"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." Martin Luther King Jr
I'm taking a minute away from my normal diatribe about my life as a fantasy football owner to talk about a subject that has dominated the airwaves for the last two weeks-The Tiger Woods Saga. It all started innocuously enough. Most of us had that momentary heart skip a beat when we heard that Tiger Woods was in serious condition after a car accident. "Oh, no," most of us thought, "I hope Tiger is okay." After a summer of people the world has come to know and love leaving us, it was a rational idea. That is until we heard that the accident had happened in the wee hours of the morning (like grandma said, nothing good ever happens after midnight). Then, we hear about unusual scratches, alleged arguments, broken out back windows, golf clubs, and of course, we became interested. Why? Because we are a country that thrives on "reality" shows, we grew up with The Maury Povich Show (Joe, you are not the father), cut our teeth on Jerry Springer (Jerry, Jerry, Jerry), read tabloids as we check our groceries (Branelina adopts #3), because we like to know that there is somebody's life out there who is more interesting and jacked-up than mine.
We are the reasons these trainwreck shows, The Girls Next Door, Flavor of Love, Rock of Love, The Hills, The Real World, Cheaters, Frankie and Neffe, Tiny and Toya, Bravos Housewives, Keeping up with the Kardashians, etc. are all still on the air. (Most of these people, to quote Ulysses Everett McGill, "are just dumber than a bag of hammers!") I'll be honest with you. I don't really watch these shows. What I know about them comes from Joel McHale making fun of them on The Soup or Chelsea Handler on Chelsea Lately. Just watching the commercials makes me want to take a shower, and they have the same affect on my intellect as driving my head through a wall. America, however, wanted more. It wasn't just the tabloids anymore. It was ESPN (who shouldn't be casting any stones), CNN, Dateline, 20/20, Today...Blah-Blah-Blah.
Over the course of the last two weeks, everyone everywhere has been giving there opinions on the whole Tiger drama. So, since this is my blog. I'm going to share mine. There were just some statements that, to speak the venacular, hit me in the wrong way. I would like to take the moment to address a few of these comments.
#1-"Why are we surprised? He's just a man. He's a handsome, rich, athlete, why wouldn't he?" Guys, you should be insulted by this comment, because it is a cop out. It is an excuse. That's like saying to a fat kid that its okay for him to eat a dozen Krispy Cremes, cause he's a fat kid. Okay, well it's an apples to oranges comparison, but you get my point. So, let me get this straight. As long as he did not "physically" hurt his wife, kept her in a nice house, and kept her wearing the best clothes while driving their kids in the best car, it's alright for him to have as many affairs as he wants to? If he wasn't rich and athletic, would we feel the same way? What if he were your child's high school science teacher, would you still feel the same? I doubt it. He could have physically hurt her, as well as, his children with STD's. She's blessed, as far as we know, not to have that issue. Golf is one of the few sports that rely on the golfers to tell the truth about their actions on the course. They have score cards that they themselves fill out, and they are suppose to be honest and truthful. As a husband or a wife (ladies, I'm not excluding you either), you make the same commitment. You are suppose to love, honor and cherish your partner. If you are not ready to fulfill those obligations, you should not get married. Being a player hasn't hurt Derek Jeter's image, why not? Because HE IS SINGLE! He hasn't committed himself to one woman. He can date as many girls as he wants because he is not MARRIED. If you want a buffet of ladies, don't get married. If he had honored his marriage vows the way he honored his PGA card, Nike, or GM deals, none of this would have happened to him.
#2-"Why does he only date white women? Why weren't any of the girls Black?" Wh-wh-what? First of all, black people let it go. Tiger is mostly Asian. I don't see Asian people offended, by the fact that he didn't "hook up" with Asian girls either. Some people just have a preference. I prefer black clothes. So what... Get over it. This guy knows who he is. He celebrates his "individuality," so much so that he gave it his own name. Big deal. Did you miss the fact that he cheated on his wife, with an unknown number of women (We don't know the exact number. We just know that he says he had transgressions. As an English major, by adding the "s" and making it plural, we assume that he had more than one.). He admitted his infidelity, and you concern yourself with what shade the women are? Shaq allegedly cheated with black women does that make it better for you? It doesn't for me. I'm pretty sure his wife isn't considering the shade of skin tone either.
#3-"Tiger Woods was set up by "The Man" who doesn't want to see a "brother" succeed." Really..."The Man"...Really? What is this 1970? While Tiger's libido may resemble one of the swingers of the 70's, are we really going to go there? When did this turn into I'm Gonna Git You Sucka? "The Man" made Tiger swing his driver and polish his balls. C'mon, really? Blaming "The Man" is like blaming "The Devil" for your transgressions. Neither can make you do anything that you yourself aren't willing to do anyway. I don't care if "the man" had naked women swinging from Tiger's chandelier; Tiger made the choice to partake in the naughty buffet, and like a fat man on a diet at Golden Corral, he was "weak" and succumbed. Period, end of discussion. Tiger can blame no one but Tiger.
#4-"He's a busta for letting people chase him off the course. I ain't letting no body keep me from my job for this." Uhm, folks, Tiger literally never has to work another day in his life, unless he wants to, and unless he goes all Nicholas Cage or Mike Tyson with his money, he will be okay. That said. In my profession, I can tell you that there is a about a 95% chance that I would not be able to keep my job, and I don't make millions or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Tiger makes more swigging G2 than I will in my entire life time. If he had concentrated on his relationship like he does making the final cut, this wouldn't have happened. If he had spent as many hours working on his relationship as he did getting ready for the Masters, this wouldn't have happened. Just like the petulant young man on the golf course who gets fans thrown out for taking a picture of his swing, Tiger is use to having things his way. Things have now spiralled out of his control, and he feels like he needs to gain control of it. How pray tell can he do that on the golf course? Best revenge is success? Who has already had the most success on the course? So, he hasn't captured Jack Nichlaus' majors. The man is 33 years old. He could win one major a year and still have that record by 40. He needs to step back and look at what he has done to his family and his reputation. We don't know that he is running, and so what if he is, it is now his business. Let it go.
Whew, stepping down from my soapbox. I expect that a lot of people will not agree with me. That's okay. This is simply what it is my opinion. I stopped looking up athletes and movie stars as role models as a kid... Why? I stopped being naive a long time ago. Because, nobody is perfect. I learned that when I saw Jerry Rice drop F-bombs during a heated post-game interview, Magic Johnson admit his HIV status, Larry Bird and Dr. J's outside kids, Derrick Thomas' list of children after his death, and Shawne Merriman busted for steriods. I watch these players for the talent they display on the field. I enjoy them for the entertainment, joy and memories their athletics have brought me, and I leave it at that. We don't really know these people, but at the end of the day, that's what they are extrodinarily talented "people" who make mistakes just like you and me. I'm not going to stop watching because of their indiscretions, neither are you. Just like every Easter, Thankgiving, and Christmas, I watch a little girl (a girl who eventually left this world dead of an overdose on a bathroom floor) following the yellow brick road just trying to find her way home.