If Tiger Woods hadn’t bothered to take the time to write about and respond to Golf Digest writer Dan Jenkins’ “Fake Interview” with the once-greatest golfer in the world, we probably wouldn’t have ever known it was written. Instead, the satirical take on what Jenkins thinks a real interview with the struggling icon would be like is being lit up with comments from people who either love it or hate it, all because Woods just couldn’t ignore it. The golfer offered his response in a column entitled, “Not Funny, Not True,” today on Derek Jeter’s new sports blog for athletes, The Players’ Tribune, for part of a new weekly series called “Straight Up,” which is “a place where athletes can offer their side on something that has been written or said about them.” Fair enough.
There are several problems with this sad, petty feud. For starters, Jenkins’ fake interview isn’t all that funny, as jokes at Woods’ expense have aged as poorly as the golfer (see?), but he also ruins actual interesting information and relevant facts about Woods’ closing window with a gimmick that runs too long. A sample:
Have you ever regretted firing Butch Harmon after winning your first eight majors with him?
Butchie was making me tip too many people.
I don’t get it. For a guy who can certainly afford it, you’ve become famous for being a bad tipper. It’s almost like you take pride in it.
I just don’t understand why you’re supposed to tip people for doing a job they’re already getting paid to do.
In many cases tips are expected to be part of their salary.
So let ’em go find a better job.
Surely, we can dig in deeper and really get personal with jokes that were done better by the late night circuit and South Park, among others, years ago.
Now that you’ve gone through Butch, Hank and Foley, who’s your next coach gonna be? Dr. Phil?
Funny. I just want to take my game to a higher level.
And how’s that been working out for you?
I’ve had problems, sure.
The knee, the Achilles …
… the fire hydrant …
… the ankle, the shoulder…
… the divorce …
… the wrist, the back …
… the putter …
… but I’m getting back to where I want to be. Like I said at the British Open. I’m stronger, faster and more explosive.
And so on and so forth. Again, there were some interesting points in there about whether or not it’s still possible for Woods to pass Jack Nicklaus, but they’re buried beneath cheap shots and pictures of a guy who is dressed like Woods. As for the criticism, “I thought Tiger liked a slam piece,” one commenter wrote (+1), while others have settled for calling Jenkins a hack on Twitter and in the feature’s comments. One guy even seems to think Jenkins made the whole thing up, missing the boat entirely. But no words land duller and with less bite than the golfer himself, as he wrote:
Did you read Dan Jenkins’ interview with me in the latest Golf Digest? I hope not.
How is it that after everything Woods went through in the public eye, he still doesn’t have ANYONE who can explain to him how the Internet works? “I hope you didn’t read it,” the man wrote while TELLING US ALL TO READ IT.
Because it wasn’t me.
It was some jerk he created to pretend he was talking to me. That’s right, Jenkins faked an interview, which fails as parody, and is really more like a grudge-fueled piece of character assassination.
Journalistically and ethically, can you sink any lower?
I like to think I have a good sense of humor, and that I’m more than willing to laugh at myself. In this game, you have to.
As far as I know, Woods’ humor seems to be farting while other golfers are swinging, but maybe the guy also loves a mean filthy limerick.
I’ve been playing golf for a long time, 20 years on the PGA Tour. I’ve given lots of interviews to journalists in all that time, more than I could count, and some have been good and some not so much. All athletes know that we will be under scrutiny from the media. But this concocted article was below the belt. Good-natured satire is one thing, but no fair-minded writer would put someone in the position of having to publicly deny that he mistreats his friends, takes pleasure in firing people, and stiffs on tips—and a lot of other slurs, too.
On one hand, he’s right, because Jenkins wasn’t funny. On the other hand, dude, you’re Tiger-F*cking-Woods. This is the best response you can come up with? I guess this is the point of Jeter’s new website for athletes, so they can explain their sides of the day’s hot stories, even if it’s not a story and just someone’s bad joke.
You know who is laughing, though? Dan Jenkins. Whoever that is.