I hate Tiger Woods.
I fully admit, he’s probably the best athlete to ever don funny pants and walk around hitting a small ball with a crooked club. He’s only a few years older than I am, so I distinctly remember being a teenager and watching him make his meteoric rise to stardom. The world LOVED this guy. An African-American phenom who seemingly had his head screwed on straight, worked hard on his game and never seemed to say or do anything even remotely controversial? Tiger was the second coming of Arnold Palmer mixed with Michael Jordan.
But I never liked him. Mostly because I tend to gravitate toward athletes I feel I can relate to in some way. Athletes who let us in and give us periodic peeks behind the curtain into their personal lives. Players like former New England Patriot Tedy Bruschi, who lives in the town next to the one where I grew up, personally gives out Halloween candy to the kids in his neighborhood and regularly talks with his fans. Tedy wasn’t the most talented player out there, but he gave it his all and he connected with us regular schlubs. And that’s why we loved him. Tiger, on the other hand, is a golf ball hitting cyborg who never strays from the carefully crafted image his PR people have conjured up for him. Completely unrelatable and, for me, unlikable.
Well, I don’t think I have to tell anyone how things have worked out lately for Tiger.
He cheated on his wife with every stripper, IHOP waitress and hooker along the PGA tour. Despite his wife being HOT! He left ill-conceived voicemail messages on his mistresses phones, displaying a startling disregard and reckless abandon about possibly being caught. And apparently he gave absolutely no consideration to how all of this would affect not only his marriage, but the lives of his young children. Because make no mistake, those kids will ALWAYS deal with the aftershocks of Tiger’s actions.
Look, I’ve already judged Tiger. I think he’s a dick. But I realized something else recently. You see, Tiger is the biggest sports superstar on the planet and the reason most people watch golf. He has been must-see-TV for years, and I didn’t think anything could make him more of a draw.
Then this happened and, unbelievably, Tiger has a chance to come back bigger and better.
Unfortunately (but predictably) Tiger has opted to talk a stroll down Contrition Lane. He did what all celebrities do when they’re caught, which is go to rehab and drum up pity for “his problem.” He set up the most scripted and ridiculous press conference on the planet to “apologize.” He desperately tried to work up some human tears, although I don’t think his robot circuitry was fully operational. That’s all well and good and I’m sure it’ll work, but I have a better plan.
The truth is, Tiger has already driven a stake through his marriage and he’s one of the worst dads on the planet. Tiger the responsible husband and father is dead and gone for all eternity. He will never fully make amends for what he’s done, and if Elin knows what’s good for her she’ll follow through with a divorce and get sole custody.
If that’s the case, I have some advice for Tiger. Instead of running away from his troubles, I say embrace them and become:
Yup, that’s right. Tiger should completely reinvent himself, embrace his sexual deviancy and become Big Pimpin’ Tiger.
Can you imagine? It would be like in wrestling when Hulk Hogan made himself into a bad guy and became “Hollywood Hogan.” Tiger could reinvent himself as golf’s bad boy. He’d show up to PGA events with a half dozen Playboy bunnies and strippers on his arm. His caddy would be a bikini-clad hooker and they’d be caught having sex during course play in the woods off the 13th green.
Tiger Woods, the bad guy.
I hate golf but I would be tuned in for every friggin event! And impossibly, the world’s foremost golfer suddenly finds himself even more in demand than ever before. Sure he’s reviled by some, but that’s already the case now. There are many people out there who will never forgive Tiger for what he’s done. So why shouldn’t Tiger flip em all the bird and go down his own path. And since he’s been philandering with other women for years, I’d say there’s a fairly large chance that scumbag Tiger is his actual personality, instead of the obviously concocted Mr. Upstanding Golfer.
He’d be the New York Yankees of the golf world. And as every Yankee-hater knows, people love to hate the bad guy. But even though we hate the Yankees, we are ALWAYS paying attention to what they’re doing.
So yes, Tiger is a huge asshole. But you know what? At least he’s interesting now. Here’s to hoping he gives in to the dark side.