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Anna Nolan: Tiger’s trip just seems a bit bogey

The Tiger is in town, lock up your daughters. Yesterday and today, Tiger Woods is taking part in a charity golfing tournament here in Ireland, run by JP McManus, and all eyes are on the golfing superstar.

Is the visit pure altruism, is he working the redemption card, or is he hoping that his first trip away from America to this island will bring him some good luck and perhaps some magical forgiveness?

Don't be fooled into thinking this is simply a nice jaunt for Woods. The amount of thought that has gone into this trip is massive.

From his personal managers, to his business team, the decision to come to Ireland would be part of a plan to make Tiger our friend again.



RED

Naughty Tiger has done his time in rehab (for what, I'm not entirely sure) and now Team Tiger is working on how we can take him back into our hearts -- because, as we know, in business the heart is attached to the wallet.

You can hear them in the meeting room: "Get him over to Ireland. Everyone loves Ireland. He can shake hands with red-haired children, he can hug some priests, hey, we can do a remix of the Nike ad with his father talking to him, but we can have Clannad in the background. Dear God, get Tiger to Ireland quick, and get me Enya on the line."

Tiger is coming here for charideee. He says he knows the importance of charideee. In fact, Tiger Woods has so much charideee coming out of his butt with his Tiger Woods Foundation, that he has enough on his plate saving children in America.

His charity has invested millions into education projects for children, and they must be truly grateful to him and to the sponsors and partners of his foundation -- AT&T, Tag Heuer, Bank of America, Chevron, HSBC, and more. Everyone benefits from Tiger's charideee.

Tiger Woods has a lot to deal with at the moment. His two main focuses at the moment are his game and his name.

Neck

There is no doubt his game is slipping. That neck injury is causing all sorts of upset, and he is struggling to recapture the level of brilliance he had achieved before lady-gate. Golfing fans are only interested in his game, they couldn't care less if Tiger had slept with a tiger. But the wives of the golfing men, the mothers of the golfing women, the other few million people who have been lured in by the appeal of brand Tiger, they are more interested in the name and its reputation.

Team Tiger has worked on his image before. When he started becoming the sensation he is, there was an approach to his advertisement campaigns that tapped into his blackness and his African origins.

This didn't work out and that approach was scrapped. From there on in, there was never a mention of Tiger being black. He became effectively a colourless black guy, and only then did the white, wealthy world of golf embrace him.

So what will team Tiger's plan be now to save the most famous sports name ever? Well, he has apologised publicly, he has gone to rehab and he is in Ireland to help those in need. But it's all too obvious, all too cynical and all a bit sad.

As the phrase goes, you lost me on the Nike ad, Tiger.

Train ride from hell turned out heavenly

I haven't been stuck on a train for a long time. The last one was in London when my Tube stopped for half an hour. There was only me and another strange bloke in the carriage.

Then the carriage began to fill with smoke and I thought to myself 'which way do I want to go -- stabbed by scary man or choked by smoke?

As I was about to decide the Tube took off and I was in the station minutes later. The smoke had just been exhaust fumes and the man was actually a nice fella.

Being stuck in a train is never pleasant, and depending who's around you, it could be hell.

Hangover

I was on my way back from Cork this weekend when the train stopped for an hour. I had a hangover that was threatening to make my eyes pop out.

As the train came to a stop, Blathnaid Ni Chofaigh, who was sitting opposite me and who was equally as hung over, opened one eye and looked at me. We knew this was going to be tough.

Liam, who sat down beside us and who was on his fourth can of beer by 11am, decided to start a sing song. At the table next to us were Kilkenny fans on the way to Dublin for the match. They started singing too and Nicola had a voice of an angel.

The other guy who sat beside us was Roger, who lived in Cork. He told me of his trips to Dublin every week, and he knew more about what was going on in Dublin than I did.

There were GAA fans, dads and daughters, a lady off to the dog show, and two girls who had stayed up until 5am. We loved our train ride from Cork and thank you to those who made it so entertaining.


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