Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Tiger Tale 2

I am writing this editorial in response to Ms. Sylvia Schon’s smack-down on the media for coverage of the “Tiger Tale.” I have a slightly different take on it.

I met my husband Jake 12 years ago while I was working at Oak Knoll Country Club. Jake has been a member of the Professional Golfers Association of America since 1996 and has worked in the golf industry for almost 20 years. Before I started working at Oak Knoll and met Jake, I didn’t know the difference between a driver and a putter. And before I married my sweet husband, I certainly would have never been caught dead watching golf!

Times have changed, however, and I have even caddied in a few events for Jake. My television habits also have changed. Golf and Tiger Woods are now part of my daily life.

Over the years of his magnificent golfing career, Tiger has wowed me with his talent. He is one of golf’s greatest, if not the greatest. His Sunday afternoon dominance of those who look like they might challenge him never fails to amaze me. He is to golf what Michael Jordan was to basketball in the 90s. He will be a legend, even if he never touches a golf club again.

Tiger’s main problem is that golf is supposed to be the gentlemen’s game. Sorry, golfers are just held to a different standard due to the non-contact, respectful, handshake-after-the-round nature of the game. I know that not all golfers are gentlemen, but that is the image we associate with them. You won’t see many fists flying at a golf course, except maybe from spectators who have had a little too much fun.

Golf is supposed to be a game based on etiquette, sportsmanship and honesty. Golfers actually call rules on themselves and penalize themselves – I’ve seen it happen. You’ll never see a football player tell a referee that he can’t take the touchdown because he was indeed out-of-bounds. Again, I know that not all golfers are honest, but that’s what we expect. When we remember golf greats, we remember family men who kissed their wives when coming off the course.

We’ve seen Tiger kiss Elin – a lot. That makes it personal.

Another problem – Tiger at times has been less than gracious with the media, using his influence to control the media and to pick and choose which reporters he will grace with an interview. He oftentimes gives short answers and has definitely staked his claim on his private life, even naming his $20 million yacht “Privacy.” Basically, he slapped the media in the face with that little jab. Nobody can control the tabloids, however, and they pay big bucks.

Finally, Tiger flat-out lied on his own blog the Friday the incident took place, calling Elin a hero for her actions and saying that the media was being malicious and spreading rumors. Well … ?

Now people are having a lot of fun with the situation, circulating silly e-mail forwards and watching the Tiger-directed antics of late-night comedians. Before the truth came out, there was tons of speculation, and we all knew he was hiding something big. His blog entry basically called his readers stupid – no way could we have figured out that running over the fire hydrant and hitting that tree at 2 a.m. wasn’t a normal accident.

The truth is that he has positioned himself as a great, and with that comes responsibility. He has a foundation that promotes better lives for children. When he took that on, he took on the role model position.

No, I don’t want to know every detail. I feel very sorry for Elin and the children. I hate that she will have to explain this to them one day when they Google their daddy. It’s sad.

Elin has taken on a hero label; she’s just not Tiger’s hero. She may be the hero of every political wife who has had to stand by her man, smiling while he admits his transgressions. If my golfer pulled this, no one would be interested, except for me of course. And while I don’t condone domestic violence, I would at least entertain the thought of throwing a nine-iron through his car window.

Elin is now dealing with these domestic violence issues as well as the embarrassment of her husband’s actions. If she is understanding enough to take Tiger back, and for his sake and the children’s, I hope she is, she will now have to also help him fix his reputation while mending her own. She is going to have to answer for her actions as well.

I wish Tiger would have handled this differently. If he would have just come forward with the truth in the beginning and asked the public for our understanding, we my have had much more sympathy. He tried to lie his way through it, as he had done with his family. The media fought back.

Because he lied again, he now can’t face his public. Because he lied again, some of his sponsors are beginning to think twice. Because he lied again, the PGA Tour will lose millions in sponsorships and endorsements.

Do I care? Yes, I care. He has lied to all of us, and we are the ones who have paid money to help make him who he is. We didn’t make him talented, but we did make him richer through supporting those who endorse him, giving him more wealth than he ever could have had by playing alone. I'm extremely disappointed.

I hope a Tiger can change his stripes. I have a lot of respect for what he has done for the game of golf. Like Ms. Schon, I hope he is able to pick up his golf clubs again. And lastly, I hope he becomes a better husband and role model because like it or not, he asked for both titles.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Let's give this chat/blog thing a try!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

PHS Freshmen vs. Hammond -- pics from the game

A Tiger's Tale

A Tiger’s Tale…

I’m a journalist with all my heart. I love the profession and will participate in its excitement until my dying breath. I have covered entertainment and art, as well as non-profit activities. A little fluffy, right? Yes, and I like it that way. Not all journalists are hard-nosed, gotta-get-it-first types. Some of us do cover only the softer side of the news.

The gotta-get-it-first types do intrigue me however. Truth is, I would have loved to be one. The schedule doesn’t appeal to me though. I was a very young mother when I graduated from college, and I didn’t want to be on call. Making appointments and writing in-depth was more my style, and it worked for me.

I was a little sick on Friday when Tiger Woods had an accident outside his home. The first tweet from Breaking News On said that the situation was “serious,” and I was very worried about our “friend,” Tiger. I call him friend because he’s in our home almost daily. We watch his poise, his vigor and his sure will. We breathe his emotion on red-shirt Sunday, and we can only hope his health and his drive remain in tact so that we may watch him for years to come.

I texted my golfer Friday when I was tweeted, and of course, my husband called me from the golf course, demanding more information. I had none for about 30 minutes. Everyone at the golf course was worried sick, and the television was turned on immediately. People were glued to the set … and then we found out that Tiger was in fact no longer still in the hospital and had only minor injuries.

Are you kidding me?

It fascinates me as a journalist that people are ready to pounce on information. The one thing that I beg of my journalism students is that they check and recheck their sources. Waiting and getting it right is much better than jumping and misstating facts. Shame on the television and Internet media for jumping. Really, you couldn’t wait 30 minutes to get confirmation before scaring us all half-to-death?

Now, whether Tiger was hacked off with his wife for burning the cookies or she was clubbing through that back window because he was late again for dinner (been there, have definitely had thoughts of doing the same) is yet to be known. But really, if this is a domestic spat, haven’t we all stormed off in an argument and thought not-so-nice stuff about the “others” in our lives. I would hate for the world to know that I stumped my toe once while pitching a little hissy fit at Jake. Whoops, cat’s out of the bag.

I have much more important things to worry about than what Tiger was doing at 2:25 in the morning banging into a fire hydrant. A lot of us were up at that time of the morning on that particular day. I’m content with the thought that maybe Elin had sent him to line up at the Best Buy. It was Black Friday after all! Then, he got so frustrated at this crazy request that the accidentally hit the fire hydrant and the tree after his swing was for once too quick. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Ponchatoula High School Basketball Nov. 17

The PHS varsity squad had a successful season opener, beating Central Lafourche 69-59 on home court.

Click below for pictures from the varsity game.

Pictures from the JV game.

Photos from the freshmen game against Covington.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Twitter and Mobypic

I'm now officially a twittermom. There actually is a site called twittermoms.com. On this site, members tweet about being moms, enjoying motherhood and all that garbo. There is a Twilight Twitter Mom group on the twittermoms page, and it presently has almost 500 members.

On this site, I can be a photgraphy twittermom; however, this is not for me. I have a hard time printing out my photos, much less showing them off. Who really wants to see pictures of my kids anyway? I'm guilty of the occassional pulling the picture out of the wallet trick, but I try to steer clear of shoving too many of my kids' pictures in people's faces because I hate it when I get stuck in the grocery store checkout line with one of those moms -- or grandmoms!

I'm not a member of the twittermom site, so what makes me a twittermom? Tonight, I shamelessly took pictures of Shayne, my 14-year-old son, at his first summer baseball game using Mobypicture, which is hooked up to my twitter site, which is linked to my Facebook page. Through use of Mobypicture, I could upload the photo to both twitter and Facebook at the same time. I could also add a caption to the picture, much like I can do on my mobile Facebook application. The great thing is that it uploads to my twitter and Facebook account at the same time.

I was pleased with the results. I knew it would prompt my sister-in-law to make a phone call to my mother-in-law to tell her all the news of Shayne's game. They are so proud of him! Since they are three hours driving time away, it makes it easy for them to be part of the action..

So what is Mobypicture? It's an application you may download to your phone, and you may use your computer's online connection to link it to your social networking sites. At present, Mobypicture links to such networks as Youtube, Flickr, Blogger.com and Facebook.

Learning curve: about 10 minutes
Cost: Free
Site: Mobypicture.com

Journalists may use this picture site to upload their pictures straight from their phones to Flickr, which is a wonderful tool for creating codes to embed photographs into blog entries. Remember, most phones don't take high-resolution photographs (yet), which means the pictures will not print especially well. But for online news, camera phones will sometimes to the trick, especially if the news is breaking.

The World is your Wide Web!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Learning from my students

It's March 31, 2009. Supposedly, I'm in the last hour before the Conflicker virus starts its magic with computers all over the world.

Today, one of my students explained that this new virus can attack many computers and websites in an instant, leaving them slow, ailing and incompetent. I got sick for a moment, the one I get every time I think of some 19-year-old kid sitting in his messy bedroom pumping out code to ruin the world. Then I thought -- heck, I have a Mac; I'll be cool.

Tonight, I start looking on my computer and realize that Macs aren't completely immune. The free-for-30-days virus software will work. Download. Run. I'm good I guess.

If Josh hadn't spoken up today, I may not have known about the virus. It's not on the Apple homepage, and I hadn't heard it on the news. Maybe it's an April Fool's joke. Maybe not.

Every once in a while, my students teach me something. I have come to depend on their knowledge for such things as good movies to rent (and which ones I can show my kids), where to eat and even what to do for entertainment over the weekend.

College kids will keep me young for many years to come. I get a happy little feeling when one of my female students tells me my shoes are cute or my hair looks nice. I also take a certain amount of pride in them asking me what I think about current events.

Maybe I'll make them smarter, but they will definitely make me "cooler." Or, should I say "tight"er?

The world is your wide web ... enjoy!