There’s a new trend developing for an elite number of athletes and Tiger Woods seems like the perfect candidate to join them in taking over the media world. There’s only one problem. He has no interest in it.
Like Peyton Manning and Kobe Bryant in Detail on ESPN+ or LeBron James on multiple platforms, Tiger has positioned himself as an ideal fit to have his own show on a national network. Presumably, the focus of that show would be golf, but quite frankly, it wouldn’t need to be so limited. What golf fan (or even casual sports fan) wouldn’t want to watch Tiger and his buddies riffing about life or sports or whatever in a relaxed setting? But, for the notoriously-private Woods, the biggest question is if he would want to do it in the first place.
The Big Lead asked Woods that very question ahead of this week’s PGA Championship at Bethpage State Park. Here’s the exchange.
“Peyton Manning and Kobe Bryant have started their own shows on ESPN+ and LeBron James also has his own show –”
“No,” Woods responded with a smile before the question was finished.
“Would you consider –”
“No,” Woods said again, still smiling.
“No. No show. I’m good. I like playing,” Woods said.
“You just mentioned growing the game. Perhaps that would be a way to do it?”
“I’m sure it would be, but it’s certainly not what I’m going to do,” Woods said.
While Woods and his buddies telling country club jokes is basically every golf fan’s dream, it’s clear he has no interest in sharing that side of him again. It was already somewhat revealed years ago in a story on GQ, and Woods has been extremely private with the media ever since.
Still, Woods breaking down other players’ games would be outstanding. If you ever listen to him talk about the sport in interviews, it’s clear he has an encyclopedic memory of all the greats, himself and what everyone else does or is trying to do on the course. Hearing him break down a shot someone tried to hit in a major would be fascinating. But, as he said, it’s “certainly not what I’m going to do” so we’ll just have to dream.
Kobe Bryant, Peyton Manning, and LeBron James have all been major parts of this trend. Manning spurned opportunities to coach or become a member of a front office or even jump in the booth for the chance to host his own studio show, Detail on ESPN+, where he breaks down quarterback play. It makes sense. In there, he’s able to control the narrative. He doesn’t share the spotlight. He doesn’t have to worry about making a mistake on live TV. He isn’t forced to be witty. Save that for the chicken parm commercials. Kobe created the Detail template that Manning has also capitalized on.
LeBron took a different route. First, he didn’t wait until he was done playing. An aspiring Hollywood production mogul, LeBron has already created and starred in multiple shows including Uninterrupted (a selfie-style reaction series), The Shop (barbershop setting with other athletes discussing varied topics) and More Than An Athlete (a series on ESPN+ featuring LeBron and his friends talking about their road to get where they are).
Clearly, that format doesn’t fit Tiger’s plan now or in the future. He’ll be around golf for likely as long as he lives, and seems poised for another competitive run in majors and the tour. So, for now, we’ll just have to enjoy him talking about the game in postgame pressers. And when his career is over, don’t expect to see him on TV like some of the other great athletes of his generation.