Friday, December 11, 2009

Tiger's Fatal Flaw

I hate myself for doing this but I can not resist. I’m being sucked in like a hairball to a Dyson. In about a thousand words and sixty minutes I will be, perhaps, the billionth person to share my opinion on this little news story of which you may be aware. It’s the biggest story in sports in a long time. Perhaps it is the largest story every to waltz the line between sports and celebrity but OJ might have something to say about that.

I don’t even have to introduce the story, I’ll just get right to it. Here’s thing, Tiger didn’t break a law. He broke a commandment and maybe, a Swedish heart. The fallout of the breaking news of his philandering has been incredible, I wonder if he had just admitted it, wholeheartedly from the start, would it have passed by now? Afterall, Letterman pulled it off. With Tiger’s money, you’d think he’d have better handlers. This should not have turned into the fiasco that it has. Bryon Bell, well done kid, you blew it and now you don't have a best man for your wedding.

I think Tiger made a huge mistake. I will say at the outset, I strongly feel what he did was a terrible thing, it really was. On that we can all agree. However, we may not agree fully on ever aspect of this story. Cheating (or getting caught) is not the mistake to which I was referring. I think his fatal flaw was getting married in the first place, much too early. Elin also made a mistake - she married a star pro athlete who had yet to peak.

Male pro athletes have no trouble finding partners who want to transgress with them. The bigger a star you are, the easier it is. You can transgress when you want, where you want and with whom you want. There are obviously exceptions, but, in general this is how it is, you can’t convince me otherwise.

I'll go out on a limb and say Tiger hadn’t done a whole lot of transgressing prior to meeting his wife to be. He was Urkel with nice follow through – he wasn’t Wilt Chamberlain or even Joba Chamberlain. Along came Cupid dressed in J. Lindeberg and the rest was history. I remember when this happened, Elin was the first woman romantically linked to Tiger so it was noteworthy. Emails were sent around with pictures of Tiger’s girlfriend and the world collectively gave a solid single ‘of course that’s Tiger’s girlfriend’ nod. I’m sure at this point, Tiger was very excited but knew not what was to come.

From all reports, it appears it was just months prior to his wedding day that Tiger first transgressed. Although, this seems to change daily as women come out of the woodwork telling of their exploits with the big cat. I could be wrong, but there’s a good chance that it was a little while before this that Tiger was first being put in the position to turn down offers to transgress constantly. I would also lay down some money that he did hit the reject button on many of the early offers. However, not that I can relate, but it must have begun to get difficult for him to be turning his head from so much Tiger bait. It seems that at some point he decided he was going to take a run at everything that came his way. Sad, really. Eventually, he reaches the point where he realizes that he isTiger Woods. For someone who is renowned to be the most mentally tough golfer of all time, his toughness clearly is left for golf.

At the point he gives in, he is the biggest star on the planet and still getting bigger. It was bound to happen.

With mistakes come penalties.

Tiger’s penalty when you break it all down is monetary. His image is forever tarnished. He made golf cool, which was no easy task. He got ripped, he looked good, he won everything, he reaped insane benefits. The bigger they are the harder they fall. Tiger is now going to lose a ton. Anyone who thinks he is going to make his way out of this is a few clubs short of a set. This putt is going to hang on the lip of the cup and not fall. If you’re expecting a fist pump, forget it. And once it’s gone, it won’t be easy to get back. Michael Jordan, I’m sure you’re reading this, get ready to take the throne back, even with the $170 million payment to your ex, you're back on top as the highest earning athlete of all time. Tiger’s endorsements are taking a hit from which he will not recover.

Elin’s penalty is losing Tiger and having to mend a broken heart, presumably. The interesting thing is that we’ve heard just one side of the story. I would be surprised, as would we all, if all of a sudden Elin admitted to transgressions. It would be high comedy if starting revealing male mistresses of Elin. The point is, we only know what Tiger was doing. In any event, everyone has had a break-up, a lot of people with families and it can’t be easy. However, people bounce back and I expect in some time, maybe sooner than we think, Elin will as well. Why wouldn’t she? Not to mention, she should be sitting on a fine wad of cash. So, Elin’s penalty is bouncebackable.

So who is the big loser in all of this? It has to be Tiger, doesn't it?

I'm not defending Tiger Wood's actions by any means. I am simply saying that he made a massive error that other young athletes before him had also made. When every young athlete turns pro, advice on relations with the fairer sex should be mandatory. Rookie orientation 101 should include the following lesson "Marrying Before You Retire: Don't do it". Before you can turn pro, you have to get an A+ in this course. Tiger can be guest lecturer. If you just can't pass this course, perhaps you have to take a course in cheating. Tiger would get an F-minus in both.

In the end both Elin and Tiger are going to be fine, this much we all know. I just think Tiger has done too much damage to repair it with a Kobe.

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