Monday, November 30, 2009

Catching a tiger by the tale

Tiger Woods has now found himself in No Man's Land in the aftermath of his off-road excursion outside his Orlando mansion.

He is caught between the demands of his public image on the one hand and a criminal investigation on the other. Only two people know what really happened Thursday night in the Woods' household and neither one of them are speaking.

On the PR side of the equation, Tiger Woods has an image to protect and all the speculation about what went on that night is not doing him much good. To protect that image, Mr. Woods needs to get ahead of the curve and tell his fans and sponsors what happened and how he managed to crash his SUV into a tree just a few yards from his house.

On the other hand, however, law enforcement wants to know what happened as well and anything that Mr. Woods puts out publicly is going to be used by local law enforcement to pin something on someone. When you, or a family member, is the target of an investigation, the best thing to say is nothing.

And thus the dilemma that Mr. Woods is facing. It's a safe bet that no one is buying the story that Tiger Woods is a bad driver and that his wife rescued him by busting out the rear window of the SUV with a golf club. It's also a fairly safe bet that alcohol wasn't involved as I dare say the Florida Highway Patrol would not be so polite in waiting to interview Mr. Woods if he were suspected of driving while intoxicated.

If the truth is that Tiger Woods and his wife had a fight over his alleged adultery and that she scratched him on the face and chased him out of the house swinging a golf club, Mr. Woods' public persona will take a nasty hit. It's also true that taking a PR hit may be the only way to prevent domestic assault charges from being filed against his wife.


Tiger Woods was cited today (12/1/09) for "careless driving" by the Florida Highway Patrol. The charge carries a fine and 4 points against his driver's license if convicted. Of course with no witnesses to the incident, it might be a bit hard for the state to prove its case.

No comments: