Superstar golfer Tiger Woods was injured in a car accident near his home in Orlando on Friday morning.
Late Friday afternoon it was reported that Woods was treated and released by multiple media sources.
Multiple reports from sources such as USA Today and ESPN report that Woods struck a fire hydrant near his home and then struck a tree. Airbags did not deploy. The accident happened around 2:25 this morning. Woods’ agent reported said the golfer is, “OK.” ESPN reported that charges are pending but alcohol was not a factor.
The story won’t go likely go away immediately even though we are at a dead point in the golfing calendar. Starting Monday, Woods is scheduled to be in California to play at the Chevron World Challenge, a tournament he hosts and sponsors to support his charitable foundation. There are also numerous tabloid-related rumors that Woods has been cheating on his wife and the airing of these reports are linked to the accident.
The most important things to do in such situations – as was certainly the case with the death of Michael Jackson in June – is to not jump to any conclusions.
Speculating what this may or may not do to Woods’ golfing legend is pointless right now.
Off the course, personal problems would tarnish the squeaky clean image Woods has built up around himself the past decade, yet rehabilitation of that image can come quickly. This spring the sports world was dismayed over Alex Rodriguez’s admitted use of steroids. Six months later he was a key figure in the New York Yankees’ latest World Series triumph. If Woods wins another Masters title come April, how many people will be paying attention to his personal life?
Another case in point is David Letterman. Letterman’s ratings have gone up since news of his sex/alleged bribery scandal broke, putting him in a dead heat with Conan O’Brien and his ratings freefall since taking over The Tonight Show from Jay Leno. (http://tvbythenumbers.com/2009/11/12/is-conans-tonight-show-demo-lead-over-lettermans-late-show-gone-for-good/33510)
Whatever the root cause of Woods’ accident, our cultural tendency to move on to whatever comes down the pike next will ultimately be satisfied.