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As Tiger falls, so do PGA ratings


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#1 FSUViking

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Posted August 11 2010, 01:24 AM

From the couch: Tiger’s sub-par ratings
Updated Aug 10, 2010 7:29 PM ET

Before the focus on Tiger Woods shifted from his putts to its Yiddish homonym (has it really only been since last Thanksgiving?), his exploits on the golf course were one of televised sports’ most reliable draws.

Since his return, however — despite all the talk about the dividend networks would reap from having him back on the links — a funny thing has happened. Woods has looked decidedly mortal, most recently in his dismal showing at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational. Indeed, it was weird tuning in Sunday and not even glimpsing Woods, who was so far back — finishing 18 over par, his worst performance since turning pro — as to have already finished and been beneath notice.

Suddenly, with the PGA Championship looming this weekend — which CBS promoted Sunday as Woods’ “one last chance to win a major this year” — breaking Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major victories no longer appears a foregone conclusion.

And guess what? As Woods’ scores have risen, golf’s Nielsen ratings have sunk.

After his much-ballyhooed comeback at the Masters in April — where viewership was up nearly 20 percent vs. 2009, and Woods stayed in the hunt 'til the final round — Woods’ allure as a TV attraction has gone flaccid.

Tune-in for the Quail Hollow Championship, where he failed to make the cut, fell more than 40 percent; the AT&T tourney, which Woods won last year, fell by half; and there were significant drops for the Players Championship, Memorial Tournament and British Open, though the last of those aired on ESPN this year instead of ABC.

Overall, even with the Masters included, tourneys featuring Woods in 2010 have averaged 5.2 million viewers, nearly a 10 percent decline.


Part of this supports my long-standing theory about Woods: namely, that hand-wringing about his personal life, his endorsements, his value as a “role model,” placed a very distant second (and third and fourth) to his fiendish skills holding a club. People weren’t watching Tiger because they so profoundly admired his home life; they wanted to see him reach the green in two on a par-5.

Nor is there much interest in casual fans watching to root against him, or see him experience the indignity of looking like any weekend hacker, as he did at Bridgestone.

On its face this might be good for golf, and thus its ratings. In theory, the prospect of having Phil Mickelson assume Woods’ No. 1 ranking — Woods has occupied that lofty perch for nearly five years — ought to stoke excitement and broaden the game’s appeal, as could recent wins by international players.

But the wider-than-usual fascination enjoyed by golf was, specifically, about Woods — a young, mixed-race guy waging a one-man assault on a sport long associated with bastions of privilege. Even if Woods didn’t make it about politics, there was something cathartic, even inspiring, seeing him bring staid old Augusta, which didn’t admit an African-American member until 1990 and still excludes women, to its knees.

Today, Woods, in his mid-30s, no longer qualifies as a prodigy, and the only people likely to be more privileged are his wife’s lawyers.

So what’s the solution for golf and its fallen son? Simple, really: win. For all the righteous anger, few of those outraged by (or envious of) Woods’ extramarital dalliances will hold a grudge if he’s three strokes up in a major tourney heading into the final six holes. (Although frankly, some of us immature types will never stop giggling at how practically every golf term sounds dirty now when connected to him.)

Beyond all the fodder he provided to late-night comics, the bottom line is the networks’ golf coverage faces a rough lie in the near term if Tiger — after his extended stint in the PR sand trap — has truly lost the eye of the you-know-what.


SOURCE: FOX Sports

Tiger IS golf. He's bigger than the sport. Period.t

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#2 ward8668

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Posted August 11 2010, 05:37 AM

Tiger IS golf. He's bigger than the sport. Period.t


No doubt Tiger has provided a major boost to the PGA Tour but he's not above the sport. Golf has been on major network TV on weekend afternoons since before Tiger was even born. I do hope he gets his game back together soon though because it's always fun to have more great players to watch when they're at the top of their game.
<img src="http://i23.photobuck...annernew-2.jpg" border="0" class="linked-sig-image" /><img src="http://i23.photobuck...8/Steelers.gif" border="0" class="linked-sig-image" /><img src="http://i23.photobuck...68/Pirates.gif" border="0" class="linked-sig-image" /><img src="http://i23.photobuck...3668/Pens1.gif" border="0" class="linked-sig-image" /><img src="http://i23.photobuck...s3668/Pitt.gif" border="0" class="linked-sig-image" /><img src="http://i23.photobuck...us3668/PSU.gif" border="0" class="linked-sig-image" /><img src="http://i23.photobuck...8/NavyMids.gif" border="0" class="linked-sig-image" />
<img src="http://i23.photobuck...Steelers-1.jpg" border="0" class="linked-sig-image" />

Lon (Kansa City, Mo.): I'm a transplanted 'Burgh boy living in Kansas City. My wife was pregnant with my oldest son when the Steelers drafted an undersized former QB from Georgia with their (compensatory) 3rd round round draft pick in 1998. Now, just days ago sitting here with my almost 14-year-old son watching Hines give his retirement speech...couldn't help but think how fast time flies when you're having fun. Thanks Hines for everything! We will miss your tough catches for first downs when we needed them most, your crushing blocks that had linebackers complaining about rough treatment from WRs, and above all, your smile! You're the consummate football player, pro, and thankfully, Steeler for life! Black and Gold forever!

Nick (Cleveland): As a Browns fan, my memories of Hines Ward will always be his [expletive] smile. There were so many times I wish someone on my beloved Browns could slap it off his face, but we never did. Now that he is retired, I can see myself always referring back to that smile. He was one of the greatest complete wide receivers I had the displeaure of watching bury my Browns year after year in his storied career. Glad to see him go out on a high note. Take care Hines! IMO, a sure fire Hall of Famer.

#3 Arjaizen

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Posted August 11 2010, 05:49 AM

SOURCE: FOX Sports

Tiger IS golf. He's bigger than the sport. Period.t

He has been, but as with all athletes, that's only temporary. If golf can find it's next young phenom, a charismatic star with the potential to blow away a field on any given weekend, the sport's popularity will rebound. Hell, this could even be good for the game in the long run, with the new kid, whoever he may be, taking on the "good guy" role, and Woods as the "bad guy," assuming Woods ever becomes a contending golfer again.
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#4 Vandilay Industries

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Posted August 11 2010, 10:13 AM

I'm a hatter on Woods. Even before his recent troubles he's always come across as snarky and entitled on and off the course. I get why people like to watch him when he's at the top of his game but I've never been a fan of his simply because of the rest of the package.
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"No. And I hope I never do." -- WR Mike Wallace after meeting Mel Blount and asked if he'd ever seen a corner that big before, even at his age.

"He had no teeth and he was slobbering all over himself. I'm thinking, you can have your money back, just get me out of here. Let me go be an accountant. I can't tell you how badly I wanted out of here!" -- John Elway after getting knocked out of a game by Jack Lambert.

"I hate him. If that man was on fire and I had to piss to put him out, I wouldn't do it." - James Harrison referring to Roger Goodell.

"They get Alan Faneca. We get Chris Weinke. It never ends." - disillusioned Browns fan after the 2012 draft.


"Clark vaporized Griffin with a hit so hard that RG2 and RG1 must have felt it, too." - Craig Wolfley when referring to Ryan Clark crushing RG3 on a throwback play downfield.

#5 Ben6821

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Posted August 11 2010, 10:32 AM

Woods’ allure as a TV attraction has gone flaccid.



boooo...at the blatent choice of a word with major phallic connotation being used about a guy embroiled in a sex scandal... :thumbsup:

#6 Arjaizen

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Posted August 11 2010, 10:40 AM

boooo...at the blatent choice of a word with major phallic connotation being used about a guy embroiled in a sex scandal... :thumbsup:

Word selection is very important when you're a writer... i'm sure the author thought long and hard before he stuck it in there.
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#7 Vandilay Industries

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Posted August 11 2010, 10:45 AM

Word selection is very important when you're a writer... i'm sure the author thought long and hard before he stuck it in there.

:thumbsup: ;)

Awaiting the next poster armed with a fart joke or two.
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"No. And I hope I never do." -- WR Mike Wallace after meeting Mel Blount and asked if he'd ever seen a corner that big before, even at his age.

"He had no teeth and he was slobbering all over himself. I'm thinking, you can have your money back, just get me out of here. Let me go be an accountant. I can't tell you how badly I wanted out of here!" -- John Elway after getting knocked out of a game by Jack Lambert.

"I hate him. If that man was on fire and I had to piss to put him out, I wouldn't do it." - James Harrison referring to Roger Goodell.

"They get Alan Faneca. We get Chris Weinke. It never ends." - disillusioned Browns fan after the 2012 draft.


"Clark vaporized Griffin with a hit so hard that RG2 and RG1 must have felt it, too." - Craig Wolfley when referring to Ryan Clark crushing RG3 on a throwback play downfield.

#8 Ben6821

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Posted August 11 2010, 10:50 AM

:thumbsup: I'd play along but I'm just not feeling up to it today

#9 Arjaizen

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Posted August 11 2010, 11:00 AM

:thumbsup: I'd play along but I'm just not feeling up to it today

Sorry Ben... didn't mean to be hard on you.
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#10 FourthStooge

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Posted August 11 2010, 11:14 AM

Sorry Ben... didn't mean to be hard on you.


"Ward, don't you think you are being a little hard on The Beaver?"

#11 Arjaizen

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Posted August 11 2010, 02:06 PM

"Ward, don't you think you are being a little hard on The Beaver?"


Some people are averse to verbal discourse, but you've got to erect a stiff front and get in there. When it comes to fear, remember: You can't lick it by being soft!
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#12 FSUViking

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Posted August 11 2010, 06:02 PM

boooo...at the blatent choice of a word with major phallic connotation being used about a guy embroiled in a sex scandal... :smh:



Word selection is very important when you're a writer... i'm sure the author thought long and hard before he stuck it in there.



Sorry Ben... didn't mean to be hard on you.



"Ward, don't you think you are being a little hard on The Beaver?"


Brilliant verbal intercourse here. Hope nobody got pregnant.

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