Tiger Woods is Guilty, but So are You

April 27, 2010

By this point, you’d have to be hiding under a rock to not know more than you probably want to about Tiger Woods and his string of affairs. The interesting part of this to me is the forced, robotic speech he gave a few weeks ago, which was basically considered his public apology for the whole sordid mess.

I don’t think it’s any of our business what goes on in this guy’s private life. I don’t give a shit about golf, so I don’t think he “owes the sport” anything, either. But Nike’s not paying me the gross domestic product of a small country to shill for them, so if Woods and his public relations people thought it was necessary to make a statement like this, fine. I’ll give Woods credit for admitting to multiple affairs in front of his mom.

Most of his prepared statement didn’t really register with me, it was your typical “I’m sorry I got caught” mea culpa, which most people will either forget or forgive once Tiger’s out on the golf course again. He did say one thing I couldn’t believe, though. He basically said that he didn’t function under a different set of rules as anyone else. This is bullshit. Well intentioned bullshit, but bullshit all the same.

Professional athletes, or really anyone with a ridiculous amount of money in their checking accounts, do live under a different set of rules. I suppose this is easy to do when you can buy your way out of any problem. It’s a form of intoxication, being drunk on the power that that kind of financial security allows you in our society and the feeling of invincibility it generates. This can lead to other forms of intoxication: drugs, alcohol, sex, etc.

But it’s not just the athletes that are to blame for these situations. I mentioned earlier the possible intoxicating effects of the money and fame that these people have. I submit that the athlete-fan relationship is one of mutual dependency. Fans are just as guilty of being figuratively (and in some cases, literally) intoxicated by the benefits of fandom. Many people use sports as an escape, me among them. I’ll admit to getting a little euphoric charge every time one of my teams of choice wins a game.

And most professional athletes are at least aware of the fact that keeping people watching their respective sport keeps the money flowing. If the entire country stopped watching the NFL, buying tickets to games and buying jerseys and other paraphernalia, the NFL would quickly go out of business.

To go back to Mr. Woods again, yes, the fact that he’s repeatedly cheated on his wife is reprehensible, but people around the country and the world cheat on significant others on a daily basis. Woods’ infidelity only draws attention because he is a commodity. We, as a society, have lost perspective on things like this in the interest of our own entertainment. Until the effects on Woods’ wife and young children become more important than asking if he’ll play The Masters, we all need to look in the mirror.

“Hi, I’m John, and I’m a sport-a-holic.”

14 Responses to “Tiger Woods is Guilty, but So are You”

  1. Kail says:

    Hi, I'm Ben, and I own Tiger Woods '09, and might even purchase Tiger Woods '11. I can't help it. There are no other golf games!
    Great work Tailor. Woods is one of a rare few–Jordan, Barkley, a few huge rock/movie stars here and there–whose presence in all media dwarfs so many others that it was only a matter of time before his intoxication with it all exploded for everyone to see.
    And if we weren't drunk on him…and stories like his…then The National Enquirer would not exist…

    • The Tailor says:

      Thanks Ben. I considred mentioning Jordan and Barkley, considering their own "problems" and the irony of their close friendships with Woods, but determined that it was too far off topic.
      You're right that an entire cottage industry has sprung up from celebrity bullshit.

  2. papi says:

    Wow 2 posts for Tiger, I also wrote about him a week before all this .Good post but I am not so impressed with him as much as i was before, you should read my November blog.

  3. Sam says:

    Athletes as a commodity…people as a commodity!…has always been a concept that has fascinated/disgusted me. What do we take from them when we hold them up to the light in this way, and what do they take from us?

  4. The Tailor says:

    That's the same question I've always asked, and what drove me to write this. I'm still not sure what the athletes get out of the whole deal, as many of them seem annoyed by fans.

  5. The Tailor says:

    I was never terribly impressed with him because I don't really consider golf a sport. He also seems to have become more of an icon than an athlete, being one of the only minoities participating in a rich, white activity.

  6. The Tailor says:

    That's the same question I've always asked, and what drove me to write this. I'm still not sure what the athletes get out of the whole deal, as many of them seem annoyed by fans.

  7. papi says:

    Golf is not a sport , really?I am going to take a guess and say you have never played.

  8. The Tailor says:

    Papi, I just have internal debates about how many of these things require actual athleticism, and I don't think golf is one of those things. That doesn't mean there isn't skill involved, because there is, but I can't quite call it a sport.

  9. papi says:

    Good enough.

  10. Kail says:

    I am actually all-inclusive in what I deem a sport. Like, I think Monopoly can be a sport.
    The only reason I'm all-inclusive is once we start divvying out the sportism, some of our favorite "sporting" events can come under fire from critics of that particular event.
    Plenty of rabid American football fans barely consider baseball a sport, for instance. "All they do is stand around."
    Plenty of European football fans barely consider American football a sport. "They wear helmets and shoulderpads?"
    I remember Mad Dog Chris Russo whining that golf was nowhere near as much a sport as tennis, purely based on athleticism and physicality involved.
    But I also know about a hundred people who despise tennis and think it's not a sport, something mainly for rich kids and chumps.
    I love all sports…especially Ping Pong.
    Drinking, too. Totally a sport.

    • llxt says:

      Drinking is definitely a sport, one of my favorites. And then there's choosing up sides and smelling armpits, which is something I kick ass at. But seriously, I don't think "sport" has to imply strength, at least not stereotypically. But it does indicate mental prowess & physical endurance–both of which are required of baseball, and–i admit–also of ping-pong. My other rule to determine if something is or isn't sport: do i suck at it? If the answer's yes, than it's a sport.

  11. The Tailor says:

    All in the eye of the beholder, eh? Fair point.

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