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Tiger Woods Proves Nothing's Changed

This article was written by contributor Chris Matyszczyk.

So who will be the first wise, intelligent soul to shout "Get in the Hole!!"?

Tiger Woods' announcement that he will return to reality television, oh, I mean, to golf, for the U.S. Masters suggests nothing more than that nothing has changed.

Tiger Woods cares about Tiger Woods. He has always only cared about Tiger Woods. He will continue only to care about Tiger Woods.

It's an individual sport, and as for everything else, that is just so much annoying detail.

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Woods didn't care that his pitiful staged nonsense of a televised hagiographic confession clashed with a tournament sponsored by a company that used to make commercial use of his alleged saintliness, Accenture.

And now he doesn't care that his presence at the US Masters will turn an event that masquerades as a church service into an orgy of tittle-tattle and tripe-peddling.

Why worry? The Masters always had great security. Look, a few years go, they even banished those women protesters to some distant parking lot. That showed them, didn't it?

Daddy always believed Tiger would be something akin to a Jesus, albeit with a scowl for a face and a pitching wedge for a mace. And Tiger believes the only way to prove Daddy right is to win another major.

We shouldn't blame Woods for this. How can he know any different? How can he possibly abandon the shtick that has got him this far?

Part of the reason that he has been so dominant a player is that he has a deep and abiding contempt for every one of his opponents. It matters less that he is better than they are. It matters more that he believes they are nothing more than footmen who are only fit to hold his sedan chair.

That contempt fuels him in his hour of need. It pumps him up. Just, so some former porn stars say, as sex did.

Woods' decision to turn Augusta into Disgusta suggests that in his desperation to prove his greatness, he cannot let another Major go by. It has to be this one. Because if it can't be this one, his powers might fade, his adrenaline might atrophy and his opponents might become weirdly credible.

Tiger Woods believes that he is golf. The TV ratings support that view. His often pathetic rivals genuflect in his presence when they should be smacking him about the head with their putters.

Woods believes that he is Michael Jordan, but better. In fact, who would be surprised if he feels sorry for Jordan, a man who had to rely on such sad, inferior beings as teammates Bill Wennington and Steve Kerr?

All Woods has to rely on is his mouthy, hairy serf from New Zealand. You know, Steve Williams. The caddy who thinks he can tell everyone, even the Queen of England, to shut up. Well, everyone except the King himself who wanders around the golf course tossing clubs and contempt like the despot of a Third World state.

The truth is, we love it. We shouldn't, but we do.

We love the thought that there is someone who can completely ignore the mind-numbing minutiae that we have to put up with every day. We love the thought that here is a Don Quixote who doesn't merely attack windmills, but openly assaults them with nuclear devices he picked up on the cheap at Halliburton.

We love the thought that it's possible to be so far removed from people like us.

When he gives an interview, flashing the smile that is simultaneously winning and fake, we know that Woods really wishes he wasn't doing this, that he will spend the minimum amount of time indulging the plebeians, and then he will be on his way.

His way is the only way Tiger Woods will ever be on.

We wish we could do that. We wish we didn't have to mind our p's and stand in queues. We wish people would bow and scrape, just a little, as we pass by.

Of course, Woods will fake the humility, the grace, the gulped-down mea culpas for as long as he has to. He will bow his head, kiss his Mom and hug that nice lady from Nike.

But as he sits contemplating an excursion to Augusta, you can bet that his mind's eye will only allow for one vision. It's the one in which he holds the trophy, puts on the Green Jacket, smiles for the cameras and tries to hide his contempt.

It's always the rakes who get the big roles, the prizes and the girls, right?

Nothing has changed. You'll see.

By Chris Matyszczyk
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