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December 2, 2009

Tiger's apology

tigerupsetgettyright.jpgThe news that Tiger Woods is actually a flawed human should not come as a great shock to anyone who has seen so many of our celebrity heroes show their unseemly side. Doesn't make him a particularly bad fellow -- just a guy with the same weaknesses as a lot of other guys and a lot more opportunity to surrender to them -- but it does require everyone who had put him on a pedestal to re-evaluate him as a role model.

The thing that stands out for me is fairly simple: We want our sports heroes to be the same people in private that they are in public, which is a pretty high bar for a guy whose image has been crafted so carefully to simulate personal perfection.

Don't get me wrong. That doesn't let him off the hook for embarrassing his wife and family and disappointing his public. He can talk about his right to privacy all he wants, but he's the one who -- quite literally -- put this tawdry business on the street and he's the one who has to clean up this mess, though he'll certainly have a lot of high-priced help with that.

I'll give him this, his latest statement -- which you can read right here -- is the first thing he's done right since the one-car crash early Friday morning that set off the media chain reaction which led to his apologia today.

His refusal to be interviewed by police for several days and his decision to hire a high-powered lawyer to handle a relatively minor traffic offense just ramped up suspicion that there were deep, dark secrets behind that nasty fender bender. That suspicion apparently was warranted, but Tiger's generic admission that he had committed personal transgressions that let down his family would have rang truer a few days ago, before he created the impression that he viewed himself as being above the normal legal processes the rest of us have to go through in that kind of situation.

Really, do you honestly think you could have turned the police away from your door three days in a row under the same circumstances? And, for that matter, since when is driving your car into a tree on your neighbor's lawn at 2 in the morning not "probable cause" for a blood-alcohol test?

There is a part of me that actually feels sorry for Tiger, though I feel a lot sorrier for his wife and family. He willingly made the devil's bargain to live in a gold-plated cocoon his whole life, so he got what he's being paid all those millions for. He can fly anywhere in the world on a private jet any time he wants and he can afford to buy or do anything his heart desires, but there isn't enough money in the world to buy him a little anonymity when he can't live up to the outsized expectations he has created for himself.

I know you won't believe this, but I wouldn't trade places with him for all the tee boxes at Turnberry.

Getty Images

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 1:32 PM | | Comments (38)
Categories: News of the day
        

Comments

Tiger, probably better than any world-class golfer, should know how to play a good lie.

His biggest mistake in the past couple days is the No. 1 rule any press representative should have: Get out with the good news quick. ... Answer the bad news even more quickly.

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Pete's reply: Yep.

Tiger Woods is human and in that he was flawed before we heard about this incident. Tiger will face scrutiny form the press simply because of his stature in society but he committed a sin just like each and every one of us has. He needs only to answer to God for his sin and then repair his family. It is really not our business to bring out or talk about the details of what happened. My message to the media is: please leave this man alone and for once report about the good things that people do and not just the mistakes they make. If we just understand that each of us are sinners and that no sin is worse in Gods eyes than any other, then we can hopefully move on to better things to talk about. Jesus Forgives when we ask for it.

Listen to the voice message he left for his mistress about changing her phone. Then tell me your opinion of the man hasn't changed. It's horrible. I feel bad for his children along with his wife. At some point they are going to learn what their father did.

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Pete's reply: There's no doubt that the public perception of him has changed, and rightfully so. But that phone message is consistent with the behavior of somebody who is cheating. It may shed light on the situation, but hiding an affair is all part of the same transgression.

Maybe if Tiger paid more attention to his putter instead of his pud he would have been a better golfer this year.

Celebrities are not, and should not be considered, role models for any other aspect of their lives other than what they are famous for doing. Tiger doesn't have millions of fans because of his personal life, he has those fans because he's a great golfer. He's an excellent role model for golfers and other athletes young and old with regard to golf, because he has been dedicated to his sport, practiced/practices it diligently, and doesn't cut corners to make himself better at it. If Tiger had gotten famous as, say, an advice columnist who advised about honesty in personal relationships, it would be a different story.

Kids and adults need to be taught that everyone is human. Some humans are better at certain things than the rest of us. Modeling oneself after that aspect of their life is acceptable (great athlete, excellent actor, etc.) Expecting them to be great at all aspects of their lives is foolish (especially in the post 1960's era of easy sex and easy divorce. Marriage no longer means what it once did, unfortunately.)

People do love gossip, unfortunately.

The sin I will always hold against Tiger is the whole "right to privacy" whining. He trades on his image/Q-rating to enter my living room every weekend trying to talk me into buying a Buick. He cant trade off the public's obsession of him and the media's voracious efforts to feed that obsession when it suits him and then whine about it when it doesn't without being a hypocrite. If it is ok for him to use the media to enter my living room for big bucks, it is ok for the media to enter his bedroom for the equally big bucks at stake in the daily media ratings wars.

The public and the media are going to be obsessed with Tiger whether he's making money as an advertising spokesmen or not. I think its complete garbage that people feel entitled to have the media barge into celebrities lives. By that logic then since your making "big bucks" off your employer they should be allowed to rumage through your personal life at will as well.

He's not the first person to cheat on his wife and he won't be the last. All the people pointing fingers right now need to stop and take a look in the mirror. I imagine if most of us had our dirtiest laundry aired out on a national stage most of us wouldn't come out smelling like roses.

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Pete's reply: That might be true, but he is a special case because he has sold himself as a special case. That's why it's news. If the media wasn't interested in Tiger, you wouldn't know who he is, and you -- and he -- can't have it both ways.

Athletes and powerful pols who have women and sycophants fawning over them often develop a corrupting sense of entitlement. They think the rules shouldn't apply to them. They get away with a few scams. After awhile they think they're invisible, bullet-proof. It's the old sin of hubris, pride before the eventual, tragic fall.
Duke Cunningham rode his war hero status to Congress. Then he took bribes--including hookers--and fell into disgrace and federal prison. Tiger now lives in his own, isolated, beautifully landscaped Purgatory. When he lost his dad, he lost his compass. Now he could lose a lot more.


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Pete's reply: He'll get past this. If Kobe could, anybody can.


Hey, nobody's perfect and all that, but Tiger Woods didn't become a Billionaire from his tournament earnings alone. He cashed in considerably on his (good?) name with lucrative endorsement deals and numerous appearances in commercials.

Such is the life of many a sports star. I for one can go the rest of my life without seeing Tiger, Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, et al. in another commercial, but hey, whatever pays the bills.

While I don't regard these folks as role models, they and the companies that hire them are not shy about using their good will with the public to hawk a wide variety of products and services.

But this comes at a price. I think these guys deserve some measure of privacy, but how foolish do you have to be to think that you can secretly carry on numerous extramarital dalliances all the while sporting one of the most recognized faces in the country?

Tiger Woods got rich off of a relatively wholesome public image that has been belied by his private misbehavior. Yeah, lots of men cheat, but few have gotten as rich as he has selling their public image.

Not to mention that his infidelity appears to be more than just a single one-night stand. It's sad that he has to put his kids through this, let alone his wife of just a few years.

Yes, not everyone can stay within the bounds of monogamy, but he doesn't even come close.

As Jack Nicklaus said a few years ago, "It's a long road to 18 majors". I think recent misbehavior keeps Jack at the top of the pile for a long while. I must say that I am extremely saddened at the way Tiger has treated his family.


my two sports idols were
brooks robinson and johhny unitas.... they stand alone
as human beings and treated
people with respect and dignity...

they never forgot they played
for a working class town in
a working class city...

they were always available to
give a homeless person a minute
of their time and some caring..

these men will never be
tainted, tarnished or less
beloved by me as they always
were true to their fans and
themselves....

today's athlete is overpaid
and too self centered... they
build statues for people like
brooks and johnny..

i wonder why????

thanks,

bob

His private life should remain private no matter how much the media thinks it deserves to know evrything about everybody, I sure would like to know how all you media guys would feel if youir dirt were put out for all to see, of course we know you guys have no dirt, "right"!

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Pete's reply: Totally irrelevant. His private life is private as long as he keeps it private. He put it on the street. Which media member pushed him into his car at 2 am and drove him into that tree?

FYI- I am sorry that Tiger caused all this, its disappointing but A) He had no legal obligation to speak with police, and neither would you and I and B) The police had no reason to believe he was intoxicated. Merely being in an accident, no matter the time of day, is not "probable cause."

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Pete's reply: It would be if it were you.

Tiger is a SCHMUCK! (sorry Pete)

He finally proved to the public at large what those that knew him have said for years, He's a great golfer but a sorry excuse for a human being.

May the Tiger Woods EA Sports Game R.I.P. at year 10

"Doesn't make him a particularly bad fellow ", OK Peter, I'll buy into that.

Does however, make him a bad father to his two young kids, who will one day find out that their father thought so little of their mother (while his hormones were raging) that he thought his out-of-the-pants fling was more important. Too bad for those kids. Mega-money in their bank accounts won't be a cure to know their "Dad" was a skunk.

What offends me the most are the skanks that he seemed to have slept with.

What Tiger did was disgraceful, but at least he tried to protect his kids from it.

What about this woman with the voice messages, who came out for no good reason other than to simply expose Tiger, even after rumours had started about a different woman and the whole accident thing happened? Dictionary definition of the word "homewrecker".

That being said, I was glad to see Jesper Parnevik come out publically and defend Elin, chastising Tiger for his behaviour. He had the quote of the week, in my books:

"I would be especially sad about it since I'm kind of -- I really feel sorry for Elin -- since me and my wife were at fault for hooking her up with him," Parnevik said. "We probably thought he was a better guy than he is. I would probably need to apologize to her and hope she uses a driver next time instead of the 3-iron."

I met Tiger in college when he was a freshman and I was a sophmore. You'll never believe it but he had one of those wet noodle handshakes where you wipe your palm on your pantleg afterward. I love the guy but this was handled like a wet noodle handshake-- leaving me with a sweaty palm I need to wipe, well, somewhere.

As they say boys will be boys. Evolutionary biology dictates a man should spread his seed. It's just sex people. The conveniences, comforts and luxuries of the modern world have allowed and facilitated monogamy. As a society we have decided that is the way to go. But that doesnt mean marriage isn't an uphill battle in the urge department for most guys. Those who have fame and opportunity (like most guys would never believe) often succumb. And those who are overly righteous about this topic, frankly just don't have the same opportunity.

So for me this makes Tiger more human. Though I would have handled it differently, the media and public g*ng b*ng he is about to receive is not what he deserves.

It's hard to feel sorry for Tiger Woods right now as he brought this on himself. The media is on a feeding frenzy with the case which is not surprising but Tiger can't have it both ways. The media played a large role in creating his image and the public stoked it by the hero worship and buying the products Tiger shilled.
Maybe some of these high-profile companies ike Nike, GM etc will take a closer look at even using athletes to push their goods on the general public, which in the long run, may be a good thing!
I mean with the dramatic downturn in the auto industry, how relevant is it to pay a billionaire golfer even more $$$ to promote it's cars when factories are closing right and left and the employment rate in Detroit is over 25%?

Obviously I know who Tiger Woods is, but I don't know the extent that he is marketed in the US. To me, that makes a big difference in how much privacy he gets in a situation like this.

If he endorses things strictly related to his professional skills and accomplishments (golf clubs, golf clothing, etc), then I think that he deserves more privacy.

If he endorses things not related to his professional skills and accomplishments, then he is trading in on his PUBLIC image (aka "Tiger's brand"), and he sacrifices his privacy. The public has a right to know how true the brand is, if Tiger wants to keep marketing it.

Tiger has choices, but none of them are without some pain. He can re-brand himself, he can stop trading in on his public image, or he can sacrifice his privacy.

I don't think that anyone would want 100% disclosure, but no one wants lies, deceptions, or manipulations.

If Tiger is honest with his public, then I think that his public will care enough for him and his family to give them enough space to work through what they need to work through.

Pete,

What I want to know is what does the caddy have to say? I mean, Tiger isn't such a low life than he makes his wife carry her own clubs, does he?


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Pete's reply: Fair point. Now behave.

I primarily have developed an impression of Tiger over time by what he does on the golf course. I've always been amazed at his athleticism, golf skills, dedication, and determination to be the best at what he does. He is one of the best ever at what he does. His ability to remain as good as he is while involving himself in so many business ventures and charities impresses me even more. He has always been well organized and very careful about the image he has projected to the public.

His wife and children - his family - were a side of him that was his private life. He hasnt pushed them on us. And his wife certainly has never been one to promote herself in the public eye. In a way we've had them "forced" on us because some in the media feel its their right to go outside the ropes and include every aspect of a person's life into the professional business that is their public life. Some in the media are only looking for some rare or damaging story that will make them rich.

I don’t condone what I've heard about Tigers behavior but its none of my business. This is something that he has to resolve with his wife, family, and close personal friends. (You cant help but hear about it every two minutes no matter what channel you watch - "news" is ratings and ratings are advertising dollars)

How he is perceived as to how he handled it with the media and public...no matter what he did, he never would have done it to the satisfaction of everyone.

I agree with Tiger that there is no respect for the private side of any person's life anymore especially if the media believes its "their right" to investigate every detail of a persons life under the false assumption that its "news" and "the public has a right to know". That BS - its about the money and nothing more. This isnt just about sports figures and celebrities - its about everyone. While the media might focus on the celebrity, they certainly don’t hesitate to pounce on anyone if a situation or story is "news worthy". (an opportunity to make money)

They don’t think about the aftermath or affect on others, only their "right" to do anything they want to get the story they want.

We're an extremely negative and critical society. Too many live for the opportunity to find and expose the human flaws of those in the public eye. Its like there's some strange satisfaction gotten from publicly exposing a person's private life.

How sad it is that you cant even tune it out anymore. Its forced on you, whether you want to hear about it or not. I guess because people trying to make a buck determined its "news".

Tiger Woods screwed up his personal life big time. But, he is in better shape professionally and endorsement wise than a lot of others for one big reason. He is the big name in golf. A lot of people won't even tune in if he isn't in the Sunday mix. He may need K Bryant's jeweler, but Nike isn't going to dump him for being human when their next choice in Mickelson or the #11 golfer in the world. Money first, morals a very distant second. Giles, York, PA

Although the shine is off the penny, once he said he was sorry his rehabilitation began.

Apparently, that's all one has to do in this attention deficit deprived society in order to move beyond the transgressions back into primetime.

Let's be clear about this. Woods did not make a "mistake". A mistake is putting on the wrong color socks in the morning. And like all of his philandering celebrity predecessors and those yet to be be exposed, all he is really sorry for is that he got caught.

I can only think of one celebrity or politician that did not regain respected star status after the fall and that was Orenthal James Simpson.... and that's only because he was not in a position to say he was sorry. He was too busy searching the golf courses for the real killers.

Peter - simply driving your car into a tree is not probable cause for a blood alcohol test. Leave the police work to the professionals.

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Pete's reply: So, let me get this straight, it does constitute "probable cause" if you accidentally weave out of your lane on the highway for a moment, but it isn't if you jump a curb and run your car into a tree on somebody's front lawn? You may be right as a matter of law, since the Supreme Court just upheld that ruling that somebody reporting to police that you are drunk is not sufficient to pull a drunk driver over (which is crazy), but I'm willing to bet that you (or any other non-celebrity) would get a sobriety test (or a blood test at the hospital) if you ran into a tree on your next door neighbor's lawn at 2:30 in the morning. And, by the way, I am not suggesting Tiger was drunk. I doubt that. I'm just talking about the deference he got because he was Tiger.

from what i read in the ny post and heard on msnbc tiger's wife has a 300 million dollar pre -nup, guaranteed 20 million if the marriage lasts 10 yrs and she is being offered $5 million to put this thing behind her and stay with tiger. sounds like a marriage made in heaven. no one should feel sorry about tiger. his choice. no one put a gun to his head. it seems like he bought her and had kids to enhance his image so he could make more money from endorsements.

Christopher: "What Tiger did was disgraceful, but at least he tried to protect his kids from it."

Excuse me!!!! If Tiger had been the least bit concerned about how something like this might affect his kids he'd have kept his zipper done up. I wonder how much his thoughts were on his kids while he was out bonking some skank with Elin just a couple of months away from delivering one of them.

I don't think I phrased that right...I'm not trying to excuse anything Tiger did.

The main point of my post was this other woman...is she going to face the same ridicule and pressure as Tiger? She willingly put herself in the public eye for no other reason than a little attention and to expose the mighty Tiger. So my point was, I hope she gets exactly what Tiger gets (and probably deserves) in the coming weeks and months, and that's the media and public tearing her a new one.

There are rumours Tiger broke it off with her recently, so if that's the case, her coming out is nothing more than pathetic bitterness.


Christopher,

The "homewrecker" definition you're looking for has Tiger Woods' picture next to it. He's the one who wrecked his marriage, not any of his (however many there may be) paramours.

He's been married a relatively short time and apparently felt entitled to engage in one or more long-term affairs, despite having 2 young children by his wife.

Yes, affairs happen, but none of his paramours took marriage vows of remain true to Elin Nordegren. If Tiger Woods has a sexual appetite that could not be contained within a committed monogamous relationship, he should have remained single.

Furthermore, he cashed in on his notoriety needlessly. He has made plenty of money through golfing alone not to need the extra lucrative income he garnered from his non-golf endorsement deals. That doesn't mean that everything in his private life is fair game, but he chose to associate his name, likeness, and image with products and services both related and unrelated to his profession.

I don't watch golf very often, but I could not escape seeing his many commercials given how often they were shown a few years back. Why would these companies spend good money to hire Tiger Woods as a spokesperson? Because they think the buying public at large holds him in high regard and associates a certain authenticity with his image.

Christopher:

I suspect the motivation for the woman coming out was money not bitterness, unless Tiger had made promises to her that he didn't fulfill. Who knows.

I don't mean to set myself up as a paragon of virtue because I'm not. I have never though fooled around behind the back of someone I was even going out with, let alone married to. My theory is that anyone who would crawl between the sheets with me knowing I was involved with another woman is precisely the kind of person I wouldn't want to know.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, may we please, please move on? We have been shown once again that no one is perfect. Fine. I say let the wave subside and let's talk about the 0-18 Nets, the upcoming SEC Championship game (Go Gators!), or even whether Pete's column was taken from Mike Lupica's (sorry, Pete... just kidding.)

Message to Tiger: Welcome to the human race. You're a flawed human being like the rest of us. Deal with it.

Message to Tiger's family: He's got some pretty big flaws, apparently. Figure out if you're willing to deal with it, and may you find healingn in the process.

Message to the rest of us: Maybe you didn't cheat on your spouse like Tiger. You are, however, likely guilty of envy, greed, covetousness, jealousy, excessive anger, or any one of the fascinating, horrible ways that we all fail morally on a regular basis. We're ALL flawed human beings. Let Tiger be a cautionary tale, and deal with it.

Marty.the.Gator:

If you want to move on from the discussion on this post, hit the back button located near the top left corner of your browser and select another one. Your welcome.

can't wait for the barbara walters special and him getting physically accosted on the View...

For as good of a guy he is, Ive read he's kind of a d!ck out on the tour.

hey, he might be joining steve phillips in rehab.
i'm thinking like you Shamrock, some free pub on the Sympathetic Hour with Babawawa is probably in the cards as part of the public reflective-rehab-redemption campaign. A group hug, including the smiling dog, should tidy things up.
Think he'll beat the "Tiger and Me" thrillers hitting bookshelves around Valentine's Day?
The guy is gonna make the cocktail waitress a millionaire ..and who says he is selfish and heartless?

The most unfortunate thing to come out of this, to me, is that I'm just so jaded and worn down by the sordid details slowly leaking out to a rabid public.

Len Bias, Magic Johnson, Roger Clemens, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant....and now Tiger Woods. I'm just not surprised, and have been crusted over with resigned apathy. I never held any of these guys up as saints, or even role models, but man.

We are all human beings who are not perfect. How do we know whats going on now between Elin and Tiger.

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About Peter Schmuck
Peter Schmuck wants you to know that, contrary to popular belief, he is more than just a bon vivant, raconteur and collector of blousy flowered shirts. He is a semi-respected journalist who has covered virtually every sport -- except luge, of course – and tackled issues that transcend the mere games people play. If that isn’t enough to qualify him to provide witty, wide-ranging commentary on the sports world ... and the rest of the world, for that matter ... he is an avid reader of history, biography and the classics, as well as a charming blowhard who pops off on both sports and politics on WBAL Radio. That means you can expect a little of everything in The Schmuck Stops Here, but the major focus will be keeping you up to the minute on Baltimore’s major sports teams and themes, whether it’s throwing up the Orioles lineup the minute it’s announced or updating you on the latest sprained ankle in Owings Mills. Oh, and by the way, that’s Mr. Schmuck to you.

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