"I'm not a role model... Just because I dunk a basketball doesn't mean I should raise your kids."
Charles Barkley 1993
"I'm not a role model... Just because I'm the greatest golfer of all time doesn't mean I should raise your kids."
Tiger Woods remix 2010
This whole Tiger Woods issue has been in the air now for nearly 5 months since the car wreck. I realized this morning that it had not even been discussed on the blog, and I feel there are several reasons why which happen to line up with the reasoning why the blog hasn't given it much air time.
Reason 1: Tiger Woods doesn't owe the public anything. Not a thing. The only thing he "owes" us is his best effort when he plays golf, and even that is arguable. His personal life has nothing to do with any of us. Jim Rome however feels much differently, saying on his radio program to Tiger that "This isn't just going to go away. You HAVE to say something and address all these questions. You owe the public that." NO. No he doesn't. Golf is his job.
Reason 2: The public response and the media response has upset me a bit. People really expect these world class athletes to be world class Christians and Moral pillars in the community as well. Doesn't work that way. Michael Jordan ran around on his wife. Ditto for A. Rod. OJ Simpson might have murdered his. Babe Ruth was a notorious cheater. Kobe Bryant cheated on his beautiful wife with an unattractive Hotel Clerk. Sometimes there is a price to be paid in morals and conscience for World Class skills on the Field, Golf Course, and Court. This whole thing sounds exactly like the 90's with Charles Barkley. Why do so many people look to celebrities for moral example and behavior away from their respective court? They are a professional because they can do something not many other people can do, not because they are a fantastic citizen. If talent was directly linked to how nice a person you were, Mother Teresa might have won 8 consecutive Wimbledons and 2 World Series with the Yankees. I would have thought people would have gotten it back in '93 when Charles said it in the Nike Commercial. Parents should be their kids role models. It certainly also doesn't help that those of us who are fans of him on the golf course are being persecuted now because we aren't up in arms about him hitting 12 mistresses on the side. I don't know Elin. I don't know the mistresses. I could care less. How about him hitting 12 more majors? That's what I care about as a sports fan. THE SPORT.
Now where does this all leave us?
Will Tiger Woods return to the golf course and be a shell of his former self because of the pressures he has on him, his soon to come divorce ( I think it will happen and she will take HALF). Will he play golf for 10 or 12 more years, win 1 major, and that will be the end? I think not. I think he comes back in what Bill Simmons calls "Eff you" mode and goes on a rampage. I think he shatters Jack's records in the next 4 years and cements his spot as the greatest Golfer to ever live. And I think he does it angrily. This behavior has precedence. When Andre Agassi and Brooke Shields divorced in the late 90's Andre returned and played the best tennis of his career, winning more majors and completely retooling his game. I hope so. It would be criminal for the greatest golfer ever to miss out on reaching his zenith due to the adoring public's expectations.