Nothing says ‘evil’ quite like a goatee

I’ve never been a big fan of golf. Maybe it was the years of childhood television watching I lost out on due to something called “The Masters” dominating the channelscape, or maybe it was just that the real game in no way, shape or form, resembles “Caddyshack.”

Whatever the case, I never developed an interest in the game beyond yelling “It’s in the hole!” at players as I?drive by the Legion Golf Course.

They think it’s funny. They act like they hate it, but I?know they think it’s funny.

And I just assumed my ambivalence toward golf would remain unchanged as I?toiled away my days on Earth; then I?heard about Tiger Woods.

Not Tiger Woods the player, I’m talking about the whole scandal-riddled Tiger Woods.

Remember back in 2009, when Tiger Woods was embroiled in some lurid imbroglio with an extramarital affair, a tabloid story and some nonsense about having to go to the hospital after driving into a shrub but we were all pretty sure that his now ex-wife beat him up?

Now, I’m not one of the professionally offended here to admonish Mr. Woods for his actions; I’m sure his wife’s lawyers did an excellent job of that.

This event, the Tiger Woods scandal, was the closest I?ever came to being interested in golf. And it wasn’t because of the tawdry affair (What? An infidelious athlete? No!) but because Tiger disappeared for almost a year.

What would happen when he returned? How could he be the same Tiger after all the secrets had been brought to light? And what of his famous red shirts?

Former T-R employee and Copy Editor to the Stars, Jim Cahill, posed a theory that piqued my interest. He said Tiger should embrace the public’s new-found hatred and return to golf dressed in all black, sporting a jet-black goatee.

That’s right; Tiger Woods should become Evil Tiger.

But when Tiger Woods came back, nothing was different, and he was once again the highest paid athlete in the world. Lame.

But the idea of Evil Tiger stayed with me. What would it be like if a public figure turned evil? And not just doing some “bad guy” stuff like cheating on their spouse or swindling taxpayers; I’m talking some out and out, Snidley Whiplash-level of cartoon supervillainy.

Well the hypothetical scenarios are over, because I’m pretty sure Steven Seagal has gone full-bore evil when nobody was looking.

Granted, nobody has been looking since “Exit Wounds” with DMX, so it might be hard to pin down exactly when Seagal went evil, but it has to be sometime after March, 2001.

Seagal, the suspiciously tan, self-professed former CIA agent, and, I?guess, sheriff’s deputy, has gone from outdated actor to international fitness spokesman in the Russian Federation (yes, really) and has now accepted a job as spokesman for the Russian weapons manufacturer Degtyaryov, who make everything from assault rifles to shoulder-mounted rocket launchers.

Is that the kind of purchase where a spokesman can sway your decision? “Oh, I WAS going to buy this other shoulder-mounted rocket launcher for what I have to assume is tens of thousands of dollars; but, you know, Degtyaryov has Seagal as a spokesman, clearly THEY know what they’re doing. I’ll take 100.”

And in every publicity photo of Seagal and his new boss, Russian billionaire Igor Kesayev, you can see Big Steven sporting a jet-black goatee to compliment his slicked back and receding hairline.

The man has gone evil and now he has the facial hair to prove it.

Now, his employer, Igor Kesayev, isn’t some cold war relic. He’s a 46-year-old billionaire who made his fortune after the fall of the Soviet Union selling cigarettes. In fact his company, known as “Mercury,” controls 70 percent of the Russian tobacco market. Mercury also owns a large chain of grocery stores in Russia and may or may not be connected to the mob, depending on which newspapers you read.

Ok, so he’s a Russian arms manufacturer/tobacco distributor/potentially mobbed up businessman? Isn’t this one of the guys Seagal would have been fighting against if this was the early 90s and he could still get movies made?

Either Seagal has gone completely evil following his failure to secure funding for “Under Seige 3: The Legend of Curly’s Gold,” or he’s been replaced by a replicant from Prime President Putin’s secret clone army.

Frankly, I’m leaning toward the latter.

Think about it. Seagal has always claimed he was an employee of the CIA; do you think they would let one of their former agents work for a Russian arms manufacturer? And Seagal is also on record saying he is a Buddhist who is the reincarnated spirit of a 17th century man from eastern Tibet. Has anybody ever heard of a Buddhist weapons manufacturer?

Clearly, he’s either evil or a clone. The only other explanation would be that he is simply a has-been with delusions of grandeur who has no place pretending to carry influence in the realm of international relations between potentially hostile countries; and we already have Rodman for that.