Monday, August 11, 2008

Teed Off With Tiger

Your Logic Has a Hole
Dear Tiger, Dear Tiger

© 2008 Leighann Lord

I've got to start reading my Wall Street Journal in a timelier manner. Although I have the best of intentions I don't always get to it, especially when I'm traveling. I was paging through an old issue and saw an ad for a contest: "Buick's Tee Off with Tiger." The grand prize is winning a "once in a lifetime opportunity to play golf with Tiger as your caddy." In the words of Stuey Griffin (Family Guy): "What the duce?" Who sanctioned this? It may not "be" wrong, but it sure "feels" wrong.

Undoubtedly the opportunity to win one of the greatest golfers in the world as your caddy sounds like a fun idea on the surface, but when that golfer is Black, not only does it raise eyebrows, but mine are damn near co-mingling with my hair line. I know Tiger is a self described Cablinasian, but in America the "One Drop Rule" puts him in The 12% Club, giving the contest racial overtones that cannot be ignored.

I might be able to get past it if the contest was for charity, but it's for Buick. Yes, American automakers are struggling right now, but they don't exactly rank up there with The Red Cross. Just because they're not making a profit doesn't mean they are not-for-profit.

Although the game now appeals to a more diverse audience then ever, I think it's safe to say that the majority of golfers are still predominantly white. I'm not saying Black people don't play golf (my Dad used to play and he's Black) but, to date, golf courses do not have the same prominence, prevalence or popularity on the urban landscape as do basketball courts. This may be why Buick chose to advertise the contest in The Wall Street Journal and not in The Amsterdam News.

From the demographic of people to whom this event was advertised, who are most likely to play golf and enter the contest, there is a reasonably high probability that the winner will be white. A White man winning a Black man to caddy for him seems flat out wrong.

And then there's Tiger. What was he thinking? Either he has a really good sense of humor or a very bad grasp of American history. How much more money does he need? Are gas prices so high that he too is feeling the pinch at the pump? When is enough, enough? At what point are you financial secure, powerful and famous enough to say, "Hell no, I'm not doing that!"?

Now look, I know I'm wrong. I have absolutely no business looking at Tiger, or anyone else for that matter, and judging his choices. Believe me, I don't want to do it; but somebody has to. So I'm taking the hit to my spiritual well being for the team. You're welcome.

I'm angry at myself for not finding out about this earlier. It's too late to enter now, and I could have. According to the rules the contest was open to anyone over 18 with a valid drivers’ license. Doing the actual contest though would have been difficult for me. Participants have to accurately predict Tiger's score each round in every tournament he plays during the contest period. I have no idea how to do that.

Despite taking a semester of golf in high school, I am clueless. But for this I would have learned. I would have gone to Google University and availed myself to the wonders of Wikipedia. I would have tried my best to win so that I could have the satisfaction of setting Tiger free from Buick bondage.

Happy National Golf Month!

Thank you for reading The Urban Erma.

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