Bad boys make comebacks

TIGER Woods will be among a host of bad-boy sportsmen to make comebacks to sport this year.

It was announced yesterday Woods would return to golf at The Masters at Augusta National in April just months after revelations of his infidelity outraged the world.

His return will be the highest profile of a host of bad-boy comebacks this year, including Todd Carney, Lote Tuqiri and Greg Bird to rugby league, and Geoff Huegill to swimming.

Tweed Daily News sport columnist Steve Manning said he was prepared to give any bad boy who made an effort a second chance.

He said Todd Carney, who has returned from a North Queensland bush sabbatical, was making an effort to change his character.

“He is trying to turn his bad ways around. For people making an effort, they should be given encouragement, encouragement to go forward and be positive,” Mr Manning said.

He backed Tiger Woods to make a successful return.

“His personal life is in pretty bad shape, but I think he is professional enough to come back and he has got to come back sooner or later,” Mr Manning said.

“He will cop flak either way, so it is just natural he would come back soon.

“What he did was stupid and ridiculous and I honestly don’t know why he did it in the first place. But how long can you hold a grudge for? Everyone knows he strayed, he did a silly thing, but holding a grudge is not going to change what he did.

“Let him and his wife sort it out, then get on with it.”

According to Stephen Prosser, Gold Coast-based director of sport managing company Talent Brothers, the success of a bad-boy comeback depends on the person and the calibre of player they are.

He predicted Woods would be back on television promoting various products within a year.

He said Andrew Johns and Wendell Sailor were also examples of successful comebacks from scandals.

“People like these type of guys are always going to move product for companies and be popular with kids who would have no real knowledge of what they did anyway,” Mr Prosser said.

He said the NRL system of dealing with badly behaved players was flawed, because clubs were being pressured to drop their stars if they misbehaved, but then other clubs were moving in and buying them at “bargain” prices within two years.

He hoped the new NRL Commission would rectify the problem and take control of sanctioning players.

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