Tiger Woods reentered the winner’s circle the weekend before he was due in Paris to join his Ryder Cup teammates. Expecting a warm welcome from Jim Furyk and the rest of Team USA after his return to championship form, Woods instead got the “cold shoulder” or “silent treatment.” What’s going on? The ignore-Tiger-treatment was a practical joke, meant to boost team camaraderie while sticking it (just a little) to the man who has won more PGA Tournaments than any player in golf history, save Sam Snead. The team sought the permission of Tiger caddie and trusted confidant Joe LaCava before pulling the prank. And it didn’t last long: Tiger got his hugs and high-fives soon after being perplexed by the pranking.
What is this cold shoulder/silent treatment business all about? Like many unusual sports traditions (rally caps, 7th inning stretch), the “cold shoulder” treatment has its origins in America’s pastime, baseball. For decades, the reaction among professional baseball players to a player’s first career home run has been to ignore the accomplishment, and the athlete who hit it. Sure when you hit your second or 700th homer, you get plenty of high-fives, but that first one is a lonely round-tripper. You must celebrate yourself, because no teammate will say a word of praise — for a minute anyway. In fact they might not even be in the dugout when you get back (see video below). The prank is also known as the “empty dugout treatment.” Tiger is a big sports fan with a sense of both humor and tradition. If he’s upset at all, he’ll just take it out on Team Europe.
The Cubs take the silent treatment to the next level for Bryant’s first home run: https://t.co/CxGTVKRTsK
— Ryan Thibodaux (@NotMrTibbs) May 10, 2015