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Shipnuck's psychological profile of Tiger

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Jon Burrows, Apr 2, 2016.

  1. Jon Burrows

    Jon Burrows New Member

    Excellent read, especially the parts about how it was no longer fun for him to be "Tiger" - if it ever was and how his interest in the Navy Seals probably led to his overtraining and the eventual body breakdown.
    But there was one odd passage - "On his first day of kindergarten in Anaheim a group of older boys who pelted him with rocks and spray-painted 'n------" on him."
    Shipnuck writes this as a statement of fact.
    But then later on he reveals that Tiger's kindergarten teacher says it never happened and demanded an apology. Also at least one former classmate and his mother backed up the teacher and Tiger has never addressed it publicly.
    Not surprising. It's an outlandish story no one should take at face value. Why Shipnuck didn't point that out earlier is a mystery. He could have said, "Woods has told the story, disputed by a teacher and at least one classmate...."
    Where were his editors?
    But then Shipnuck compounds it by saying, "But even if the tale is exaggerated or even fabricated, Woods had accurately foretold the ugliness that was to come - referring to other racial incidents in Tiger's life he had also related.
    So if even Shipnuck believes Tiger made it up, why introduce it as if it were true?
    A 5,000-word long read with lots of excellent insights marred, for me at least, by one misjudgment.
    And it seems to totally unnecessary.
  2. Vombatus

    Vombatus Well-Known Member

    Always use burners. That was the lesson. #freq
  3. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

    Honestly, I read it, and it was well done, but it told me absolutely nothing I hadn't read elsewhere.
  4. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Not seeing a huge amount of psychological insight here. Seeing an overly long string of vignettes, mostly of incidents that have been publicly known for years, with another person's comment on it.

    And yeah, the racial incident is misplaced.

    I guess way too long and unverified is an open market since SB Nation shut it down.
  5. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    You beat me to it.

    We might slightly disagree on how well done it was. But it's a sufficient bathroom read, I guess.
    jr/shotglass likes this.
  6. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

    It won't make Glenn Stout's BASW, that's for sure.

    Oh ...
  7. Mr. Sunshine

    Mr. Sunshine Well-Known Member

    Is there a professsional athlete whose psychology is easier to pin down? Woods is a relatively boring transcendent sports figure.
  8. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    The story about the 2006 U.S. Open where he missed the cut for the first time at a major as a pro, and how Haney said he was jumping at the chance to "not be Tiger Woods" was a new one to me. Tiger at his most amazing (to me) wasn't just the wins and complete routs, but the cuts-made streak. He never, ever mailed it in on a Friday. But for the last couple years he's missed plenty of cuts when he's actually showed up, and has said that anything else he does in golf now "will be gravy" and Shipnuck's story implied in parts that he may be fine with being done. That was jarring to me, thinking of the Tiger of 15 years ago.
  9. Cosmo

    Cosmo Well-Known Member

    I haven't read Haney's or Steve Williams' books, nor do I plan to, so the passages there were interesting. The racial thing in kindergarten was used to set up the idea that Woods was a pathological liar, though I agree, it could have been worded a bit better.
  10. Link?
    Though, I'm not a big of a Shipnuck's work.
  11. Lugnuts

    Lugnuts Well-Known Member

    I thought the decision to jump all over time-wise was an interesting choice. It worked, but it did require quite a bit of mental resetting on my part.

    For me the three most compelling nuggets:

    1. Nowadays he fritters away most of his day alone in his compound playing video games.

    2. The Haney years were both pivotal and tumultuous. It dawned on Haney that Tiger was "sick of this shit." And by shit, I mean golf.

    3. From a physiological standpoint, the Navy Seal stuff is fascinating. A book could be written on that alone. Every sport probably has an optimal body type and optimal muscle-to-fat-to-everything else ratio. Tiger meatheaded himself right out of golf.

    It's a cautionary tale to anybody who plays any sport, professional or amateur.
  12. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    This is called "storytelling."

    If you're going to introduce dramatic tension into a piece and later point out it might be a lie, and use this to examine an aspect of someone's character, you don't give a spoiler in the initial sentence.

    Darth Vader — who will later turn out to be Princess Leia's father — enters the ship in a cloud of smoke.
    typefitter and Cosmo like this.
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