Watching that Tiger Woods press conference Friday morning, I became just a bit disturbed and disgusted by the fiasco. Not because Tiger was reading a 13 minute, prepared, apologetic statement directed towards his family, employees, co-workers, sponsors, fans and me/us. But because he had to read one at all.
The Tiger Woods we know, “The Tiger Brand”, the Tiger Woods Money-Making Corporation, is the one that hits golf balls far and well, creating scholarships for the under-privileged, other philanthropic ventures to help others, is the one who makes money for his sponsors………and a lot of it. None of that would happen if Tiger weren’t able to hit a tiny ball off a tee better than anyone else in the history of golf. That won’t change, at least until he leaves the PGA Tour a couple of decades from now. Tiger off the course, off the public stage, in his home, or someone else’s, the private man, is his, and only his, and his family’s business.
The only thing Tiger has to explain to employees, co-workers, sponsors, fans, me/us is why he isn’t doing his thing (sorry) on a golf course (he probably has…but that‘s his business) and when he’ll be back to doing that “voodoo he do so well“………that would be PLAYING GOLF.
All he had to say to employees, co-workers, sponsors, fans and me/us is something like this;
I’m not right at the moment. I’m taking care of serious issues that completely affect my private family life forcing me to take a break from my professional one. Please understand I have to work on my private family life before getting back to the professional one. I’ll be back to entertain you with my driver and putter striking my balls (uh……sorry) as soon as my private family business is worked out. Thank you.
I read that out loud. It took me 19 seconds. That would’ve saved him 12 minutes, 41 seconds of prepared rhetoric and my/our time.
Don’t get me wrong. I certainly don’t condone the inappropriate behavior, infidelities, indiscretions Tiger, the man, is guilty of doing in private. Honestly, I don’t care. It’s his and his immediate family’s business.
Tiger’s let employees, co-workers, sponsors, fans and me/us down by not being on the golf course. THAT’S IT. That’s the level of intimacy we have with him…………a professional one based on what he does for a living and how his expertise on the links makes us happy and helps others off it.
Tiger didn’t cheat on us. He’s, absolutely, let his wife, Elin, his two young children and immediate family down with his inappropriate behavior, infidelities and indiscretions. That would be true if Tiger were a janitor at Sawgrass instead of one of its more revered members (again……sorry).
Who are we to judge what he did behind closed doors especially since what he did hasn’t killed anyone, affected our economy or national security? I’m pretty sure some janitor somewhere, an attorney, a doctor, a fireman any “regular Joe” has behaved inappropriately cheating on a wife/husband, significant other and family. They just aren’t doing their professional thing under the public microscope. What goes on behind closed doors…………
This isn’t something new. Athletes, entertainers and politicians, with very public lives, have been engaging in forms of inappropriate behavior, in their private lives, since man/woman began recording history on cave walls. Same with “regular Joe’s”.
Friday, Tiger spoke for ALL PUPLIC FIGURES who’ve behaved inappropriately stating;
I knew my actions were wrong, but I convinced myself that NORMAL RULES DIDN‘T APPLY.
Quoting Mel Brooks, portraying France’s King Louie the 16th, in the comedy, The History of the World Part I;
It’s good to be the King!
Until you get caught with your pants down that is. Right, Tiger?
I’m not judging, but, off the top of my head, here’s a short list, among others, of public figures in the last, oh, half century, we know could’ve uttered Tiger’s, or Louie’s line:
- President John F. Kennedy
- Robert Kennedy
- Actress Marilyn Monroe
- Senator John Edwards
- Senator Gary Hart
- Prince Charles
- President Bill Clinton
- NBA Hall-of-Famer Wilt Chamberlain
- Lakers Hall-of-Famer James Worthy
- Lakers future Hall-of-Famer Kobe Bryant
- Actor Hugh Grant
- Actor/Comedian Eddie Murphy
- Yankees future Hall-of-Famer Alex Rodriguez
- Singer/Actress Madonna
They all live/lived by the creedo, NORMAL RULES DON’T APPLY TO ME because of who they are and what their place in the grand scheme of things is. Tiger continued by saying,
I thought I could get away with whatever I wanted to. I felt that I had worked hard my entire life and deserved to enjoy the temptations around me. I felt I was ENTITLED. Thanks to MONEY and FAME, I didn’t have to go far to find them.
I’m not alerting anyone to anything new when I say these public figures live in a completely different culture than you and I. You and I saying, “I have to make every penny count” is to these public figures saying, ”I have to make this thousand dollar bill count.”
A few years back, former NBA player and millionaire Latrell Sprewell, during negotiations of another certain multi-million dollar contract, was insulted by an offer a team looking for his services presented him. He said, and remember negotiations are in the millions of dollars;
How am I supposed to put food on my table and feed my kids with this?
Most of us are offended by a millionaire spouting off like that when unemployment is in double-figures. But, that’s the nature of his culture, that of the pro athlete/entertainer, and we can’t relate to it.
All these famous and rich people do work hard to make all that money. There’s no question. That doesn’t entitle them to make their own rules. But the wealth and public notoriety they’ve achieved doesn’t entitle us “regular Joe’s” to meddle in their private lives behind closed doors…………only their public ones.
So, shame on Tiger for his inappropriate behavior, infidelities and indiscretions behind his closed doors. But shame on all of us who, I’m sure, have made regrettable mistakes, and “can’t cast that first stone” at Tiger.
El Tigre, take care of your “addiction” and get your private life right so you can get back to hitting that golf ball a mile, winning some more majors and contribute to society helping under-privileged kids and teaching them the merits of hard work. That’s all we should be caring about.
Oh. By the way, thanks for, also, teaching kids that look up to you how not to disrespect and treat immediate family members and loved ones behind closed doors. That lesson was priceless.
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