'd be living the high life.