Welcome to the new season of Teeing Off, where Devil Ball editor Jay Busbee and head writer Shane Bacon take a day's topic and smack it all over the course. Suggest a future topic by writing firstname.lastname@example.org, or hit us on Twitter at @jaybusbee and @shanebacon. Today, we consider whether Hank Haney may have crossed a line by writing a book about Tiger Woods entitled "The Big Miss."
Busbee: So Hank Haney has a new book coming out detailing the years he spent as Tiger Woods' swing coach. Bearing in mind that we haven't read the book, and that we'll probably end up talking to Haney about it somewhere down the line, here's my question: What's your take on a teacher telling stories out of class, as it were? Appropriate, or out of bounds? What, to you, would be acceptable, and what would be an abuse of the teacher-student privilege?
Bacon: Personally, I don't like it at all, actually. This is a similar situation to dating someone, telling them intimate details about your life, etc., only to have them turn around and tell the next guy they date everything about you without hesitation (This is roughly 82 percent of what Drake raps about, actually). I think more than a teacher-student code, it violates human code. While I don't totally agree with the way Steve Williams has handled the breakup with Tiger, at least the guy hasn't gone on a secrets rampage against the guy, and I'm sure he could.
Busbee: If you believe Stevie's offhanded remarks, he will unload, once he retires. Which ought to give Adam Scott a nice warm feeling about letting Williams into his confidence. But back to Haney: This could go one of two ways. If the book views Tiger as a flawed but fascinating athlete battling against himself as well as the course, it'll be a good read. If it's a run of Tiger-did-me-wrong tales or score-settling, it'll make headlines, but will it be worth reading? I'm not going to pre-judge, but Haney certainly has enough ammunition to go in either direction.
Bacon: But my problem is this: The only reason people would buy this book is to get the dirt on Tiger. They'd be interested in hearing what he had to say on the other side of Woods. It was like when "My Life" came out, and everyone bought it to read the short excerpt about the Lewinsky affair even though the book was roughly the size of Rhode Island.
So, even if it isn't about that, people will be buying it for that, and to me, that's gaining on someone else's affairs. I just ... it feels dirty to me. I'd rather him write a book on his professional relationship with Tiger, even if that was more boring, which it surely would be.
Busbee: But can Haney even write a book on his professional relationship with Tiger without bringing up the scandals? Is that even possible? I guess the question then becomes, should he write a book at all? Because personal and professional are now inextricable for Tiger.
Bacon: I'll say this, since we know Haney is writing this thing: I wouldn't put it out there. Sure, you can make some dough on it, and it will get press, but for what? To pin a guy that basically took you from Golf Instructor You Could Maybe Pick Out of a Lineup to TIGER FREAKIN' WOODS' EX-COACH?
Would you publish this thing? Is it going to completely tarnish a relationship that used to be pretty dang successful?
Busbee: Hate to lay up on this question, but I'm not going to hit into a blind dog leg when I don't know the wind's direction and -- sorry, sorry, I just saw Tin Cup again and I've got the McAvoy-speak going. In human terms: I'd like to see the manuscript. There are so many ways this could go. And I'm with you, nobody ever went broke overestimating the public's appetite for all things Woods. One would hope that Haney won't pour dirt on his relationship with Woods, but even if he does, he's still plenty famous ... because of that relationship with Woods.
All right, your turn. Have your say on the Haney book: in or out of bounds?
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