At the afternoon's official press conference Tiger was trotted out for a sound bite—"It's really incredible to have such incredible talent here," he said—and was then joined by be-slinged comic Dennis Miller, who had injured his right arm, he said, "trying to swipe John Madden's last potsticker at Xinhua." At one point Miller cut off Tiger to announce that "Kevin James and I will be doing a benefit next week for Vijay Singh's approach shots." (Tiger laughed.) Later, as producer Quincy Jones, who spent Kids' Day at a back table eating chicken fingers, waxed poetic on Tiger's greatness, Miller interrupted with his own hosanna: "I want to say that I admire Tiger because he's the only guy who makes MJ think, My life is s—."
Finally, Earl stepped to the microphone and, sudden as thunder, summed up the entire weekend, and his son's dilemma. "As for his golf, you ain't seen nothin' yet," he said. "It'll keep getting better and better. But his impact on this world can be so much greater. It's a hell of a responsibility, to make that impact. So there's your task, son." Tiger nodded.
The concert itself was uninspiring—the 12,000-seat Mandalay Bay Events Center's empty upper deck didn't help—as was a clearly impaired Miller. Failing for the fifth straight time to complete his punch line, Miller was told to "go have another drink" by several boo-birds, who had paid a minimum of $45 a ticket for the night's entertainment. After a long pause he laughed nonsensically and introduced Henley...who was not scheduled to go on for another 15 minutes and wasn't ready. McDermott came to the rescue and brought out Tiger, outfitted in a sharp monochrome suit, to say a few words. "We raised $890,000 today, with your help," Woods said to rapturous applause. (The final tally was more than $1 million, the bulk of the money raised in a private, silent auction, during which Barkley paid $200,000 for a round with Woods.)
After Henley and Train had finished, the night's pulse began to quicken. Barkley and Daly holed up in the baccarat room, waiting to go to Tiger's private party, high in the Mandalay Bay towers. When the time came, they made their way through a casino full of gawkers, trailed by the usual assortment of hangers-on. With them strode a surprise visitor—in a sleek black suit, face frozen, eyes straight ahead—who knew something of Tiger's task and his anointment. But chances were, such weighty subjects would be avoided, for on this night Michael Jordan seemed just another moth come to the flame.