Saudi man gets 120 lashes
for having six wives,
two over the legal limit.
Come Back to the Tour Ag’in, Tiger Money (abject apologies to Leslie Fiedler). Tiger Woods finally spoke publicly about his transgressions. He admitted to being treated for “sex addiction,” said he was entirely to blame, apologized profusely to all concerned, and like a dutiful husband, praised his wife for her courage and bravery in the face of their difficulties and the paparazzi. He spoke for quite a long time and seemed to be sincere. What is one to make of this?
I certainly don’t go along with the sex addiction claim. Since when is a young, nice-looking, virile young man with a huge fortune and international celebrity status a “sex addict” for having had sex out of marriage with several young women? The cynic in me says this is bull pucky in the first degree. Having been caught, it was necessary for Tiger to perform some act of atonement. As he apparently doesn’t drink to excess or take dope to blame it on what is more appropriate than a sex addiction clinic. I wouldn’t be too surprised to learn if the clinic didn’t pay him for the publicity it will receive. And I strongly suspect the “therapy” consists of hitting practice balls and playing golf most of every day. Given Tiger’s status, probably most of the young women he comes in contact with are eager to jump in bed with him. And they can’t all have been bona fide “mistresses,” rather than one or two-nighters. I also suspect that many of his fellow professionals have had similar experiences, perhaps not as numerous or successful. To be as cynical as possible, I think Tiger may have wanted to say he enjoyed every minute of it and is sorry he got caught. But business is business and Tiger clearly knows how to make a buck.
It is said that Tiger’s apology even affected the stock market (probably the smart money rushing in to buy golf stocks). While Tiger’s endorsements may be curtailed (he still has some worth a lot of money, like Nike, for example), the PGA tour itself will no doubt benefit immensely when Tiger returns. And with his apology the stage is now set for his dramatic comeback. And unlike Mike Tyson and others who had to make themselves into villains to draw a crowd, Tiger is going to get the benefit of both those who want him to fail and those who want him to keep on winning, doubling the size of his audience and no doubt his paychecks as well. As far as the claim goes that he doesn’t fraternize with the others on the tour, that probably goes with being the best in the world. You don’t want to be too friendly to your rivals and lose any edge of intimidation or whatever. I haven’t seen any indication that Tiger is inherently anti-social, I think he just knows his business, and his business is winning golf tournaments. Perhaps he’s a bit arrogant, but that, too, probably comes with the turf. After all, if you’re the best golfer in the world (and quite likely the best ever), you are probably entitled to a bit of arrogance. It’s only when you fail to perform that you become humble. And coming from one who once threw his driver so far into a corn field he never found it, I forgive him for his moments of frustration and anger. Besides, he is hardly the only Pro golfer to have such moments (remember Terrible Tommy Bolt). And being perhaps the best known celebrity in the world, of course he wants and needs privacy.
Actually, I prefer to put my cynicism aside, and believe Tiger is entirely sincere in his apology and truly regrets his gross misbehavior. He’s a smart guy, and I believe probably basically a nice guy, I think he may well have been shocked by his discovery that he’s been acting like such a schmuck and wants to change and make amends. I’m sure he genuinely loves his wife and children. What saddens me is that this may well affect his career. His personal behavior seems not to have importantly affected his career up until now, but now he will no doubt be a greater target than before for every cheap shot and unanswered question that can only distract and potentially affect his performance. Our ridiculous infotainment industry, insatiable when it comes to scandal, may consume him. Another career ruined by a man who can’t keep his pants on and women who can’t keep their legs crossed? Or ruined by scandal mongering tabloids that can’t keep their noses out of private lives, perhaps both? How sad. By the way, did you know your nation is teetering on the brink of disaster?
It is impossible to imagine Goethe or Beethoven being good at billiards or golf.
H. L. Mencken
Curling is not a sport that commands my attention.