Getting a Tiger Out of The Woods

"I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves," ... "I am not without faults, and I am far short of perfect" - T. Woods (

Update (8 Dec 09) |


Generally, my journal is reserved for topics of cancer and survival.  But this posting is more about the latter topic than the former. 

Golfers and non-golfers alike are well accustomed to seeing headlines about Tiger Woods, but no one has seen the press about Tiger that flooded the world this past week thanks to his reported spousal spat and early-morning pratfall. 

While some looked to rationalize his transgressions, many others chose to condemn and ridicule a fallen human being.  While no mortal is perfect and beyond making mistakes, the high and mighty sports personalities of our age are particularly susceptible to terrible falls and misbehavior. The extreme adulation that comes to these over-achievers contributes mightily to over-developed public expectations. What is most shocking in this case is that Tiger was deemed to be above reproach, somewhat like Barack Obama.  

Even while Tiger's life was tanking, President Obama was dealing with his own issues of popularity with public favorability ratings falling below 50 percent. Tiger would probably wish now for such high rankings.

Some of the more insightful out takes on the Tiger matter came from the Editor's blog for Golf Digest (January 2009 cover inset and here: Among the comments was this one: "Very disappointed in Tiger to say the least.  He was the ultimate, best golfer ever, handsome, beautiful wife, beautiful kids, and exceptional morality (I thought).  Further, his father was the epitome of fatherhood.  I got so I would not even watch a tournament if Tiger was not in it.  He's got to be totally 'Stuck on Stupid!' "

Needless to say, the internet has been rife with jokes ranging from the harmless to the harsh and cruel.  Among the more mild clips: What's the difference between a golf ball and a Cadillac? Tiger can drive a golf ball 300 yards.

In the end, Tiger will probably recover from the PR nightmare and perhaps the whole mess will ultimately tell more about us than will ever be told about Tiger.  Right now, the media is unrelenting in its pursuit of the truth or any information about the story that can be sniffed out.  Many in the media are hyper critical of the way Tiger and his agents are handling the matter (see clip below).  This is to be expected because a business man like Woods that has largely made his fortune through deft media management has to pay the price of overactive media scrutiny when negative stories surface.


Wood's sponsors, whose endorsements total an estimated annual value of $90 million, said they continue to back him. "Tiger and his family have our support as they work through this private matter. Our partnership continues," said a spokeswoman for PepsiCo's Gatorade.

Nike Inc. and Procter & Gamble Co.'s Gillette also stuck by Mr. Woods. "Nike supports Tiger and his family," the company said Wednesday. "Our relationship remains unchanged."

Time will tell how stable these endorsements remain if Woods continues to mishandle the public relations aspects of this story.  "The cultivated image that has come to define Mr. Woods -- discipline, focus and grace under pressure -- was shaken by news Mr. Woods crashed just moments after pulling out of his driveway in Isleworth, a gated community near Orlando," writes the journalistic team of Corey Dade, Suzanne Vranica and Kevin Helliker (

The rest of us should not have our faith in Tiger shaken because we should not have placed our faith in him in the first place.  After all, he is a sportsman and entertainer. The feats and excellence of athletes can be appreciated for their splendor and glory only on the field of competition.  Their personalities and persona should not be similarly honored.  Actually, star athletes are not unlike politicians in their ability to let us down when events and circumstances reveal that we have placed them on an undeserved pedestal.  


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Anonymous said…
The author of has written an excellent article. You have made your point and there is not much to argue about. It is like the following universal truth that you can not argue with: Intermittent faults will never occur in the presence of a technician Thanks for the info.

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