The incident happened early in the morning, but it wasn't until late Friday afternoon that news outlets reported Tiger Woods had been "seriously injured" in a single-car accident outside his home in Florida and treated at a nearby hospital for facial lacerations. Thirty-three-year-old Woods is the No. 1-ranked golf-player in the world and also 2008's highest-paid athlete. Once word got out about his injury, bloggers tried to parse odd details about the crash. So far, there are more questions than answers.
- 'Questions Abound,' Chicago Now blogger Bruce Wolf articulated the confusion that many felt upon hearing the news:
How come the Florida Highway Patrol didn't report the accident until after 2 p.m. today? Why was Tiger driving a Cadillac when Buick supported him so much?…Why was Tiger pulling out of his driveway at 2:25 in the morning? Why would he then hit a fire hydrant? Was he in a hurry to go out to hit 75 buckets of balls by dawn? Or was he pulling out in anger and forgot about the hydrant, which, one would assume, was not placed at the end of his driveway just yesterday? If he was angry and peeling out, what was he angry about? Did it just dawn on him that he blew at least two shots to win a major last year? Did he have an argument with his beautiful wife? Is she now available?
- How 'Serious' Were Woods' Injuries? Many bloggers were struck by the contradictory characterization of Woods' well-being following the accident. The debate concerned the term "serious injuries," which is what the Florida Highway Patrol said Woods' had suffered before admitting to the Orlando Sentinel that all patients who are transported to the hospital receive such designation. Still, the town's mayor felt the need to clarify, maintaining that the "facial lacerations" Woods' incurred were, in fact, "nothing that serious," a stance later echoed by Woods' agent. "It was really difficult to imagine Woods being seriously injured and in a U.S. hospital for 11 hours before news leaked out," bluntly stated David Kurtz at Talking Points Memo. Ever-quick Allahpundit rattled off his own reaction: "The Sentinel now says he was released from the hospital early this morning, which is hard to square with the reports of him having been in serious condition. The cuts to his face must have been awfully nasty." Finally, TMZ heard from a neighbor who claimed to have seen Woods' return after the crash, and thought that the golfer looked "fine," except for minor cuts on his face.
- Charges for Woods? Sports Blog Nation's Andrew Sharp wondered just why the Florida State Highway Patrol was reported to be seeking to file charges against the golfer: "What 'charges' are pending if it was a fender bender with a fire hydrant and a neighborhood tree? Not to go all CONSPIRACY theorist on you, but it just doesn’t make sense." Outside the Beltway's James Joyner was of a similar mind: "If alcohol was not involved and he was driving slowly, it’s also not clear what laws Woods is alleged to have broken. I suppose 'reckless driving' is a catch-all. [UPDATE: Michael Reynolds speculates in the comments that Woods is unlikely to have been wearing his seatbelt, given serious injuries at low speeds in an Escalade. That strikes me as quite likely.]"
- Why Was the National Media So Slow? At Tech Crunch, MG Siegler noted the news was disseminated more rapidly and with greater detail via the Internet: "As I’m watching this unfold infront of my eyes on the Internet, I’m reminded that this type of story is exactly why the web is destroying newspapers, and should eventually even take down television and the main source of news for most people…Thanks to Twitter, thousands of people had access to this information about 45 minutes before it appeared on CNN or ESPN, the 'worldwide leaders' in news in their respective fields."
- How Will it Affect Woods' 'Amazing Career?' True/Slant's David Knowles thinks this is the real question: "He took what seemed like a pretty boring spectator sport and made it captivating. In fact, when Woods played on the tour, he doubled television rankings ... For this reason alone, the entire golf world (as well as a few television networks) is holding its collective breath and hoping this turns out to be something that a few stitches will fix. Woods was scheduled to host his own tournament in Florida starting Monday."