Friday, December 11, 2009

Tiger Woods: Damage Done, Too Much To Ignore

Can't Avoid the Awful Truth -- Sadly We Will Never Be Able to See Tiger Woods the Same Way Again

He never had his day in court. The law looked into the matter, issued its findings, passed judgment, and considered the case close. The media had other ideas. An unfortunate auto accident in the wee hours has become the springboard for an unprecedented media feeding frenzy that at times appears bigger than the O.J. Trial, the Anna Nicole Smith Death, and the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky affair.

While we repeatedly voiced our disapproval of the media overkill where a couple of tabloid/gossip organizations reportedly have millions of dollars invested in their exposes, short of not logging on to the Internet or watching the Greek Urn Painting Channel on cable, the story has been unavoidable.

Entering Thanksgiving weekend, Tiger Woods was atop the sports world. Coming off a season where he failed to win a major, his efforts were still substantial despite recovering from major knee surgery in the off season. The world seemed to love Tiger Woods. His carefully guarded image was perfect for advertisers. What’s the worst thing the public might have seen? A little bit of an ego – doesn’t that go with all successful competitors?

Tiger Woods was the ideal roll model. Set high standards, work hard, and achieve at the highest level. Be careful what you say publicly. Avoid controversy. Be positive. Who wouldn’t make a better “brand” for advertising product? The Tiger Woods brand sold Buicks, Gatorade, Nike products, and a lot of air time for PGA golf events.

There were whispers that off camera, Tiger Woods could have a bit of a foul mouth. The typical grievance based “black leaders” criticized Woods for not being outspoken for the African American community as those “leaders” defined its agenda. Golf is seen as the bastion of rich white guys. Naturally, there are still bigots out there who hate him for his skin color.

Who had the name recognition and general approval Tiger Woods enjoyed?

The damage is done now. When the PGA resumes play in January leading to its first major in early April at the Masters, how much discussion will be on Tiger’s golf game, what records are in his reach, and what his chances are for another green jacket.

The discussion will be on his relationship with intimate relationship with women outside of his marriage where every sordid detail will be all over celebrity gossip and sports programs. By the time the Masters opens in April, surely a number of bimbos will have had their prime time interviews. God only knows what his wife will be driven to doing.

The undeniable truth is everything about this story stinks from what details have been made public to the timid way Woods has attempted to handle his disgrace. Of course, how could Woods possibly have a good response when the extent of his trouble is so widespread?

Taking a wide-angled view of the Tiger Woods’ fall from grace, who are the winners in this mess? So far we see mostly losers. To call the attention opportunistic tabloid journalists and overanxious sports channel broadcasters have gained, while it might help their ratings and bottom line, can this be called a victory?

This is a horrible story, one we did not want told, one that we’d be better off not knowing. What good can come of such a human tragedy? Will it serve to help parents be more active in helping find appropriate roll models for their kids? How could it? Tiger Woods was the good guy three weeks ago. Will it perhaps stimulate a meaningful discussion of the sanctity of marriage and the virtue of upholding one’s marriage vows? That would be nice, but likely, probably not. The media will focus on the sensational, those things that titillate our prurient fascinations, they will not help show the benefits of virtuous conduct.

Time and time again, American society has been quick to forgive and give its sinners and scoundrels a second chance? However, how will Tiger Woods be seen in the future? What can he do to redeem himself?

For more than a decade, Tiger Woods has served as a great ambassador for the sport of golf attracting millions of viewers worldwide, but what is he now? What is he going to be?

His downfall is a terrible loss for all of us. We’d have a hard time counting all the ways we’ve lost because of this moral downfall.

We hope Tiger Woods will responsibly come to terms with his behavior and find the moral guidance to never transgress like this again. Whether he can resurrect his marriage might be already out of his control. We hope life will be good for Mrs. Woods and her children. Expecting the media will be sensitive in that regard is hard to imagine. We hope that Tiger Woods’ and the PGA’s fans will not let this story become a hurtful preoccupation. We must learn from it what we can and use it as a prime example; all humans are capable of great errors. While the most important action of all is too behave so such behavior would never occur in the first place, when we do fail, we must be honest and make amends appropriately.

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