So, with one quote, one sentence, Tiger Woods put The Golf Channel on notice a couple of days ago.
They BETTER fire Brandel Chamblee.
Much like Chamblee didn’t actually “say” that Woods cheated during the 2013 PGA TOUR season, Woods didn’t mouth the words “Fire the man” when he commented for the first time about Chamblee’s comments.
Very, very crafty, Tiger. Give him a dose of his own medicine.
When asked about Chamblee’s cheating accusation in a piece he wrote for Golf.Com (not affiliated with The Golf Channel), Woods fired the big blow (no pun intended) when he said, “From my standpoint, I’m moving forward. Now, it’s up to The Golf Channel. I’m not sure what they’re going to do about it. The balls in their court.”
In other words: “We’ll have to see if The Golf Channel does the right thing and fires the prick.”
Chamblee offered an apology-of-sorts on Twitter late last week, but Woods acknowledged there wasn’t any personal contact between the two. I guess, in Tiger’s world, a Twitter apology doesn’t really count. And, honestly, it probably doesn’t. If you’re Brandel Chamblee and you’re genuinely apologetic, you figure out a way to get to Tiger personally and offer your mea culpa in a form Tiger can’t shoo away.
This is, indeed, a slippery slope for The Golf Channel. They can’t hire an analyst, want his/her opinion, value it, then give him/her the boot when he/she says something that creates a stir. This year it’s Tiger. What if, next year, Rickie Fowler is golf’s golden boy and one of The Golf Channel’s critics blast him for his goofy swing and penchant for wild nightlife?
Chamblee has been a constant critic of Tiger’s over the last 4-5 years — mostly about his golf swing, but in other areas as well — so this latest “cheating scandal” has reeked of a personal vendetta more than a professional critique.
That said, as an analyst, Chamblee is supposed to give his honest opinion of what he sees and feels, and the former PGA TOUR player isn’t the only person out there who think Woods is somewhat cavalier with the rules.
Tiger, obviously, owns all the power cards here. The Golf Channel is knee-deep with the TOUR and to have the game’s best player “against you” won’t work out well for interviews, both pre and post, plus Sean Foley, Tiger’s instructor, is a regular guest on Golf Channel instructional shows.
My guess is Chamblee will be suspended by The Golf Channel, but I wouldn’t at all be surprised if he’s terminated over this flap with Woods.
Tiger didn’t ask for the firing, just like Chamblee didn’t actually say Woods cheated, but you can put one and one together and see that’s what he wants.
And, almost always, Tiger gets what he wants.