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ESPN tries to explain why they Photoshopped the mugshot of Tiger Woods

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Running a close second in the sports world to the news that golfing legend Tiger Woods was arrested for DUI is that ESPN Photoshopped his mug shot when the sports network ran with the story.

Woods appeared disheveled in the original, unaltered mugshot, and ESPN cleaned him up a bit for its story — made him appear more bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

The “before” shot is on the left here; the “after” on the right:

The question is, why.

When news of the altered shot became a big story on social media, ESPN felt duty-bound to offer an explanation.

“We have utilized a standard template for on-air headshots, which led to the background being dropped for consistency,” ESPN said, according to the New York Daily News. “We will revisit this process to improve it going forward.”

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Popular conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh offered a less complicated explanation. He observed that Woods continues to receive huge sums in endorsements from companies such as Nike, possibly in anticipation of a comeback.

“He has in the past sold gobs and gobs of stuff. He’s also being paid so nobody else can get him, ’cause everybody in the golf world is hoping and praying that Tiger will come back and be reborn and be the Tiger Woods of 1997 to 2005,” Limbaugh told his listeners. “They’re hoping. And they want to be there if he is. And they want, in his mind, to be the ones that stuck with him. So there’s much more to these endorsements than just the dollars and cents of what he’s selling now.”

Quite honestly, Limbaugh’s explanation make more sense than does ESPN’s.

Woods was arrested Monday near his home in Jupiter, Florida for driving under the influence of intoxicants and later released on his own recognizance.

In a statement released later that evening, Woods said that “alcohol was not involved” in the early morning arrest.

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