Tiger’s Mulligan

What has made Tiger’s problems most problematic is the squeaky clean persona golf ball 2 crafted by his handlers and  sponsors which elevated him to a status mere mortals like you and I could never achieve. Unfortunately it turned out that this role model for millions of kids just happened to be human and is subject to all the failings common to the common man.. Now Tiger has to deal with being another celebrity poster child for humiliation, contrition, forgiveness, and redemption.  This may not be a bad thing because there are a lot of big boys and girls in our society that could use an example of success in this area.

Sure, it was robotic. Yes, it was choreographed. And it likely wasn’t written on a tear soaked piece of parchment by the light of a dripping candle. After all, this was Mr. Eldrin Woods we’re talking about; the focused, organized, and icy blooded Tiger whose life has been arranged since he was 3 years old. But does that make his 13 minute apology any less important or sincere? Apparently so in some peoples’ eyes; not mine however.

Before I continue and since honesty is occupying center stage, I must admit to being rather taken aback at how unconvincing he was in front of the camera; even for a person known for a less than personable nature when dealing with media opportunities. Lee Trevino or Phil Mickelson he is not. His gestures, pauses, and inflections appeared to be the result of bad coaching by some public relations hack or an image consultant that could use a little sensitivity training themselves. In this regard Tiger was not well served by his advisors. This was the time for him to drop his veil of controlled precision and squirm in the muck that comes with utter moral failure and expose his soul, from whence remorse and contrition wells. This is what his supporters had hoped for. We had expectations for how we wanted it to play out. We hoped for a Mickey Rourke style Oscar winning performance and instead we got Eliot Spitzer and Bill Clinton. But I can live with what Woods gave us.

So far this discussion is all about style when the real significance is in the substance of his apology. In spite of all the noise and criticism about the sincerity of his words, I choose to believe him at face value. The most salient of which was when he recounted his wife’s words to him;       

“….. As Elin pointed out to me, my real apology to her will not come in the form of words; it will come from my behavior over time”

Actually Tiger, Elin was speaking for all of us”. 

Tiger Woods is not just another throw away professional jock totally devoid of socially redeeming qualities. We’re not talking about Mike Tyson, Dennis Rodman, or Plaxico Burress here. Not only has he carried the weight of the PGA franchise since 1996 but is also an outspoken supporter of our military personnel, and a generous philanthropist in his work with the Tiger Woods Foundation and other charities.

What has made Tiger’s problems most problematic is the squeaky clean persona crafted by his handlers and  sponsors which elevated him to a status mere mortals like you and I could never achieve. Unfortunately it turned out that this role model for millions of kids just happened to be human and is subject to all the failings common to the common man.. Now Tiger has to deal with being another celebrity poster child for humiliation, contrition, forgiveness, and redemption.  This may not be a bad thing because there are a lot of big boys and girls in our society that could use an example of success in this area.

Woods has been dealt a hefty financial punishment for his errant moral compass as his endorsements are taking a wait and see position. They also agree with Elin’s summation of events. My guess is that Accenture and Nike have kept him on speed dial knowing that if there is one superstar in the sports world that can recover from such a public relations catastrophe, it is Tiger Woods. Already I sense Nike is preparing for his return as they recently launched a new ad campaign that deals not with winning and success but rather with how a champion gets back up following a knockdown. Accenture probably won’t be far behind as one can envision their next campaign with Woods. I can see it now … camera poised at putting green level, a hush over the crowd,  Tiger neck deep in a bunker, sand flying everywhere as the ball  rolls toward the pin;  …. “It’s not how you got there, it’s how you get out of trouble that matters”.

Sure, I’m willing to give Tiger a mulligan. We’ve given John Daly at least five or six. But even Tiger knows there will be no gimme’s for the rest of his career.

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