Ron Hart on Tiger Woods and Capitalism


Columnist Ron Hart, whose work now appears in the Orange County Register, weighs in on Tiger Woods and moral markets:

One great lesson learned is the value of capitalism and its ability to enforce good behavior. Accenture and Gillette are cutting Tiger's pay over this. The supposedly "immoral" free markets are speaking louder and with more reprisal than anyone.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to male hubris and women's need for attention. What history teaches us and what Bear Bryant poignantly reinforced was that, even with all his victories over the years, sex remains undefeated. Tiger would do well to remember that.

Whole thing here


Hart's collected cols are now available in No Such as a Pretty Good Alligator Wrestler: Kids, Politics, and Family—Why Daddy Drinks. Along with PJ O'Rourke, Bernie Marcus (co-founder of Home Depot), and Bob Johnson (founder of BET), I was happy to blurb the book, writing

…Hart is one asset that has soared in value over the past decade of partisan misrule. He is the Alan Greenspan of political columnists—he keeps the interest rate dangerously low.

You can buy the book here.

Woods' scandal has already inspired some really awful sportswriting. To wit: "The cattle media are forced by a public's insatiable appetite to moo toward the Tiger trough."

Why is it that jock sniffers are so freaking bad when it comes to this sort of thing? Is it because of all the jocks they sniff? Or something else altogether? All I know is that Judy Rankin never get caught three-putting on the 19th hole. 

NEXT: Obama Graded Self on a Curve; Approval Rating Hits New Low

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  1. Ron Hart sucks.

    And his little sockpuppets, too.

  2. Uh, if markets shaped people into more “moral” beings, whatever that means, wouldn’t famous atheletes stop behaving like this?

    And anyways, if a company is dropping a deal with Woods it’s because they don’t think his face will sell their product anymore, not because of moral principle.

    There’s plenty good about capitalism, the wishy-washy, and impossibly subjective, morality arguments aren’t necessary.

    1. “And anyways, if a company is dropping a deal with Woods it’s because they don’t think his face will sell their product anymore, not because of moral principle.”

      Missed the class on the “Invisible Hand” did you?

      1. Didn’t Adam Smith view “morality” as a necessary force to temper the self-interested behavior of a capitalist citizenry?

    2. But the reason a company is dropping Woods is because they figure their customers would be offended by him, so the company is de facto reinforcing the moral judgments of society.

      1. Right, this just happens to be an issue in which capitalism and conventional morals overlap, but ultimately the behavior of those businesses is governed by the profit motive, not morality.

    3. They don’t think his face will sell their product because of the moral “principles” of their clientele. Which makes them morality conduits, at least.

  3. Rush Limbaugh nailed the jock sniffers for what they are years ago. Does anyone believe a golfer would be the most photographed athlete in the world if he had white skin?

    1. I’ve never been a huge Woods fan, figuring he was wound to tight to be anything but an asshole, but he is a great golfer. Whether he gets a little more love for being a minority (more or less) doesn’t change the fact that he’s an excellent golfer.

      Why people watch golf is beyond me, by the way.

      1. I don’t understand it on TV. I’ve been to a few PGA tourneys in person though, and they’re pretty relaxing…

    2. If they were the level of winner Tiger has been then yes. It’s never been about color of skin, it always has been, and always will be about winning.

      1. I think Tiger was probably already the most photographed athlete before he won his first major. So I don’t buy the level of winning argument. Was Arnold Palmer more recognizable than Joe Namath?

        1. Both known for winning.

        2. He was an extremely successful amateur, so there was a lot of expectation about him as a pro. Again, this is not to say that he wasn’t and hasn’t been overhyped, but someone with his record is going to get press. Things didn’t get crazy until he made his professional splash.

          1. Please. Eli Manning is overhyped.

            Tiger is the best golfer ever.

    3. WTF does being a Cablanasian have to do with the fact that Tiger is 1) an incredible golfer, 2) likeable, and 3) a fucking incredible golfer? I can’t watch golf without falling asleep (I can only watch tennis), but even I recognize that Tiger has charisma.

      1. I can only watch tennis

        For real? MMA for me. And I’m starting to get into kickboxing; K-1 rules, anyway. Other than that I don’t even turn on the TV except to watch movies.

        1. I am old school. I still like boxing. MMA still strikes me as a couple of monkeys who don’t have the skills to put on a proper boxing match out rolling around on a mat.

          1. I understand. It looks like not a lot is going on, but believe me there is.

            Go to youtube and look up Fedor Emelianenko or Anderson Silva. Their skills (standing and on the mat) are jaw-dropping.

          2. MMA is far more of a real fight than boxing. By all means, stick with boxing if you prefer. To each his own. But you are way off base about MMA.

            1. Lots of people who know better tell me the same thing. And they are probably right. But I just can’t get into it.

        2. Women’s College Basketball.

      2. Yea, and Obama’s half-blackness had nothing to do with fawning media coverage either.

        1. Roll with that race envy, James. Roll with it.

          1. You wouldn’t want the resident racist to pass on an opportunity like this thread, would you?

            1. Don’t forget the Williams sistahs and their dominance of tennis endorsements.

              1. I didn’t forget the Williams sisters, but endorsements aside, I don’t think they got anywhere near the over the top press Tiger got. Could the jock sniffers be both sexists and social engineering practitioneers?

                1. “””Could the jock sniffers be both sexists and social engineering practitioneers?””

                  Can Limbaugh sniffers tell the difference?

    4. For a sport dominated for so long by white elites, Tiger’s race does add a little more interest to the story.

      It’s like if the next Wayne Gretzky was a black guy.

      1. But it would still be hockey, ergo, no one would care.

        1. Except Canadians

    5. The only reason sports journalists propped up Donovan McNabb is because they were desperate to show an Irishman could excel as QB.

  4. “Why is it that jock sniffers are so freaking bad when it comes to this sort of thing?”

    Because like most journalism, the quality of sports writing has tanked in the last forty years. Most sportswriters are just over grown children and unserious people. There was a day when serious people did sports writing (Ring Lardner). But those days have passed.

    1. Jesus H. Christ on a popsicle stick, John, could you sound more old? You’re what, 40? And you sound 400. Can we get off your lawn too?

      1. LOL, Yes John is making himself sound like the old fart. You kids are your darn rock and roll. But I do agree with him. It’s a product of news, including sports news becoming entertainment first, news second.

        I think the quality of political talk shows has tanked in the same way for the same reason.

        1. I know it’s the chicken/egg argument. I wonder if the decline is because of the type of “entertainment” we’ve had since the teevee became so popular? Is the type of programming an indicator of a dumber society?
          I would argue that with TV and now the internet, we, as a group, read a lot less and do a lot less critical thinking. We require a lot less intellect in what we consume everyday. And that is what we are getting. The degree of ignorance on fairly mundane subjects in America is shocking to me.

          1. I don’t really think people are getting dumber, I think that everyone is getting very adept at filtering incoming stimuli. They are customizing deliberate ignorance on a wider array of subjects than ever before.

            As common cultural touchstones become increasingly rare, the superficial will become the only thing that everyone can speak on even a little. Tiger Woods’ affairs are the only thing holding America together.

          2. I have a hard time arguing against a dumb society. But I think it’s more about stimulation. The old way was dull, the new way is exciting. Kind of like the difference between a 1950’s and a 1990’s horror movie. The first would be real boring by today’s standards.

            Whatever the reason, we do know it’s ratings driven. Perhaps these days, the news takes their ratings more serious.

      2. God Damn right you can get off my lawn. And the quality of virtually everything has gone down in my lifetime. Sports coverage especiallly. Take the Olympics. There was a time when they actually just showed the events. Now they use the events as an excuse to do human interest stories to appeal to fat Oprah watching housewives.

        1. Wrong. Generations change, thus your perception of quality is skewed to your own Generational standards. Its a psychological phenomenon. How could the qaulity of sports coverage actually be worse now than in your lifetime considering we live in the information age?

  5. There was a day when serious people did sports writing (Ring Lardner).

    I think (hope) you mean JOHN Lardner.

    1. No Ring

      born March 6, 1885, Niles, Mich., U.S. ? died Sept. 25, 1933, East Hampton, N.Y.) U.S. writer. He worked as a newspaper reporter, sportswriter, and columnist before he began publishing fiction. He won popular success with comic stories about a baseball player, some collected in You Know Me, Al (1916). Later collections, noted for their satire, narrative skill, and convincing vernacular language, include How to Write Short Stories (1924) and The Love Nest (1926). His son, the screenwriter Ring Lardner, Jr., was one of the Hollywood Ten and later wrote such hit movies as M*A*S*H (1970).

    2. Haven’t you ever read eight men out?

  6. Sports Figure != Role Model

  7. I must agree with John: if you look at the calibre of the best sportswriting from a few generations ago, there is absolutely no comparison; the quality has really fallen off. However, just as we live in a “post-modernist” society, we now live in a “post-literate” society, so maybe its not surprising. There are a few talented writers left, but they are mostly concentrated in television – or in the white house where they work tirelessly to burnish barry o’s image.


  9. My computer refuses to go to the link to Hart’s column. Is that a good thing?

  10. Mike Vick, Dwight Gooden, and Mike Tyson come to mind as counters to his argument about the “value of capitalism and its ability to enforce good behavior.”

    1. I make a lot less now and lost what I did have to bankruptcy. And then there was that whole prison thing.

      1. But you can still play some damn good ball and you know as well as I that you’ll be making millions again real soon. Not because you are a better man morally. Because you are still good at football.

        1. At least I’ve got a fucking job you fucking social parasite.

    2. Fans aren’t buying much from those guys. That’s the point. They make less because the consumer doesn’t like them any more…mostly. There are always outliers.

      1. My point was that they were given a second chance because they were still good at their sport.

        1. Ok, but wouldn’t you want a second chance to go back tow work if you’d served your appropriate jail time and taken the massive personal & financial hit of someone like Michael Vick?

          I mean… The market punished him severely, the state also punished him. At what point do we move on? Or is dog-fighting a crime worthy of alienation for the rest of his life? Does it really mean he should quit doing the thing he’s actually good at and go… what?… work at a factory?

          1. Sean W. Malone, I wasn’t trying to suggest that they shouldn’t be allowed back. I was saying that the market isn’t punishing the athlete as a moral lesson, as the article seems to suggest. As long as these athletes had/have enough ability to compete, they can screw up and come bck repeatedly because they still sell tickets and products. They are punished in the marketplace because their actions cause the product makers to believe that further use of that athlete as a pitchman will hurt sales. Not because the productmaker is making some kind of moral stand.

  11. John was Ring’s son, and, in my estimation, a vastly superior writer.

    If you’ve never read Strong Cigars and Lovely Women, you should.

    1. MASH is a brilliant script. The kind of script that doesn’t get written anymore.

  12. The whole Tiger Woods issue is a joke. I wouldn’t care if Tiger was sticking a cigar up one of his personal assistant’s vigina while Osama bin Laden was in his golf garden. If you are a golf fan, watching golf is far more interesting with Tiger in the field. If you buy products or services based solely on Tiger as a marketing rep, you’re an idiot. Schick razors wear out after one use, but there is no fucking way I am going to use Gilette after Tiger Woods cheated on dear, dear Elin. Wtf? Tiger’s ability to dominate the golf world considering its stark differences with team sports and ultimately player’s competing against the course, particularly his ability to make the shot or putt almost at will, is what makes Tiger an interesting and a compelling sports figure.

    Now, his inability to conceal his shenanigans is troubling. Hasn’t he ever heard of a pre-paid cell? Hasn’t he ever watched the Wire? Perhaps he should learn from other celebrities and their “mistakes.” Take Sean Connery when he told Barbara Walters he saw nothing wrong with a little backhand to a woman when she refused to let an argument die. Sir Sean was barely able to rebound!!!!!!

    While it may be intriguing to some which holes Tiger fills, the only thing that will count in the long run will be his uncanny ability to get that little ball from tee to green with fewer strokes than the rest of the field. The debate is over. “You see kids, because Tiger broke his government sponsored fidelity contract with his wife, you don’t want to try and imitate his swing.”

    1. Tiger is not a politician or community leader. His integrity only matters as far as it relates to his sports. When a politician whores around, you can at least plausably argue that it reflects poorly on his judgment and character and thus his ability to do his job. You can say nothing of the sort about an athlete. The only sort of integrity that matters between an athlete and his fans is his sports integrity. Tiger’s fans trust him to do one thing; give his best effort. That is the only thing that matters or should matter to a sports fan. Since I don’t know Tiger or his wife personally and don’t depend on Tiger to make good judgements about anything but golf, I couldn’t care less if Tiger is a good husband. Thus, I couldn’t care less about this scandal. The only scandal I would care about is if it turned out he wasn’t giving his best effort and was dumping tournaments in exchange for payments from gamblers or something.

      We have a bad habbit in this country of assuming athletic prowess says anything good or bad about one’s character. Just because Tiger is a great golfer doesn’t mean he is a good guy. In the same way, just because this or that first round draft pick turns out to be a diaster in the pros, doesn’t mean they are evil, just maybe a bit lazy or not in love with the game.

    2. I think Tiger is giving in. He should focus on playing and winning golf.

      Cheating on you’re spouse isn’t the same weight of sin as it once was.

      1. He should come out and give a statement: “Fuck all of you and my sponsors. I’m already rich, bitches! By the way, this Spring, I guarantee I’m going to get a great deal of pussy in my newest green jacket. Now, get out m’face.

        Seriously, it will be interesting to see what sorts of heckling will go on when he takes to the course.

        I will admit that I would be riveted by a story where he cut off Elin’s and some very unlucky waiter’s heads. Of course, I am pretty sure OJ used up the “get out of jail free” card on that one. Well, it was far from free.

        Why is the story about Tiger’s infidelity? Why isn’t the story about the power of the vajayjay? I’d love to see the statistical probability, especially considering the divorce rate in this country, of mulit-million dollar celebrities who will be faithful to their spouses. It seems to me that Elin is going to be cashing in on a pretty heafty credit default swap.

  13. P Brooks remains envious! What a sad way to live.

    Hart is great and on fire now!

  14. One great lesson learned is the value of capitalism and its ability to enforce good behavior.

    Except that it didn’t.

    1. Technically correct, but it sure is providing ample evidence of punishing bad behavior.

  15. Great finish with Bear Bryant line, but he said Pussy, not sex..but I guess editors nixed the truth.

    Bravo Hart!

  16. Hart writes like P.J. O’Rourke. Who else still does that for our cause?

    I find him interesting and funny as hell.

  17. I predict a brilliant endorsement comeback for Tiger with the surge of public sympathy when he goes to a treatment facility for painkiller addiction and depression from the loss of his father.

    1. I am sure Oprah is warming up a seat for him. God what a decadent vile society we live in.

  18. Pro Libertate|12.16.09 @ 11:24AM|#

    Why people watch golf is beyond me, by the way.

    As a non-golfer, I wondered about that,too. A golfer finally explained it to me as “Every golfer watching can feel the pain of a missed putt or feel the joy of a perfect drive.”

    1. That’s a pretty damn good explanation. Of course I would never try to sell watching golf to a non-golfer. That shit must be painfully dull. Like the NBA.

    2. I used to golf quite a bit. Thought it was mostly dull to watch then, too.

  19. As Hart said, Europe laughs at us for this—-The Italian Premier will give Tiger the Medal of Honor..or On Her.

  20. Was Arnold Palmer more recognizable than Joe Namath?

    Nope; wrong brand of panty hose.

    1. He was close. Palmer was a big deal in the 60s.

  21. As for Woods himself:

    Face it guys, if you had as much opportunity to have sex as Tiger Woods, would you say no?

    1. Initially no. But at some point cheap sex with skanky whores does get old, espeically when the odd bimbo can sell you out to TMZ for a few thousand dollars and cost you millions.

      1. I think you can replace the can, with will.

        The bimbo will sell you out. It’s just a matter of when. Ain’t that right Mr. Spitzer.

        1. Bitch set me up!

    2. Yes. I know it’s all old-fashioned and everything, but either be married or be single. Or marry a swinger. Don’t screw around.

      I don’t give a shit about what any celebrity does with his personal life, but I do note that Tiger is an asshole for doing all of this.

      1. I’m with you all the way. Just look at the contrast between Jeter and Rodriguez – the former bangs his way through an astounding assortment of beautiful, famous women and still maintains a clean-cut All-American reputation as he rakes in millions in endorsements… because he stayed single. The latter got married, had to settle for a desperately unattractive woman when he wanted to screw around, inevitably got caught, and was raked over the coals for months.

        Not only is it distasteful to screw around on your wife, it’s absolutely bloody fucking stupid for an athlete whose income is largely derived from endorsements.

    3. If I had his wife to bone? Hell no.

      Unless I was as rich and famous and handsome as Tiger, in which case I would no longer be me.

  22. Is it OK to say that you don’t give 2 shits about the Tiger Wood hullabaloo?

  23. if you had as much opportunity to have sex as Tiger Woods, would you say no?

    Of course.

    *winks theatrically*

  24. I am only disappointed in Tiger insomuch that he could have been sleeping with far, far better looking women.

    Most of them look like rejects from the open casting call of Jersey Shore.

    1. You have to understand, people who sleep with large numbers of women have no standards. Also, the really high end women have options. Yeah, you would think that Tiger would be banging Maria Sharapova or some victoria secret model. But those kinds of women have lots of rich famous men going after them. And they date men for publicity purposes as much as anything. Running around as a secret mistress with some Steve Urkal with biceps look alike, really doesn’t get it done for them no matter how rich or famous said Urkell is. Once he got married and couldn’t function as a publicity machine for his girlfriend, his options probably went down in quality.

      1. Excellent points John. If I may be a complete pig I’ll add that uggos, like plumpers, tend to be much less selfish and much more willing to be ummmm, freaky.

      2. It’s still disappointing. I expect better from celebrities. They are the best of us, and they should damn well know it.


      3. I really like it when someone decides to spell a word two different ways within the same paragraph. Just sayin’.

  25. I’ve NEVER bought anything because some celebrity endorsed it I mean really who does? what the fuck can some boy who hardly shaves, but can golf, tell me about razors? Sometimes I think we do need some kind of global catastrophy to weed all the dumbfucks

    1. I don’t get it either. I get the corporate appearences racket. It would be kind of cool to go to a meeting and get to watch Tiger play a round of golf or get to rub elbows with him for a bit. That seems to have some value. But who the fuck buys a Tag Heuer watch over a another one because Tiger endorses it is beyond me.

      1. You’ve never knowingly bought something because of an endorsement.

        That is all.

    2. I’ve NEVER bought anything because some celebrity endorsed it I mean really who does?

      You’d be surprised how many people do. Do you really think nearly as many pairs of Air Jordans would have been sold over the years if they had been called Air Muresans instead?

    3. I would kind of get it if Tiger was endorsing golf clubs, but razors?

      1. He makes out with so many women that look like trannys, he’s got to know a thing or two about razor rash.

  26. Ron Hart hit it 310 right down the middle of the fairway with his take on the Tiger saga. Good stuff!
    This Tiger thing would not have been nearly as bad if he had just stopped at FORE!

  27. 15 mistresses. They’ve only been married 6 years. That’s a mistress every 4.8 months. And at least one of them said they saw each other for 2.5 years. Overlapping mistresses.

    That many mistresses isn’t an affair… it’s a job.

    (And think about how many have just a tiny shred of dignity not to come forward…)

    1. I’ve very hopeful that when the number reaches 17, that the Drudge Report shows a pic of Tiger with the caption “On Par for the 18th Hole.”

      1. Damn. I seem to be a threadkiller lately.

        Screw you guys!

        :loud crying:

  28. That Woods boy is a pussy; he’s practically celibate.

  29. So I see Woods was just named “Athlete of the Decade” by AP.

    And I’m wondering what they’ll say about his golf game…

  30. “The cattle media are forced by a public’s insatiable appetite to moo toward the Tiger trough.”

    If you can’t stand the heat, you shouldn’t live in a glass house.

  31. I am sure I am in the minority on this, but I bet that Tiger has not slept with a lot of the women who say he has slept with them. Consider, given his silence on who he has slept with any woman with a yen for publicity and/or a hope for some interview cash can say she slept with him.
    I could be wrong but at this point I doubt it.

    1. Well, if he hasn’t, I’ll volunteer to make up the twosome.

  32. And I thought golf was boring!!

    Hart is a damn good writer. He is in our paper here and has become the voice of reason with the rednecks here. He transends class to reach out to the Reagan Democrats and make them think twice about voting for Obama.

  33. I am in the majority and love Hart’s writing.

    Tiger Woods’s approval ratings tumbled fifty-five points in last week’s Gallup Poll. “He tied George W. Bush’s record fifty-five point drop when the war went wrong. It shows that pronunciation doesn’t matter, you can be brought down by Iraq or a rack.”

  34. P Brooks is a sad little man.

    How could someone not like this humor.

    Tigroe is toast, but capitalism taught him a lesson in reality.

  35. It seems that what even Ron Hart did not know is that the supposed Polygraph Examiner chosen to test Tiger’s mistress is in fact a documented fraud who lost ALL of his State of California licenses in 2/02 by Judge Paul Hogan. Judge Hogan was acting on behalf of the State of California Dept. of Consumer Affairs for Grogan’s fraud activities. It was only then that Grogan seemingly overnight reinvented himself as a Polygraph Examiner; but who has no peer acceptance at all in that professional community. He has NO CREDIBILITY to perform any such testing, and has even appeared in a Porno movie as a supposed polygraph examiner. He has an internet empire of sites which all lead back to one phone number. He is a classic web based con artist.…..sue142.htm

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