Monday, December 14, 2009

Tiger troubles

I've tried to stay away from opining about Tiger Woods because I think this is a non-story - or at most, a one-cycle story. And I know it might be unpopular to say that my opinion about Tiger Woods hasn't changed, but it hasn't.

Don't get me wrong. I don't condone infidelity. Tiger Woods messed up royally with his numerous affairs after he was married and started a family. He has admitted all this, and he's taking a break from professional golf in an effort to save his marriage. But if you believe some news reports, the divorce is inevitable, and the couple will split after the holidays.

I say good luck. I hope Tiger and Elin and the two kids come out of this as unscathed as possible. Again, I'm not calling for Tiger's head like a lot of people I've talked to.

And I think it's because I've never held Woods up as my role model for family values. When making decisions about life, family or children, I never once thought to myself, "I wonder what Tiger would do" or "What did Woods teach me about life?"

No, I looked - and still look - to Tiger Woods as a golfer, pure and simple. He's one of my go-to guys for golf, not for fidelity and faithfulness.

And it's not like he held himself up as some great role model. If you really watched his actions on the golf course, you'd know that he curses loudly and sometimes throws clubs. He's doesn't always display a modicum of decorum that many of you would like to believe.

I think there's probably two kinds of people with opinions about the Woods scandal - those who look at him as a golfer and those who look at him as a celebrity. And I believe a recent poll bears this out.

Most golf fans still have a positive opinion of Woods, while overall public opinion has dropped dramatically since news of the affairs came to light. And that's how I view him - as a golfer.

I certainly can understand some of the outrage directed at Woods. I'm boycotting the NFL because of the Michael Vick, the dog-killer.

But Woods didn't take a life. He cheated, and he got caught. But no matter how much he sucks because of his lack of faithfulness to his wife and children, he's still the No. 1 golfer in the world.

That will only change on the golf course - not in the bedroom or the car or wherever else he's had sex.


  1. This is a well-written, thoughtful response to the Tiger Woods scandal. You make some great points.

  2. I think anyone who uses a celebrity as a role model is a fool.

    But everyone who has commented on Tiger's troubles has been a man. Men are forgiving about sexual affairs. But what about women? Tiger is a great golfer, but should companies forgive and hire him again as their spokesman? What message does that send to their female customers? As a middle-aged white guy from the suburbs who has golfed (badly) since the age of 14, I'm betting women have a different take on his character.

    Tiger may be a great golfer, but the bloom is off his rose. He sold a Mom-and-apple-pie image that turns out to be a total lie. He lied to the public and more importantly - to the women I know - he lied to his wife. I don't think that will be forgiven by women, and if advertisers are smart, they need to consider how many potential customers they could piss off by continuing to support him or to later forgive and forget.

    Finally, given how many women have come out of the woodwork, when did he have time to golf or practice or sleep? And how many of the men in his life helped keep his secret?

  3. Allan,

    Many of the women I've heard from have used various names to describe Tiger - a--hole, jerk, etc. But again, these women were not golf fans. They know of Tiger through his celebrity status only.

    And I think that somewhat backs up your argument because in the past, many sports figures have fallen from grace, and fans have forgiven for the most part - Rick Pitino, Kobe Bryant, Mark Chmura.

    The difference is that these and other sports figures who were involved in sex scandals aren't true crossover celebrities. Maybe, Kobe, but not really.

    Without knowing the demographics of each advertiser, it's hard to say what's best for each company. If Nike's customer base is predominately male, then it makes sense that it should continue its relationship with Woods.

    I think Woods - for the most part - will be forgiven. And if he isn't, it's not like he'll be destitute.