Wednesday, December 02, 2009

My Apologies To Tiger

A few days ago, as I am sure all of you now know, Tiger Woods had a minor car accident in his front lawn that has become perhaps the most written about and investigated traffic ticket in the history of the world. The afternoon that the news began to leak out I wrote an article implying a suspicion about the circumstances surrounding the ordeal, and indirectly made comparisons between Tiger and a truckload full of other professional athletes all of whom had been charged with DUI or DWI. The comparison, as it turns out, was unfounded and inaccurate, and I am pleased to say that I am sorry for having doubted Tiger's decision making as it relates to drinking and driving.

As the media (I guess I am media as I write this blog) has done over the last few days is absolutely devour the public relations "Fortress of Solitude" that Tiger and the rest of us had thought was impenetrable. The continued development of news has revealed that Tiger was having, or had had extramarital affairs with at least one other woman. His wife, Elin, apparently discovered the impropriety, possibly phoned the other woman, and likely had a rather heated blowout with Tiger about it during the wee hours of the night. A very short "getaway" occurred, and whether in fear or anger, Tiger distractedly wrecked his Escalade and ended up lacerated and woozy.

Wow! A world-class professional athlete was having an affair outside of his marriage? What a shocker!

I am not dismissing the fact that cheating on one's spouse is widely considered bad form, and most definitely believe that Tiger has done something wrong, but is this news so surprising to everyone? Tiger knows he misbehaved rather badly, and has finally come out with a very Tiger-like public apology, to Elin and their family. In my opinion, this is a case closed for those of us who fall outside the Woods' circle of friends and family. The news was pursued and reported to the extent it now needs to. Tiger has paid his debt to society for the damage he caused to the hydrant, so now it is his job to repair the damage done to his family, and that is not for public consumption.

To err is human, and it isn't the first time that Tiger has erred, nor will it be the last. One of the reasons that I so enjoy watching Tiger play golf and listening to his quite candid and amusing interviews is that he is so human while performing at a super-human level. Despite suggestions to the contrary, I have seen him frequently show emotion on the course, both good and bad. He has a foul mouth, and throws clubs with some regularity, but he also smiles and laughs when the moment calls for it, and he can afford to step out of his "zone" for a moment. Is this behavior any different than most others' on the golf course? Should it be?

I say no. What is so great about Tiger (and Phil, Sergio, Anthony, Geoff, and so many others) is that they display that humanity that is part of the game, yet achieve so much more than any of us are capable on the course. A talent for golf has as little to do with being a good husband as being talented at politics, drama, accounting, advertising, or practicing law. Bad husbands are everywhere, yet we so excessively scrutinize when the guilty party is famous. While I might try to model parts of my golf game after Tiger, I would never assume to model any other part of my life after him, nor should anyone else.

So, let this be my formal apology to Tiger both for writing the previous article, which caused me to have to write this one. I am happy that Tiger endangered no lives, paid his debt, learned that even he is not immune to the popular media, and hope that he and Elin are able to patch their marriage together because I, for one, like Tiger Woods, and would like to see him happily behave and get back to the course sooner than later.

Fairways and Greens!

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