Friday, July 22, 2011

Why Steve Williams Should Be Pissed

The dust has settled on all this Tiger Woods-Steve Williams mess, and like that greasy breakfast post hangover, things are starting to make a little more sense now, but I just figured it was worth pointing out that no matter what you think of the situation, Williams has every right to be upset.

ESPN's Colin Cowherd made a point that Tiger put Steve and his family in another tax bracket with all the money he gave him, but I feel like that's a little unfair to the art of the caddie. Williams is one of the best in the world. He's caddied for Peter Thomson (Ed. Note: So have I! Well, for one round at St. Andrews, but still.), Greg Norman and Raymond Floyd before taking the strap of Mr. Woods' bag. He is world renowned for his ability to read his player, handle certain situations, and shake off the nerves that accompany a golfer and his companion. It might not seem like a hard job, but being a caddie is some of the toughest work I've ever encountered. It's grueling on the body (remember, you're carrying that bag for nearly six days a week, not just the four days of tournament play), and you have to be completely comfortable with yourself and your player to totally execute properly. One mistake and you might get blamed, but both you and the golfer have to understand that you'll make the occasional bad call just like they'll hit the occasional bad golf shot. Nobody is perfect, but Williams was damn near it.

I think that one of the biggest problems with TIger Woods is his inability to comprehend loyalty. It's like he's always thinking people are feeding off him, even when they aren't. Tiger took it as a dig that Williams would loop for Adam Scott, even when he gave him the okay, and that just isn't the case. Even with all the money Stevie has made working with Tiger, the bills keep coming even when the checks aren't.

I've always respected Steve Williams. He kept his mouth shut on everything, and considering the close group Tiger keeps, that's pretty hard to come by. He never slandered his name during the entire Escaladegate, and he stood by his boss when every female east of the Mississippi came out and said they'd seen all of Mr. Woods.

A lot of caddies wouldn't have done that. They would have seen the easy payout by coming forward and giving exclusive interviews, and done that. Most humans aren't loyal. We live in a world where the moment you hear something secretive, you're thinking of who will be the first you want to tell, and for Tiger to find someone as genuinely supportive as Williams for 12 or so years is rare air.

I understand that Williams is upset by what transpired. While it might not have been totally surprising, it did seem a little lame the way Tiger went about it. Wait until the year ends and give a proper goodbye. Give Stevie a shot when you're actually 100 percent, because for a while, you two were unstoppable. But most of all, treating your friend with disrespect is one of the worst traits a human can have.

I feel bad for Tiger. I just don't understand where he's heading, and what he wants. It wouldn't surprise me if he didn't know either.


seak said...

Shane, I do feel bad for Steve, and think he did a lot for Tiger over the years. He isn't the first caddie though to have been fired, even mid-year after a long relationship. Heck, Scott fired Navarro, after a t2 at the Masters, and 7 yrs together, including a horrid slump.

And yeah the bills keep coming in, but Steve has made enough money over the years to support a racing team, and donate a ton to charity (which is cool). I doubt he needed the money.

It seems like this has been building for 18 months, their relationship hasn't been the same since hydrantgate.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion Williams earned every penny working for Woods, and even though it's hindsight, Woods should have encouraged Williams to pick up spot jobs while Woods wasn't competing and while there was a chance that The Woods' Non-competition Era was going to last a long time. Maybe forever.

A good employer knows when his highly compensated employees are earning their money. While Cowherd might be right in the sense that Williams would have earned less on anybody else's bag, the reverse is just as likely, Woods' earnings were certainly enhanced by Williams' talents.

Finally, justifying Williams pay drop over the last two years by pointing out that he's already made a boatload of money is specious and borders on invasion of Williams privacy. What he's made, spent, saved or owes shouldn't be part of this conversation.

Anonymous said...

My take - the taking of Adam Scott's bag was not the real catalyst of the ending of the relationship. This was just a way to end it. This relationship started disintegrating at the start of the Tiger Woods scandal. Tiger had a problem and he never sought help from a close friend who has been with him for 11 years, through his father's death, various surgery etc. IMHO, the relationship would have become very frosty and uncomfortable, especially when a lot of folks were calling Steve an enabler to Woods problems. A golfer and caddie cannot thrive for very long this way. Remember also that Woods also would be very ashamed, guilty etc in Stevie's presence -Stevie has been around Woods family, wife, children etc.

Mike said...

Colin Cowherd knows nothing of golf. Nothing. He called the US Open "the Congressional". He was still calling Tiger the #1 golfer in the world. The guy does not know golf. I doubt he even knows what a caddies does. So I am going to disregard what he says. He gives good takes on college football but he should leave golf alone.

I can see both sides of this argument. Steve wants to work and Tiger thinks he should be loyal after all that he paid him. I for one think it is good for Tiger to change things up. Hopefully a renewed spirit and a fresh chance.

I will however miss the WORST high fiving duo to ever play sport. Tiger and Stevie missed more high fives throughout the years I cannot even recall them all. It was actually fun watching them try to celebrate with each other. They were always messing up.

frontrow519 said...

Well I have heard everything, Stevie Williams has made out like a bandit the last 13 years with Tiger, more money and cars than he could have ever dream of. Granted he is a great caddie but who made the putts! He's bad mouthing Tiger like no tomorrow. He was fired like many other caddies, This happens all the time. If he was the class act and the Man's man he says he is then just shut up and take it like a man. It was a great run, he made tons of money. he talking like Tiger had a gag rule on him, if he did, he had 12 years to leave but he didn't, he did all the dirty work itimidating folks, taking cameras, throwing them in the water. He enjoyed the power. He was an enforcer, lets not cry now. I guess he's mad because being associated with one of the best atheletes of all time has many perks! If Tiger would have let him go when he was No.1 I could see that, but Tiger's bad marriage, bad leg and he's playing bad .. he's changing stuff..lets not crucify him for just making certain changes that he thinks might do him some good. Stevie should just shut up, say It's been great and move on.. He won today didn't he with Adam Scott? Stop crying ... maybe Tiger did have some good reasons for letting him go. True character come out when things don't go your way....the news conference today he said in so many words that Tiger undercut him...sounds like little Stevie didn't get his way...temper tantrum!
Two alpha males with large egos .... need I say more.
Thanks T. M Turner

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