January 20, 2010
Ladies and gentlemen,
you're looking at [UPDATE: Radar asked us to pull the photo, so we did. Because we're nice like that. Here's a link to the original story so you can see for yourself.] what might be the most valuable cellphone photo in history, a shot of what appears to be Tiger Woods walking on the street in Hattiesburg, Miss., where he's allegedly in treatment. The photo is, as you may be able to tell, the property of the National Enquirer, and I don't want to even think about how much they must have paid for this.
Is it Tiger? Well, it certainly looks like him. He's a bit of a mess, which is understandable since Nike probably isn't dressing him right now. He's wearing what appears to be a rather large and, one would assume, expensive watch. (Tag Heuer?) He's also sporting a baseball cap that very well might have the TW logo under that hood. (Memo to Tiger: wearing your own logo isn't the best way to blend in.) And he's rocking a goatee, also unsurprising since Gillette has cut back its sponsorship with him. Incidentally, that new facial hair dovetails perfectly with my idea for Tiger 2.0, The Post-Hydrant Years: he should shave his head, grow a beard and come back a completely new character -- Evil Tiger!
You can also go Zapruder-film investigation on this, if you like -- Tiger's gotten a carryout Styrofoam drink from somewhere, he's walking in an urban setting, he's near something that requires key card/keypad access (that black bar at front right), there's a "6" on the door behind him. If Hattiesburg wasn't already swarming with media, this'll probably do it.
[UPDATE: A tipster notes that the logo on the sign is that of Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg, and indeed it is.]
The guy deserves his privacy, certainly. But if someone were to try to determine if this was the real thing, there are plenty of ways to go about it -- shouting "Tiger!" or "Eldrick!" or "Phil Mickelson says he's going to win the Masters this year!" tossing a club and a ball at him, seeing if he can really walk on water. And if nothing else, somebody please tell the poor guy how to properly wear a hoodie.
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