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Tiger Woods’ Buddhist Bracelet the New Livestrong Band?

Tiger Woods spent 600 seconds Sunday taping interviews. Though each interviewer was afforded limited time, they each tried to ask Tiger some of the questions many of us wanted to have answered. I thought Tom Rinaldi was more direct and stepped in more frequently to keep Tiger on the path and that he caught Tiger in an unprepared moment — one where Tiger admitted he wanted people to cheer for him. Kelly Tilghman of The Golf Channel asked many similar questions and received many similar, scripted answers. The difference to me was that she didn’t follow up as well as Rinaldi, and she also threw out there the biggest softball question of all: Tilghman asked Tiger about a certain bracelet on his wrist. Tiger seized the opportunity to emphasize how he had found religion. In his case, Buddha. Here’s a picture of Tiger Woods’ Buddhist bracelet:

Tiger explained that the bracelet is Buddhist and it’s for protection and strength. He says he will be wearing it the rest of his life. If that’s the case then I think it’s a great time for Tiger’s marketing team to see how well the guy still sells. Maybe Tiger’s Buddhist bracelet can catch on the way Lance Armstrong Livestrong band did.

Photo Credit: Deadspin, where Daulerio thought Tilghman tossed up better softballs. That’s surprising to read, considering they clearly saw her ask him about the bracelet. What a joke.

Rude Tiger Woods Jokes Axed at Oscars

Telling jokes and trying to entertain an audience is a tricky proposition. Sometimes you’re tempted to make personal attacks or politically incorrect statements. The good news is that some awards shows aren’t live, allowing the bosses a chance to edit things out. Apparently some mean-spirited jokes made about Tiger Woods at the Academy Awards didn’t even make it that far.

Academy Awards bosses deleted a series of rude Tiger Woods jokes from the script. A well-placed source tells us writers penned cracks about the golfer’s cheating scandal for hosts Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin to deliver. But the lines have been nixed by producers. The source said, “Some of the Tiger jokes were deemed too rude.”

We’ve posted on a joke made at a Jacksonville Jaguars game at Tiger’s expense but that was nothing compared to all the other cracks floating around. I’m sure they had plenty of material raring and ready to go but it was probably the right thing to cut those out of the script. Perhaps the best news of all is that Tiger’s been back on the course practicing and preparing for a return to golf — something he should have done a long time ago.

Tiger Woods Gets Made Fun of at Jacksonville Jaguars Game

Another gem was unloaded by Extra Mustard on Monday. It appears that there was a skit put on at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium Sunday when the Jags played the Texans. Yes, that’s a person in a tiger costume wearing a red shirt and black hat getting chased by a blond wielding a golf club. Sound familiar?

Man, that’s just cold. I guess you can say they were playing to the local audience with that one. It’s full-on Tiger joke time now making you think people are just compensating for all the years of kissing Woods’ butt.

Even Tiger Woods Knows Yankee Stadium Priced Their Tickets Too High

According to SI.com’s Fortunate 50, Tiger Woods pulled in $100 million between winnings and endorsements and that was in a down economy. To him, spending $100,000 is like us spending 50 bucks on dinner and a movie. That sort of ridiculous bankroll means Tiger has no idea what real expenses are like. But apparently Tiger’s not blind and even he can see that Yankee Stadium is filled with more empty chairs than bodies in the field level because the tickets were priced too highly. He made a reference to that notion when he explained why the AT&T National that he’s hosting in Bethesda is letting in kids under 12 for free:

“We don’t want to have what happened at Yankee Stadium,” Woods said. “Tickets are so overpriced that you can’t bring the family. We want to have everyone come out and enjoy being in a family atmosphere, walk around, have a good time and not have it cost an arm and a leg.”

This isn’t exactly a revolutionary practice considering the U.S. Open had the same policy and apparently the British Open’s been letting kids in free for quite some time. Still, it’s nice to finally see people making efforts to have sporting events become more affordable. The corporate game has ruined things for the real fans, relegating them to the cheap seats or the living room. If you’re not out there trying to build a $1.5 billion monstrosity, then this wouldn’t be a problem. The old Yankee Stadium seemed to be just fine to me and sell out without any problems. Oh yeah, and you think Tiger speaking up like that has anything to do with the heat he took from Jim Brown recently? I’d be inclined to say “yes” to that.

Economy Affecting Sponsorships: Buick Pulling Back with Tiger Woods?

With the exception of hockey which seems to have declined steadily (regardless of economic conditions), the overall health of sports teams seems to be fine. We haven’t heard much about ticket sales and attendance figures dropping, not to mention merchandise sales and money spent at games. We have heard that the economy may be preventing rich alumni from coming through on their promised donations to their alma maters, and now I’m reading that sponsorships of individual athletes could be waning. Evidence Buick with Tiger Woods:

GM may implement a round of cost cuts because a planned $15 billion in asset sales and savings won’t be enough to maintain its liquidity amid deteriorating sales, people familiar with the matter said. The company’s stock has dropped more than 74 percent this year, to $6.19 at yesterday’s close, and GM has cut 53,000 union workers since 2005.

Because of that, [Woods' agent Mark] Steinberg said in a telephone interview that he wants to find out if it “makes sense to continue” beyond 2009, when the contract expires.

In the coming year, [Woods' agent Larry] Peck said, Buick would be “trimming back” some of its spending on “back of the house” things, such as hospitality at sports events.

One of the problems might be that Tiger is out recovering from knee surgery meaning he’s not producing returns on investment. Buick is also a big sponsor of the PGA Tour in general, so they may choose to scale that back, if not Woods. Bottom line: if the money isn’t there, it’s going to be hard for Buick to advertise, right?

Your Chance to Own Tiger’s Apple Core

Hey look, I was fascinated by Tiger Woods coming out of a porto potty. It just gets me every time. That dude really does those things just like us? Given the reaction people had over Tiger coming out of a restroom, it’s no surprise that the bidding on a half-eaten apple by Tiger Woods is getting some serious play on Ebay. These bids are getting seriously out of hand, ringing in at $36k at last check. And check out the description of the item:

I was at the US Open this Friday, following Tiger Woods down the 12 th Fairway, after his tee shot, he was eating an apple, 30 yards from his ball he discarded his apple core in the rough, I asked a photothe to kick it over my way, and he did, I never touched the core, Scooped it up in a empty beer cup, as not to disrupt the DNA, Ive got lots of witness’…all moneys go to my daughters college fund

I really would like to meet the people that spend this type of cash on items like that. Come on, who buys Jack Lambert’s used cigarette, or Luis Gonzalez’s chewed gum? I guess it’s the same people that spend 7 grand for their kid to meet David Beckham as a birthday present. Ridiculous.

Tiger Woods: Foolish or Courageous?

OK, so I was raving about Tiger’s performance on Saturday in the third round of the U.S. Open because of how well he played despite a knee injury that was killing him. Skeptics said he was faking it, and so did fellow players on tour, most notably Retief Goosen. I saw the pained look on his face and knew all wasn’t kosher. That feeling was confirmed as the news dropped on Wednesday that Tiger’s done for the year to get reconstructive surgery on his knee. So this much we do know: Tiger Woods won a major playing on a bum knee with a ruptured ACL and double stress fractures as the result of the arthroscopic surgery recovery. That part makes him courageous. But what might make him foolish was his decision to commit to playing the tournament rather than keep himself on the shelf. According to swing coach Hank Haney, not only was Tiger aware he should not have been playing, but he also called his shot:

“The week of Memorial [two weeks before the Open], I thought there was no chance he could play,” Haney said in a telephone interview from his home in Texas. “The doctors told him he needed to be on crutches for three weeks and then three more weeks of inactivity, and then you start rehabbing.

“But Tiger looked the guy in the eye and said, ‘I’m playing in the U.S. Open and I’m going to win.’ Then he started putting on his shoes and told me we’re going to go practice. It’s just incredible.”

OK, so there’s the legend. And Tiger did make it worth his while because he won. But was this in hindsight a foolish move, knowing what we know now — that he was going against doctors’ advice? This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a player go against doctor advice, and doctors don’t always have the right assessment (many seek second opinions). Still, despite the heroics, maybe it wasn’t worth it in the long run to do what Tiger did. Hopefully his career won’t be cut short by this knee injury. And truthfully, we’ll never know how much this particular choice impacted his injury. For all we know, he could have shredded his knee down the line anyway.

(Photo Courtesy Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)