Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The real Tiger says hello to the world

Its hard to believe that a person as disciplined, calculating, and intelligent as Tiger would believe that he could get away with all those affairs.  As recognizable as he is, it was going to have to come out eventually.  Then again, it took a freak accident in the middle of the morning to finally blow the cover off of all of this.  We still don't really know what happened that night.  At first, it looked like a domestic argument over National Enquirer's report of one of his affairs resulted in broken rear windows, a decapitated hydrant and a dinged up tree (not to mention the smashed up Escalade).  But now there are reports of possible drinking or maybe some kind of medication drug overdose.  Who knows?  All we know is that Tiger was in and out of consciousness that night lying in the street.  It wasn't the last time that circumstances would spiral out of his control in the last couple of weeks.

At first it was just the one waitress.  Then the women started coming out of the woodwork.  The number of "mistresses" seemed to exponentially multiply every few days.  ESPN is not covering the alleged affairs as they shouldn't since it is in the realm of his personal business.  However, entities such as TMZ do not care about his athletic accomplishments, they only care about his celebrity.  Tiger must've overlooked this fact and overestimated his ability to control the story.  It doesn't help that he seemed to pursue mostly cocktail waitresses who would likely look to tell their story for the money and/or the publicity.

Personally, this actually doesn't change my view of Tiger that much.  He always came across as someone extremely aloof and private.  He didn't connect to his legion of golf fans as much as other golfers seem to.  Basically, he acted like a corporate creation and not a human being, like us.  What he did on the course was impressively inhuman but how he acted off the course was robotic and generic.  Its why I was always more a Phil Mickelson fan.  He makes errors on the course much like we would and seems to value his marriage and family, much like we should.  He also values his fans - I've seen him sign autographs for 30 minutes while Tiger will sign maybe 2 or 3 times after a round.

Of course, I personally expected that Tiger was indeed faithful to his wife and wanted to be a good husband and father.  I assumed those things because I assumed that's what someone in Tiger's position would want.  Stability in your family life offers you stability in your occupational performance.  I guess his awesome golf ability was far greater than even I could comprehend.  I also figured that with such a strong father figure in his life, he would also want to be that kind of individual in his children's lives.  It wasn't until this week that I read an article saying that his father actually left a previous marriage with 3 kids to be with Tiger's mother, whom he also separated from eventually.  It is no wonder that deep down inside, Tiger does not really believe in the importance of a family unit.

Tiger's corporate image will surely take a hit but I don't think it will negatively affect his on course performance much.  He clearly has the ability to compartmentalize the different facets of his life extremely well.  If anything, it will probably drive him to win even more.  However, it will be interesting to see how his popularity will change with the fans as well as how his relationships with fellow golfers will be, Jesper Parnevik aside.  While I hope he can truly reconcile with his wife, I doubt that it can happen.  He actions seem like that of a sex addict.

Just 2 weeks ago, the number the world was concerned with when it came to Tiger was how many majors Tiger will ultimately win.  Now its how many "mistresses" he actually had.  That's a sad commentary on both him and us.

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