In the spot, the disembodied voice of Woods’ late father and golf mentor, Earl, who died of a heart attack in 2006, is heard urging the athlete to deeper self-examination and introspection:
“Tiger, I am more prone to be inquisitive, to promote discussion. I want to find out what your thinking was. I want to find out what your feelings are. And did you learn anything?”
And that’s it. That, and a very controlled, low-key camera dolly-in to Woods’ expressive, soulful eyes.
The spot, which ran before and after Tiger teed off during the Masters Tournament, is the first Nike piece with Tiger to air, post the golfer’s massive Bimbo-gate sex scandal. (During the controversy, over a dozen women surfaced, claiming they’d slept with the married superstar.)
This commercial moves me to ask the question my sister and I always did after watching each lame Kansas video on Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert, right, late Saturday nights when we were kids: What does it mean?
Last week on MEDIA ASSASSIN, I did a brief analysis of Tiger Woods’ press conference apology. Though, admittedly, Woods’ recitation of his written statement was wooden and lacked warmth, I judged that, in his words, he took appropriate responsibility for what he’d done, and spoke to the need for personal change.
Well, boy was I wrong! As this piece of video from the event reveals, above, there was more to Tiger’s talk than meets the eye or ear. Wow. How did he fool us all again?
You don’t have to go very far into reading the text of Tiger Woods’ apologetic press conference statement, made earlier today, to realize that either he, his handlers, or both, knew the word the disgraced athlete needed to say most, in order to win back public trust, was “I.”
He used the pronoun “I” 105 times in the short, 13 1/2-minute statement, or an average of about once ever eight seconds. Looking at his most common subjective couplet, “I have,” below—said 16 times—it appears that Woods was attempting to forge an empathetic bond with those listening to his statement by affirming the words they had probably said about him in his absence: You bitterly disappointed us…you brought this on yourself.
Or check out Woods second-most frequently-used couplet, “I am,” below, where he talks about his present state.
Finally, study Tiger’s mentions of his wife’s name, Elin, and the complimentary contexts within which Woods praised her.
Verbally, at least, it seems like Woods knew what he had to say about what he did, how he feels about it, and how he feels about his wife. These were the most important statements for him to make, it can be argued. (He certainly seemed to think so: He only mentioned “golf” twice.)
Though you heard it, and read it in the statement, the Many Eyes software, with this straightforward formatting, creates a slightly better sense of how Woods’ words were organized, and to what end. Indeed, IBM calls Many Eyes “a bet on the power of human visual intelligence to find patterns.”
Funny: That’s what Woods has got to apply, now, towards his own transgressive behavior and missteps.
The first time you see it, especially from this angle, above, your impulsive, random thought is, “That can’t be real.”
Well, it’s about to be real, baby. The 2012 Delta Wing Concept car, shown, right, from a high angle, and designed by DeltaWing CTO Ben Bowlby
for a consortium of team owners and investors including Roger Penske and Chip Ganassi, is supposed to answer all the faults of the existing car, while improving safety and efficiency.
“Today marks a fundamental shift in how race fans and the general public will view all racing cars in the future; this is a game changer” DeltaWing CEO Dan Partel said on the IndyCar Web site. “This radical prototype takes open-wheel racing to a new level from both an engineering standpoint and the overall spectator experience.”
The car is startlingly composed of “a rocket-like fuselage, a narrow front track, a very wide rear end, and no wings, front or rear,” say press reports. Debuting this week at the Chicago Auto Show the car caught the eyes of not only the media, but of a number of Indy drivers at the show, including former champ Scott Dixon and current champ Dario Franchitti, above
Bowlby, also a chief engineer for Chip Ganassi Racing, and once a Lola chief designer, said
the car’s reduced aerodynamic drag and lighter weight would offer high performance on the racetrack with only half the engine power of its recent predecessors, and thus increased fuel efficiency.
He expects that the finished car, including engine, will hit 235 mph and cost about $600,000. That’s fast money.
Fix your peepers on this classic photo of ’70s Knicks legend Walt “Clyde” Frazier, above, decked out in front of his classic black and silver Rolls Royce. (Best detail: The still-shinin’ twin towers of the World Trade Center, beaming peacefully in the background.)
Frazier was a true fashion plate, right, and the NBA’s go-to guy for style during the wild, rah-rah 1970s. Keep in mind that, back then, most basketball players went little beyond whatever polyester parachutes they could find at the Big & Tall Men’s Shop. A GQ man, before the term existed, Frazier’s deep interest in the limits of looking superb utterly stood out.
Unlike today, though, Frazier kept the off-the-court electricity separate from his on-the-court work. Unlike today, where athletes’ distractions seem to always get in the way of their day jobs, somehow, his luminescent lifestyle, and his intense interest in the latest wears, never overshadowed his ability to do the task, right, that paid for all those jackets, pants, and tailoring. And, of course, that superb piece of British motorcraft.
Though known today for the cheezy lines of his Just For Men commercials, right—”Emmitt: Your gray facial hair has put you in a rocking chair!”—back in the day, #10 was known for massive sideburns, his “WCF” vanity plates, atop, and always being the point guard to whom opposing teams feared getting close. As it should be. Rock on, Clyde.
Ever since I was was in 4th grade, watching the older kids in our suburban grade school fly control line model planes, like this one, right, before class, I’ve possessed a soft spot for the sport of flying scale fueled aircraft. I’ve never had the money or the spare time to commit and truly learn, not to mention master, the art, but I’ve always thought, and think, I might, one day, hunker down and do so.
Imagine my surprise, though, when, peeking into the field several years later, I learned of the astounding levels to which skilled would-be flight jocks and plane builders had taken this pastime. See that B-52 in video still, above? Most people, upon spying the image, would conclude some lucky fan had squeezed off a shot of the U.S. Air Force’s workhorse, off on another mission.
I so utterly dig this gorgeous one-sheet, above, that director David Lam fashioned, in lush black-and-white, for his 2009 documentary, Athlete. The film tells the stories of four ordinary folk, including 35-year-old twin sisters Carrie and Kellie, above. All are locked into mind-breaking tests of physical endurance, each for their own personal reasons, each redefining the idea of limits. That’s the trailer, below, but, in a way, you can say that the poster tells the whole story. Out on DVD March 9.
Count on cash-strapped photog Annie Leibovitz to dig up the Tiger-Woods-As-Black-Man-You’d-Lock-Your-Car-Doors-For shot, now the cover of the new Vanity Fair.
Is the hatred his wage for casually tapping a baker’s dozen of white women? Can’t imagine that VF, or the rest of American media, would’ve cared if he’d been married to a sister, and/or had cheated with a cluster of ‘em. In any event, it certainly wouldn’t have ranked this Oz reject photo.
Yo, Tiger: If you didn’t know it yet, the Cablinasian Era is officially over.