As I was typing those words in my last post, the thought actually crossed my mind, “Tell that to Tiger Woods.” I, for one, don’t have much interest in Tiger’s private life, and I’m not about to voice any opinions about it here.
But one tiny piece of his story did catch my attention yesterday while listening to NPR on the drive home from the lab. I looked it up when I got home and found dozens of hits, but the basic story is explained here on the web site of The Independent.
That’s right, Tiger has boosted the sales of a popular science book on physics written by British astrophysicist John Gribbin by virtue of keeping a copy in the back seat of his crashed SUV. I don’t know exactly how many copies have been sold but the book has apparently jumped overnight from an overall rating of 396,224th on the Amazon sales list to 2,268th place. That seems like a lot of book sales. Better still, the book was published ten years ago and is no longer in print. Therefore, only used copies are available, and it was reported that people have been spending up to $75 US for their little piece of Tiger Woods’ personal library.
I wonder if Gatorade and Nike will consider this anecdote when deciding whether to keep Tiger as their public face? I could not imagine a more bizarre way to test it, but “Get a Grip on Physics” seems to indicate that his testimonial is as influential as ever. Bizarre.