Thursday, April 7, 2011

Rooting for Tiger Woods The Golfer and In Turn Pulling For Tiger Woods The Person

My wife and I have been watching “The Kennedy’s” series on Reelz Channel.  In the series JFK’s personal life and marriage are portrayed as not very faithful.  We got into a discussion about it of course when she stated “He is such a dog…if you ever cheat on me…!”  I of course refuted her claims that I would ever do that, and stated that in the late 50’s and early 60’s it was a more accepted thing for men to do.  I also stated that if it was common knowledge it was kept behind close doors and out of the media because a personal life was separate from a public one.  She didn’t like that answer and through four episodes she is still not fond of the lack of faithfulness from our former President. 

With the Masters starting today Tiger Woods is again the talk of the media.  Woods lives in a time that is opposite of Mr. Kennedy’s, when a private life doesn’t exist and anything a celebrity does is fair game for media outlets all over the world.  The information age has allowed any rumor or truth to get out to millions the second it happens.  Twitter, texts, Facebook, 24 hour news channels etc…all allow information to get to the public in the blink of an eye.  While you and I think this is great, Tiger Woods probably thinks not so much.

On November 27th 2009 Tiger Woods world came crashing to a sudden halt, literally when his SUV crashed at his Florida mansion.  The original story was that his wife, Elin Nordegren, was inside the house when she heard the crash.  She ran out of the house and smashed out the back window of the SUV.  The Police came and the story was that Woods had crashed his car while pulling out of his driveway, no alcohol was involved and Woods was treated and released.  In the coming weeks, holes were found in the story and jokes were made on every late night talk show. 

What followed that night was the demise of the most popular athlete in the world.  His affairs came to light, mostly by ex’s and jaded past affairs.  TMZ was all over it and every tabloid and media outlet couldn't get enough of it.  It seemed as though a new affair was found every fifteen minutes.  As a result, Tiger and Elin divorced in August of 2010.  His inability to remain faithful to his wife, coupled with the media frenzy of dragging every past affair into the open had ended his life as he knew it.  He checked into a clinic for a time to deal with what was dubbed a sex addiction and tried his best to stay out of the media spotlight. 

During 2010 while the divorce was ongoing, Woods did what he knows best and returned to golf.  The game that had made him a celebrity and vaulted him to a popularity status not seen since Michael Jordan was now his sanctuary.  When he was on the course he could concentrate on golf, not his divorce, not the story of the week in the media, just him and a game.  The problem was his game wasn't close to what it had been in the past.  Woods had his worst year of his storied career and now everyone has questioned is he done?  Can he return to what he was? 

I am not condoning what Tiger Woods did to his wife and his family.  What he did in breaking the vows of marriage I could never do.  But if looked at in the big picture, there are worse things.  He cheated on his wife, this is nothing new in human history, it has occurred since relationships began.  The only difference between Tiger Woods cheating and your neighbor down the street doing the same, is that no one in the media would care about your neighbors, unless of course you live next to a celebrity.  Woods has paid his penance; he lost his wife and his marriage in addition to the millions he lost in endorsements.  In the end the one that he hurt the most was himself. 

As down as Woods was last season and with his terrible last couple of years personally and professionally this weekend begins a new chapter in the Tiger Woods story.  The divorce is behind him and I believe he has become a better person and father now that he is on the other side of the storm.  I find myself routing for him and wanting him to complete his return by getting his game back and returning to be the dominate player he once was.  I think some of Tiger’s fan base feels the same; they are ready to return to rooting for Tiger Woods the golfer and in turn pulling for Tiger Woods the person. 

Woods is not done, he may never be the golfer that he once was when he dominated the tour and people feared playing him.  The fear of Tiger Woods is over, but that does not mean that he can not get it back.  I think 2011 will show signs of what we expect out of Tiger and it will start with the Masters this weekend.  Will he win it?  Not sure, possibly.  Will he be as bad as he was a year ago?  No way. 

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