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Williams' proposed Tiger tale could set new low for tell-alls

by | CBSSports.com Columnist

Stevie Williams' celebrated zinc ear when it comes to public relations came to full flower Sunday when he somehow managed to interpose the vertical pronoun over Adam Scott's name after the latter's victory at the Bridgestone.

And in doing so, he became even more detestable not only to the always insular golf journalism industry but to casual fans who barely knew him but have always fallen into the trap of thinking that golfers win and caddies help.

Chickens, meet roost.

But that's the easy path to take. Williams was something of a brute when he carried Tiger Woods' bag, and when interviewed by the notable David Feherty after Scott's win, he added a quick coat of graceless and even borderline delusional to his legacy.

Let's ask the next question, though. Is Stevie Williams actually nuts, or does he now harbor a loathing for Woods so profound that he would not only break programming and speak to the media but make Scott's day about his own personal crusade? Did he reveal not only his view of himself but of Woods as well?

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And if so, does this make the book he says he is thinking about writing about his time on the bag less of a must-remainder and more of a must-read?

Woods is one of the most-guarded sports figures of our time, zealously defending his inner thoughts even while his outer actions became America's Pinata. Williams was privy to some of them in his time as Tiger's Shield and Sword, and while the extent of that knowledge is open to specuguessing, his willingness to spill, spin and even spoil those recollections in the wake of his firing seem clear.

In short, the Tiger Woods story, which has already pretty well gone off the rails, could plunge down the ravine. All because Stevie Williams has an axe, and now a grinder to go with it.

And don't dismiss the possibility that Williams might have desirable dirt on Woods he wants to share. Jose Canseco -- about as caricatured a sports figure as there has been in our time -- wrote a book about steroids that has proven pretty accurate yet made him more maligned than he already was.

Now, before you start hurling your dog in rage, Williams is not a likable figure. Not even close. I get that. He seems perfectly ready to take credit for someone else's accomplishment for his own agenda and reasons, which is pretty repellent behavior even in these stridently amoral times.

In short, I'm not taking his side here. But I do know America, and I do know how much dirt we will wade through to read or see more. I also suspect strongly that Williams wants to take his pound of Tigerflesh because he just gives off that vengeance-is-mine-saith-the-bag vibe.

Thus, his book -- if he does it -- becomes a hold-your-nose classic, one you read because of what it might offer rather than what comfort you would realize in buying it where other people could see.

This doesn't work all the time. Pete Rose's last book sold approximately zero copies because he had become so repellent to baseball fans that nobody would have wanted to know if he had actually helped break baseball's color line.

And maybe Tiger, even in his present parlous state, is still too much of an icon for Williams to bring down. Anything is possible in the exciting world of publishing, at a time when people actively avoid reading in record numbers.

But Williams at least gets this part: Shrapnel sells, and even if he first-personed a third-person accomplishment and violated about six different laws of caddiedom in doing so, he is now in play. So the question actually becomes not whether he is a gasbag bag man (which he clearly is), but whether he is ready to blow up Tiger Woods.

And whether you are interested enough to find out whether he did or not. A lot of suppositions, I know, but at least this might make him seem less crazy and more cunning.

While still being every bit the megalomaniac he came across as being on Sunday.

Ray Ratto is a columnist for Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.com


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