Right Field

Mike Vaccaro: Tiger’s Caddie Got What he Deserved

Here’s Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post commenting on Tiger Woods firing his longtime caddy, Steve Williams:

Stevie Williams got what he deserved.

Wait, let me be more to the point: For Stevie Williams to get what he truly deserves, then Tiger Woods should rehire him next Monday, solely so he can fire him again next Tuesday. And maybe do it three or four more times. Maybe then say, publicly, “Hmmm … maybe I’ll hire Stevie back …” just so he can then say, publicly, “Nah.”

Now, before we get to the he “got what he deserved” part of the story, let’s take a quick look back at the career of Williams. Tiger wasn’t his first pro. He caddied for Greg Norman, Ian Baker-Finch, and Raymond Flood. Currently Williams is toting the bag of Adam Scott, no slouch indeed. Tiger hired Steve Williams in 1999, after Tiger unceremoniously fired his original caddy as a pro, the wonderful “Fluff Cowan.

 

OK. Back to why Vaccaro thinks Williams, by all measures a great caddy, got what he deserved:

I’ll put this as succinctly as I can: I have covered sports for a living for 25 years. For most of those years I’ve covered professional sports, which means I’ve endured some of the basest, most odiferous behavior patterns ever. I’ve encountered egos, and sociopathic narcissism, and the kind of corrosive, offensive diatribes that would make an HBO documentarian blush. I’ve met some boors in my day.

And none of them was worse than Stevie Williams.

None of them was as coarse, as ill-mannered, as arrogant, as lacking in basic grace and dignity as Williams, who didn’t just fancy himself as Tiger’s caddie, but as his Luca Brasi, too: a henchman/button man who tore into anything in their path. Forget the fact that he all but regularly put contracts out on photographers who would snap their cameras at times Williams deemed inappropriate — god forbid these great unwashed actually, you know, do their jobs.

No. On three separate occasions, in close proximity to galleries, I saw Stevie Williams advise three different paying fans to do anatomically impossible gestures. This wasn’t preceded by, “Excuse me,” or, “Sorry to bother you,” or even “We’re trying to work here.”

All three times, a fan made the mistake of yelping something to the tune of “We love you, Tiger, you’re the man!” And Steve Williams’ retort was, “Get the bleep out of the way and go bleep yourself.”

So, Tiger cheats on his wife with dozens upon dozens of women, yet it’s Williams who is the greatest “boor” ever known to Mike Vaccaro? Vaccaro also misses the fact that Woods could be perhaps the most foul-tempered player on the golf course on any given day. When Williams curses, nobody hears it. When Woods throws one of his temper-tantrums, the whole world sees it.

From the outside looking in, Williams and Woods seemed to have a relationship that went beyond that of boss and employer. But like Tiger’s family-guy image, maybe his friendship with Williams was a big act.

And as a postscript, Williams is no longer staying quiet about getting fired:

When he took to the airwaves, Williams ratcheted up the rhetoric on 3 News in New Zealand. This one may have started Woods wondering if the lawyers left the nondisclosure part out of the standard player-caddie contract, if there was a contract.

“You know, when I write my book, it’ll be the time I decide what I write,” Williams said. “It’ll just be one of those interesting chapters in the book.”

Looks like Tiger is going to get what he deserves, too.

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