My article on Tiger Woods and his accident was meant to be partly in fun before I found out the facts about what happened. When I did, I pulled the article. I was speculating he was involved in a spat with the Mrs. Tiger and it was fun to get the jump on the truth of that. Now however, it is no longer fun. This is not a tabloid story, it is a tragedy.
It is a tragedy on several levels.
First of all, it is the tragedy of a flawed hero. Tiger Woods is the greatest golfer in the world and one of the greatest athletes in history. He is also very sick. He is a sexual addict. That is a disorder and one that should not be enjoyed by anyone watching him suffer now. He needs help. He needs our understanding and support at this point, not our jokes. I pray he will get the therapy he needs and heals as much as one can from this insidious emotional and psychological need in his life.
Secondly, it is a family tragedy. His wife Elin, and his two young children will be scarred emotionally for a long, long time if not forever. Their husband and father went from being a reputable man with a revered name to a international laughingstock and a shameful identity. He will carry this scandal to his grave no matter how many tournaments he wins. Elin will be marked forever as, “the scorned wife.” She will never be able to go into public again without whispers following her. That saddens me deeply.
It is a tragedy for the golfing world. Never, in the history of the sport, has there been anything like this before. Not even close. John Daly’s drinking or the tragic plane crashes involving Tony Lema and Payne Stewart were not on this level of stain. In fact, Tiger is going through something worse than death right now because he is alive to feel the worst pain imaginable for a human being, the loss of self.
Finally, it is a tragedy for our society which encourages children to have role models and heroes. Unfortunately, it is also promotes celebrities way beyond their ability to exist as normal human beings. We idolize blindly and then we personally assassinate brutally. Tiger is not being criticized right now, he is being massacred. That is a tragedy of societal proportions. None of us outside the media limelight would be able, nor should be able, to sustain any peace of mind with dozens of large trucks, spotlights, hundreds of correspondents parked outside our home and the obsessive gossip and unrelenting opinions of millions of people who are not any better than Tiger but comforted by the fact they are not in his devastating position.
I am angry at the way people are piling up on him. I do not respect the way some of his past women have used this to promote their own careers. I am appalled at the level of hurt that is being inflicted upon him. He is not a murderer or a 9/11 terrorist. He is a serial adulterer with a deep-seated addiction.
We need to slow this way down here.
This has gone way beyond a man who has cheated on his wife. He and Elin are having to leave our country to find solace and healing? That is pathetic. What is wrong with us as a people that we are pounding him incessantly while we smugly believe we would not do some of the same things had we been as wealthy with his opportunities with women or men constantly available to us?
I believe at some point, Tiger was so deep in his addiction that he prayed he would be found out just to bring relief to his problem. At least now, his sins are on the table. The healing can begin. If we let it.
That is my theory of why Tiger engaged hundreds of women. Why the self destructive behavior? When you are under the kind of pressure he was coping with and constantly having to perform at such an intense (and almost perfect) level, you will look to survive with an addiction. It is not healthy nor righteous, but it is understandable. Remember Elvis? Bill Clinton? Michael Jackson? The secret lives of the high and mighty should never surprise it when it catches up to them. The higher you go, the greater the fall and the more lasting the shame.
And that, is a tragedy.
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