Vanity Fair Cover: Shirtless Tiger

The February issue of Vanity Fair features an image that is sure to raise eyebrows: a shirtless Tiger Woods pumping iron, photographed by Annie Leibovitz before his alleged scandalous behavior became public. The featured article is penned by Buzz Bissinger, who weighs in on the apparent disconnect between Tiger’s public image and private life.

Sources claim that the Condé Nast title bumped Emma Watson, who was originally slated to grace this issue. The lede to the feature reveals the direction of Bissinger’s essay:

When Tiger Woods finally fell from his pedestal—the car crash, the angry wife, the tales of kinky extramarital sex, the link to a controversial sports doctor—it was one of the greatest recorded drops in popularity of any nonpolitical figure. Given Woods’s impenetrable mask of perfection, and the hints of trouble from one strange glimpse behind it, the revelations were inevitable and very, very costly. Annie Leibovitz catches the icon, pre-scandal, in prophetic isolation, while the author finds the clues in the wreckage.

Also worth noting: the first outlet to reveal the depths of Tiger’s alleged marital discretion was Deadspin, which was founded by Will Leitch, with whom Bissinger had a somewhat notorious interaction on Costas Now.

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