Connect with us

BSM Writers

Tiger’s Cursed Life Takes Another Tragic Tumble

If Woods somehow survived a crash that would have killed most of us — in another SUV, no less — devastating leg injuries mean his competitive golf career likely is over, closing a dramatic and fateful chapter in history.

Published

on

His life, apparently, is doomed to perpetual tragedy. What should have been the concluding scene of the Tiger Woods biopic — his inspirational return from the golfing dead at Augusta National — has slipped again into abject hell just two years later. The gods of darkness refuse to grant relief and allow peace.

Instead, on a Tuesday morning near the southern California suburb where he learned to play, Woods survived a crash that would have killed most of us but suffered crush injuries to both lower legs, including a compound fracture and shattered ankle. Meaning, he faces a future of disability if muscles and nerves are irreversibly damaged. Never mind golf. The question is how and when he’ll walk again, which was becoming a difficult chore as it was.

For the record, he was wearing a seat belt. If not, he likely would be dead.

On a curvy stretch of road known for accidents and high speeds, Woods had to be extricated from his mid-sized SUV after the vehicle: (1) struck a median; (2) wiped out a “Welcome to Rolling Hills Estates” sign; (3) crossed two lanes; (4) rammed into a curb; (5) thrashed through trees; and (6) rolled over multiple times, somehow avoiding a telephone pole before landing in the steep hillside brush about a par-5 fairway from the pavement. With airbags activated, rescue personnel had to remove Woods through the windshield with an ax and pry bar and place him in an ambulance before several hours of surgery.

Stunt doubles wouldn’t have lived. Tiger Woods, cat that he is, must have nine lives.

“I will say that it’s very fortunate Mr. Woods was able to come out of this alive,” said Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy Carlos Gonzalez, the first responder at the crash scene.

We are thankful that Tiger, the human being, survived. The same survival won’t be possible for Tiger, the golfing legend, or, for that matter, the sport he popularized like no one else. If he seemed larger than life in completing a full-circle comeback at the Masters, this disaster is beyond the realm of miracles, ending a competitive career already in peril after a fifth microdiscectomy surgery on his back in December. All as the world asks, cruelly but fairly: Was Woods of clear mind just past 7 a.m. in Rancho Palos Verdes, where he was leaving his resort hotel and driving to a country club for a photo/video shoot? And doing so, said L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, at a “relatively greater speed than normal” while driving down a hill?

Authorities say there was no evidence of impairment, such as the opioids found in his system almost four years ago, the last time he was investigated at roadside. Said Gonzalez: “I spoke to him. I asked him what his name was. He told me his name was Tiger, and at that moment, I immediately recognized him.  I asked him if he knew where he was, the time of day. He seemed lucid and calm.” There will be toxicology tests because there have to be. Not until we scan the results will we know if Tiger Woods was just another reckless driver or someone who continues to have a serious problem.

This is not how it should end for the man who revolutionized his sport and produced, for a decade’s stretch, the best golf ever played. At Christmas, he never looked happier as he played a family tournament with his 11-year-old son, Charlie, whose fist-pumps, club-twirls and matching blood-red shirt evoked stunning images of his old man. “I don’t really care about my game. I’m just making sure Charlie has the time of his life,” he said. “And he’s doing that.”

But Tiger Woods’ life obviously wasn’t meant to be a fairy tale. The creepy reality can’t be avoided: Each of his pitfalls happened when behind the wheel of an SUV, leading to viral moments that have made him the most scandalous sports figure of the social media age. His legendary contemporaries in the 21st century — Tom Brady and LeBron James — generally have led the idyllic lives of kings. Woods continues to be a breaking news bulletin first, an 82-time champion second.

November 2009. His phony facade, which produced an endorsement fortune baed on a family-man image, was rocked when he crashed his SUV into a fire hydrant outside his Florida mansion. He was unconscious for more than five minutes before his soon-to-be-ex-wife, Elin, smashed in a window with a golf club and removed him from his seat. Soon, Woods was in a Mississippi clinic for sex addiction after a string of extramarital affairs with his bimbo brigade.

May 2017. Reliant on prescription opioids after numerous surgeries on his back and knees, Woods was charged with driving under the influence when arrested in the wee hours, answering “Orange County” when police in Jupiter, Fla., asked his whereabouts. He soon entered rehab for opioids and a sleep disorder, the first step in a stirring, storybook process that led him to claim his 15th major title — after 10 agonizing years of misses and failing health — on an unforgettable Sunday at The Masters.

February 2021. Prayers up.

“I’m sick to my stomach,” said Justin Thomas, one of Woods’s close friends in the sport. “Man, I just hope he’s all right. Just worry for his kids, you know. I’m sure they’re struggling.”

2019 Presidents Cup: TT Postscript: Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas 'go get  that' opening point for U.S. in dominant win | Golf Channel

“We are all pulling for you, Tiger,” tweeted longtime rival Phil Mickelson. “We are so sorry that you and your family are going through this tough time. Everyone hopes and prays for your full and speedy recovery.”

If life were fair, Woods would have kept strolling in that fifth green jacket forevermore — contending for more majors, captaining the U.S. Ryder Cup team, performing humanitarian work and hosting his PGA Tour event up the freeway in Pacific Palisades, the Genesis Invitational, where he had spent the final round Sunday (and picked up the Genesis SUV he was driving Tuesday). But in a CBS interview, something was amiss. Jim Nantz, like the rest of us, wanted to know if Woods would be at Augusta in April. He wouldn’t commit.

“God I hope so. I gotta get there first,” he said. “A lot of it is based on my surgeons and doctors and therapist and making sure I do it correctly. This is the only back I’ve got. I don’t have much wiggle room left here.”

Did he have a timetable? “I don’t know what the plan is,” Woods said.

“We miss you,” Nantz said, as only Nantz can.

Less than 48 hours later, we almost lost him.

“Barbara and I just heard about Tiger’s accident, and like everyone else, we are deeply concerned,” tweeted Jack Nicklaus, the only man with more major championships than Woods. “We want to offer him our heartfelt support and prayers at this difficult time. Please join us in wishing Tiger a successful surgery and all the best for a full recovery.”

Said PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan: “On behalf of the Tour and our players, Tiger is in our prayers and will have our full support as he recovers.”

Said Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley: “Tiger Woods is part of the Augusta National family, and news of his accident is upsetting to all of us. We pray for him, for his full recovery and for his family during this difficult time.”

As someone who traveled the world to cover many of Woods’ majors and victories, I can say the ride was as thrilling as chronicling the Michael Jordan dynasty. But if Jordan dealt with tragedy of his own, such as his father’s still-mysterious murder, his career never was derailed by drama and injuries while mostly avoiding fallout from his gambling misdeeds. Tiger’s wounds have been self-inflicted and damaging, costing him a chance to surpass Nicklaus’ record of 18 major titles. Why was he carousing in Vegas and New York? Why was he driving after an opioid cocktail?

And why was he speeding in Rancho Palos Verdes, for no good reason? Why was he pushing his luck, again, after luck always has pushed back?

When his father turned loose his prodigy in 1996, he predicted a massive effect on humankind. Proclaimed the Earl of Woods: “Tiger will do more than any other man in history to change the course of humanity. … I don’t know exactly what form this will take, but he is the Chosen One. He’ll have the power to impact nations. Not people. Nations.”

Earl Woods predicted Tiger Woods would win 14 majors – CBS Local Sports

That day, a curse was born.

Will it ever have mercy on Eldrick Woods?

BSM Writers

Does Tom Brady’s Salary Make Sense For FOX In a Changing Media World?

“The risk here doesn’t have to do with Brady specifically, but rather the business of televising football games in general.”

Published

on

FOX is playing it too safe when it comes to adding Tom Brady.

That’s going to sound weird given the size of Brady’s broadcasting contract. Even if that deal isn’t worth as much as initially reported, it’s a hell of a lot of loot, especially considering Brady has remained steadfastly uninteresting for a solid 20 years now.

Let’s not pretend that is a detriment in the eyes of a television network, however. There’s a long line of famous athletes companies like FOX have happily paid millions without ever requiring them to be much more than consistently inoffensive and occasionally insightful. Yes, Brady is getting more money than those previous guys, but he’s also the most successful quarterback in NFL history.

The risk here doesn’t have to do with Brady specifically, but rather the business of televising football games in general. More specifically, the fact that the business of televising football games is changing, and while it may not be changing quite as rapidly as the rest of the sports-media industry, but it is changing. There’s an increasing number of choices available to viewers not only in the games that can be watched, but how they are consumed. Everything in the industry points to an increasingly fragmented audience and yet by signing Brady to be in the broadcast booth once he retires, FOX is paying a premium for a single component in a tried-and-true broadcasting formula will be more successful. 

Think of Brady’s hiring as a bet FOX made. A 10-year commitment in which it is doubling down on the status quo at a time of obvious change. FOX saw ESPN introduce the ManningCast last year, and instead of seeing the potential for a network to build different types of products, FOX decided, “Nah, we don’t want to do anything different or new.” Don’t let the price tag fool you. FOX went out and bought a really famous former player to put in a traditional broadcast booth to hope that the center holds..

Maybe it will. Maybe Brady is that interesting or he’s that famous and his presence is powerful enough to defy the trends within the industry. I’m not naive enough to think that value depends on the quality of someone’s content. The memoir of a former U.S. president will fetch a multi-million-dollar advance not because of the literary quality, but because of the size of the potential audience. It’s the same rationale behind FOX’s addition of Brady.

But don’t mistake an expensive addition from an innovative one. The ManningCast was an actual innovation. A totally different way of televising a football game, and while not everyone liked it, some people absolutely loved it. It’s not going to replace the regular Monday Night Football format, but it wasn’t supposed to. It’s an alternative or more likely a complement and ESPN was sufficiently encouraged to extend the ManningCast through 2024. It’s a different product. Another option it is offering its customers. You can choose to watch to the traditional broadcast format with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman in the booth or you can watch the Mannings or you can toggle between both. What’s FOX’s option for those audience members who prefer something like the ManningCast to the traditional broadcast?

It’s not just ESPN, either. Amazon offered viewers a choice of broadcasters, too, from a female announcing tandem of Hannah Storm and Andrea Kramer beginning in 2018 to the Scouts Feed with Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks in 2020.

So now, not only do viewers have an increasingly wide array of choices on which NFL games they can watch — thanks to Sunday Ticket — they in some instances have a choice of the announcing crew for that given game. Amid this economic environment, FOX not only decided that it was best to invest in a single product, but it decided to make that investment in a guy who had never done this particular job before nor shown much in the way of an aptitude for it.

Again, maybe Brady is the guy to pull it off. He’s certainly famous enough. His seven Super Bowl victories are unmatched and span two franchises, and while he’s denied most attempts to be anything approaching interesting in public over the past 20 years, perhaps that is changing. His increasingly amusing Twitter posts over the past 2 years could be a hint of the humor he’s going to bring to the broadcast booth. That Tampa Tom is his true personality, which remained under a gag order from the Sith Lord Bill Belichick, and now Brady will suddenly become football’s equivalent of Charles Barkley.

But that’s a hell of a needle to thread for anyone, even someone as famous as Brady, and it’s a really high bar for someone with no broadcasting experience. The upside for FOX is that its traditional approach holds. The downside, however, is that it is not only spending more money on a product with a declining market, but it is ignoring obvious trends within the industry as it does so.

Continue Reading

BSM Writers

Media Noise – Episode 73

Published

on

What do you think we are going to talk about today? Of course, it is going to be Tom Brady’s deal with FOX! Demetri breaks that down with Brady Farkas. Brian Noe pops by to talk about the NFL’s schedule release strategy, and Demetri weighs in on Bally Sports+.

Continue Reading

BSM Writers

Alec Drake Is A Yield Management Artist

“When you have a deep menu of choices to provide solutions for a client, you must pick carefully and not throw too much into a proposal.”

Published

on

Knowing what to sell, how much to charge and how to package it all are common problems in selling sports radio. Packaging Play-by-play, am or pm drive, digital, promotions, video, and merchandise are part of the art of the deal. Fortunately, Alec Drake is a revenue and yield management artist. 

Alec most recently served as the Director of Sales for Cumulus Dallas (including The Ticket) from 2009-to 2021. He now works as a consultant and produces content for the radio sales industry. Alec can help support any sales organization with revenue and yield management, revenue generation strategies, and improving sales performance. You can read his published articles in Radio Ink and get more details on him at www.alecdrake.com. He offers BSM some great advice below. 

Jeff Caves: Help us understand revenue and yield management? What are some case examples relevant to Sports radio? 

Alec Drake: Yield management focuses on getting the most revenue from your inventory, and revenue management looks at all the components in sales that generate revenue and how to maximize dollars. Let’s think about PXP, where you can have in-game inventory, shoulder programming, and merchandise elements. 

Depending on your agreement with the franchise, there are usually some pre-game, in-game, and post-game slots your team can sell. While you could sell this inventory as a stand-alone opportunity, it also can be bundled into a comprehensive season-long sponsorship that includes all assets available. 

Yield Management – Stand-Alone – A game day plan that provides billboards on specific game days for the client and 1 or 2 ads to run in-game. This inventory is priced higher based on the flexibility offered to the client in picking game days and the shorter-term commitment. 

Revenue Management – Season Sponsorship – This six-month program would require a much more significant dollar commitment and, at the same time, offer lots of value for the client. Elements in this sponsorship can include Pre/Post and In-Game ads, sponsorship of the “Coach’s or Players Show” each week, a bank of advertisements that would run in other dayparts (such as pm drive and weekends), and merchandise in the form of game tickets for the season.  

JC: What are your thoughts on giving annual discounts, raising rates, and bonus spots?

AD: Annual discounts can be productive if the terms and conditions attached to the agreement are favorable for both the client and the stations. Raising rates should always be a goal as expenses go up each year for stations, and revenues must go up too. How and where you raise rates is the key to keeping balance for market demand and what the station can deliver in results and solutions. Bonus spots are too much of a crutch in radio, and while used as goodwill during the pandemic, they must now be dramatically reduced or phased out. Strong brands and sales teams will be able to transition away from the bonus approach; weak players will find it challenging in a competitive marketplace.

JC: If you are a station consistently #2 in the format in a market, should you consider category exclusives?

AD: Giving an exclusive is a negative strategy and gives too much power to one client. They typically will not get you the value in dollars to replace what a strong sales effort could deliver for the category in the market, and it’s a sign of weakness in sales management. 

JC: To get them through the summer before Football, what are a few go-to sales strategies you had for stations? 

AD: The Ticket was brilliant in creating an annual promotion in June called “Summer Bash.” Broadcasting live on-site from about 12-7 pm at a venue with food, beverages, and entertainment creates an opportunity to bring in a variety of event sponsors and booth vendors and interface with listeners, a winning combination. The station would often find a location next to a lake or a multi-purpose footprint with a large swimming pool. One of the most original events for The Ticket was “Fight Night,” typically in August each year. These two events always lifted the summer billing, and combined with Football’s training camp period, they all built sales momentum into the fall.   

JC: What is one piece of advice any sports seller could use to improve their sales?

AD: When you have a deep menu of choices to provide solutions for a client, you must pick carefully and not throw too much into a proposal. Understand the natural passion a client may have for one element over another and look to match that with practical advertising programs that will deliver results. Avoid selling a client something they want to buy that will not work for their business goals. Remember, you are the media consultant.    

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending

Copyright © 2021 Barrett Media.