Monday, February 22, 2010

Tiger's Mea Culpa

Wow, it's been a long time since I've been in here. Look at the cobwebs. The place needs a good airing out. There's a science experiment growing in the refrigerator. The mail's piled up. Look, a newspaper! Hmm, Japs Attack Pearl Harbor!!! Whoa, I really do need to clean this place out.

Until then, I've decided to write about the recent statement that Tiger Woods gave upon returning to public life after holing himself up somewhere in the Deep South to get a grip on his addiction to various and sundry bimbos, skanks and trollops. It seems that our boy is a master of the driver, sand wedge and putter, but hasn't a clue about managing an extramarital affair. Not that I condone such behavior, far from it, but on the infintesimal chance that Tiger actually reads this blog, which obviously indicates evidence of superior taste and upbringing by the way, lemme offer a bit of advice. Dude, if you're gonna run around on your wife with Perkin's restaurant waitresses and other assorted women of lesser virtue...two words. prepaid cellphones. They're cheap, don't require you to put your name on any incriminating paperwork, and you can get rid of those nasty text messages and call logs by chucking the phone into the ocean when the heat gets too close. I'm just sayin'.

Now for those who were socked away somewhere watching the Olympics or knocking the icicles off your gutters after the Snopocalyptigeddon that hit the Northeast US a couple weeks ago, last Friday, Tiger Woods read from a prepared statement to a friendly audience of media, guests, corporate types and so on. In that statement where he took no questions, he apologized profusely about getting involved in the numerous affairs that have trashed his marriage and dropped his public image about as low as whale shit at the bottom of the Marianas Trench. He stated that he had gotten away from the core values instilled in him by his parents and had been seduced by the whole wine, women and song thing. He also addressed certain rumors about the use of performance enhancing drugs and domestic violence between he and his wife, Swedish supermodel Elin. He blasted the paparazzi for tailing his wife and kids as she dropped them off at school. And he made appeals to his legion of fans to once again believe in him again. He said that he would be back on the PGA Tour again, but did not indicate when.

I will admit that I am a Tiger Woods fan. The only time that I will watch a golf event is if Tiger is in the field. More than a few PGA pros have ripped Tiger for his dalliances, which is their right. They apparently forgot that the reason they can live in gated ghettos in Florida, drive six-figure cars and live in the lap of luxury is because that Tiger Woods has made an art form of kicking the Tour's collective ass week in and week out during golf season. It's called"a rising tide lifts all boats." I'm pretty sure that there are more than a few PGA Tour pros who have their 'bit of tail' on the side to keep them happy whilst on tour, but because it was Tiger who got caught, it's open season to tee off (pun intended) on the biggest cat in the jungle. They figure that they have found his weak link. That the invincible dreadnought known as El Machina Tigre has a stripped gear.

So if in this blog entry, I come across as pro-Tiger, so be it. If you're expecting objective journalism here, go to Sports Illustrated, the Sporting News, or some other respected media outlet devoted to impartial analysis. This is a blog. My blog, with my views and my slant on the stuff that I choose to write about. Don't like it, there's the door. Don't let it hit you in the tuckus on the way out. I won't kiss the guy's ass, and he certainly doesn't need me to prop him up, or knock him down. There are plenty in the media who do both the former and the latter.

Personally, Tiger Woods does not need to apologize to me nor anyone else not connected to him by blood or marriage. He doesn't owe the public anything. The only people whom he needs to make amends to are his wife, his kids, and his mother. They are the ones hurt most by his screw-up, they should be the ones who hold his feet to the fire and make him accountable for his actions. All the people who insist on holding this man up to their kids as a role model should have said kids removed from them and not be allowed to reproduce. The greatest role model a parent can give to their children is the person they see in the mirror every morning.

Golf pros, basketball players, pop stars, rappers, and every other "look it's me" person out there should never replace a loving parent as a role model. If you want to have Tiger be a role model based on his performance on the golf course in regards to his single minded focus to be the best player in the game, his machine like approach to every shot and his uncanny consistency, that's one thing. But to hold him up as a role model because of his indiscretions and his brusqueness in the way he deals with the crowds at tournaments is asking for trouble. He is a golfer, and believe it or not, he is a human being. News Flash!!! HUMAN BEINGS OCCASIONALLY FUCK UP!!!! They do things they aren't supposed to do. They ingest substances that are bad for them because they induce a pleasant, yet temporary feeling of ecstasy and joy that gets them away from the pain of the real world for even a little while. They run around on their spouses because of the thrill of the forbiddden act, because they get something from their 'side dish' that they don't get from the 'main course'. They lie, cheat and steal, they do incredibly evil, mean and nasty things to each other and to themselves. But...they are also capable of love, compassion, generosity, selflessness, fairness and goodness. Human beings are complex creations. In short, if you insist on holding Tiger up as a role model for your children, what does that say about you, the one person that can impact that child's life more than any celebrity, athlete, or even a Tiger Woods? What it tells me is that maybe you're not up to the job of parenting. But then again what the hell do I know, I don't have kids. Don't want them because I know that I don't have what it takes to be a good parent. I know myself too well. I would not trust myself to caring for a child.

There are those who thought that Tiger's statement came off as too slick, or written by his handlers, or that they lacked sincerity. There is a possibility that the statement read may have been a little too polished, that maybe he didn't break down and wail in repentance enough to satisfy those who don't like Tiger because of his dominance on the course, or because maybe he didn't autograph a ball for their kid, or because he explodes in a burst of profanity when a shot goes awry. These folks would be assuaged only if Tiger donned sackcloth and ashes or maybe slit his wrists and bled out in contrition on national television for his sins. There's nothing that Tiger can do to satisfy the haters. But what Tiger can do to win back his fans is to walk the talk.
It's simple to explain, but difficult to do. Don't ride the bimbo train, have a picture of Elin and the kids on the night table next to the hotel bed where it's the first thing he sees in the morning and the last thing he sees before turning in at night. Kiss that picture if he needs to. Get back on tour with that steely-eyed focus and play lights out golf week in and week out. Be a little more humble, maybe autograph the occasional ball or a scorecard for a kid knowing that his old man will sell the damn thing on Ebay. Resist the urge to wrap a nine iron around the neck of the shutterbug who cluelessly snapped off a photo on the backswing, and not erupt in a shower of expletives when he shanks a drive off of the tee. Have fun with the game that has made him insanely rich. Maybe he won't win as much hardware, and the checks may have one less zero on the end, but he could quit the game right now and never have to work another day in his life. He has nothing more to prove to the world in terms of chasing the little white ball around the cow pasture. But he has a lot to prove to the world in terms of being a good man to those who depend on him most...his wife, his kids, and his mother.