Let's go ahead and call the new Nike Ad the icing on Tiger Woods' damage control staff's cake. They are celebrating. Team Tiger might have pulled off one of the greatest recoveries in history.
Hear me out.
It is conceivable that every step of the way for Tiger to get back to the Masters has been calculated to every inflection of Tiger's voice. Let's go back to the first "press conference" that I deemed entirely unbelievable. Maybe, just maybe, that is exactly what Team Tiger was hoping for, or better yet, knew would happen. The entire country seemed to think Tiger was a robot and insincere. The court of public opinion wasn't buying it.
Next, we get two "personable" one-on-one interviews with ESPN and The Golf Channel. Amazingly, Tiger wasn't as stiff any more. He would not give us any new information or any dramatic statements, though. He did, however, look a little more believable, but not entirely. Again, exactly how Team Tiger knew it would play out.
Then comes Monday's press conference.
"I tend to think Tiger did quite well, better than I expected." - Joe Posnanski, Sports Illustrated
This was the general feeling after Monday afternoon. Myself included. Really, though, was it that impressive, or were we just being set up to think that way. The previous two appearances were so pitiful, that Monday's press conference looked like Mike Gundy's infamous tirade.
Finally, the commercial is the tip of the iceberg. Team Tiger hit an emotional cord with people accross the nation and make Tiger look as human as your next door neighbor. I felt the ad was brilliant. Nike wasn't afraid, and Team Tiger sat in a room while it aired and collectively said, "We're back!"
Tiger tees off today. I'll be watching.
Well played, sir. Well played.