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The Nike Smile
Sludge Report #60
Free Tiger Woods
News that Tiger Woods' planned visit to play golf in New Zealand is to be financed - at a cost of perhaps around $4 million - by merchant wankers Michael Fay and David Richwhite makes Sludge want to vomit.
Reading the Evening Post’s lavish coverage of the news it was almost as if, for a moment, the rich white and fay duo cared about their home land for a change. Not that they care enough to live here anymore, or care enough to ensure we maintain a rail network.
It is said, by the planners of the golfing event, that having Tiger Woods attend will do wonders for NZ tourism promotion.
But. Hold on a second. Isn’t the real reason Tiger will be coming down-under because he will be paid $4 million? Consequently can it really be said, with any degree of honesty, that he is coming here because he wants to.
Sludge can see the billboard in Time Square now. “Tiger Woods – Go to New Zealand - I went there because I was paid a huge load of cash.”
It is also said that Tiger’s Kiwi caddie has played some role in encouraging the golfing genius of the moment to take his trek down under.
Again, isn’t the real reason Tiger will be coming down-under because he will be paid $4 million?
Finally it is said that a Tiger Woods visit will be a boost to New Zealand sport in general, and to golf in particular.
But, at the risk of sounding repetitive, Sludge finds it hard to get past the $4 million “appearance fee”. Afterall, while he is here Woods will be playing professional golf, and will stand a pretty good chance of earning a sum well in excess of a street full of families incomes if he wins.
In Sludge’s view this has nothing to do with sporting excellence or sportsmanship. It has everything to do with money, and to add insult to injury it appears that the money involved is David Richwhite and Michael Fay’s.
Now Sludge does not want to be misunderstood. Sludge is not opposed to Tiger Woods coming to New Zealand. Sludge in fact would love Tiger to come.
Sludge – like most people it seems in the world – is enormously impressed with Woods golfing prowess. Clearly he has a talent that can only come from above, divine.
But, that said, Sludge is decidedly unimpressed with Woods' going rate in the attendance fee stakes.
Sludge would have thought that the 20-something-year-old multi-millionaire had enough money already. And if not the Sludge would have thought that one of the benefits of having such a lot of money is that you can then make decisions for yourself.
Rather it would appear that Tiger is in fact imprisoned within a monetary prison.
While with the assistance of a couple of multi-millionaire bankers, li'l ole New Zealand might be able to fork out the necessary cash at a pinch, it is almost inconceivable that any developing nation (where Nike makes its shoes) will ever be able to afford to be graced with Woods’ presence.
And while we are on the subject Sludge is also not impressed with the fact that Woods (and Michael Campbell) are sponsored by Nike.
How many pairs of sports shoes have to be made in sweatshops in order for Woods to be paid to wear that trademark tick on his hat?
Finally, Sludge is unimpressed as stated earlier, to the point of nausea, with the fact that Michael Fay and David Richwhite, two men who made a fortune out of selling off New Zealand’s infrastructure to foreign interests, are the one’s financing this planned visit.
Woods of course will know nothing about the progeny of his benefactors. But then perhaps it is time for him to wise up.
In the meantime Wellington based anti-capitalists may have been granted – unintentionally - a great new tag line for their movement, namely, Free Tiger Woods.
Anti©opyright Sludge 2001