It’s all but impossible to go through a day without hearing the latest news on Tiger Woods, or as he’s now known “Cheetah” Woods, (sorry couldn’t resist). It’s still hard to imagine that just a few weeks ago, until that fateful Thanksgiving morning, we all bought in to the ideal image of Tiger Woods, uber successful biracial athlete, millions, maybe billions in endorsements and a seemingly happy marriage with his trophy wife Elin. Well, it certainly seems that the image he and his agents spent years molding and crafting into the quintessential athlete, the rare breed that transcends their sport and becomes a household name, even to those who are casual fans of the game, has come crashing down faster than last year’s stock market.
While Tiger’s sponsors speculate over their long term commitment to their once golden goose, it seems likely that he’ll slowly resurrect his image through the perfunctory goodwill tours, late night talk shows and exclusive prime time interviews. However, the one thing that perplexes me about “TigerGate” is why he chose to disclose so much personal information about his marriage to women that he was casually involved with. It just seems illogical that someone who savored his privacy as much as Tiger, would share details of his marriage with women, who were club promoters, waitresses and Reality TV show contestants.
For a man who’s every move, seems as calculated as his decision to use a six iron or a seven iron on the final hole of a major, divulging information about the status of his marriage to lesser knowns, seems ludicrous. Did he ever ponder that some, if not all of his dalliances saw their tryst with him as purely a money making opportunity? I’m sure that some of them truly had sincere feelings for him, but when they realized he wasn’t leaving his wife, apparently some of them made a business decision to continue seeing him and recorded every detail of their affair. And rumor has it that he allegedly paid the club promoter (Uchitel) five million dollars to keep quiet, which leads me to believe that Tiger really has no game.
No game, as in, if I wasn’t mega-rich and super famous, my interactions with women would be awkward, and a bit on the nerdy side, kind of like the Geek Squad crashing the Playboy Mansion. We’ve all seen Tiger Woods hoisting up numerous trophies on Sunday after pouncing on fools who dared to challenge him, and we’ve seen the ridiculous checks that he cashes for his efforts, but what we don’t see is the “real” Tiger. The one who really is a nerd, in the best sense of the word, not the kind of nerd who wears pocket protectors and funny helicopter hats, but the kind that knows he’s not a natural ladies man, but figured out that with his celebrity he could collect women, like kids collect baseball cards. The lesson that Tiger learned is that while baseball cards don’t talk, waitresses and Reality TV contestants do.
If Tiger really had game with women, he would have realized that his superstar status alone was enough to get what he wanted from those women, without giving away his hand. For they already knew, that his hand had already been given away in marriage. Therefore, there was no need to let casual hookups in on the private details of his marriage, despite how bad things may have been. A real player will set the ground rules in advance, and dictate the rules of the game, but in Tiger’s case, he just got played.
This is not an endorsement of cheating in marriage, nor is it giving kudos to the “Playas” out there, it’s simply my opinion on why one of the greatest athletes of our generation, a black man who turned a stuffy, all white gentlemen’s game into a hip sport is now considered a serial adulterer and an unworthy spokesperson.