Sunday, February 21, 2010

The real hero of Tiger's tail

I finally got to see a taped replay of the Tiger Woods I'm-so-sorry-please-don't-take-away-anymore-of-my-endorsements one-act play and after it was all over I was left with this: "Really? She never hit him? Why in heaven's name not? He certainly deserved it. She must really be a saint."

If it was Tiger's aim to portray his wife Elin (pictured here) as the real hero of this saga and foster the notion that she should get out of this marriage as quickly as possible, he did a damn fine job. If his goal was anything else, he failed miserably. I have to give her additional points for not being at this event, unlike the wife of New Jersey Gov. James McGreevy who idiotically stood by her husband's side as he announced his was resigning and going to live with his male lover. No, Elin had the good sense not to be anywhere within camera range at Tiger's charade and you could read between the lines of her parents' "no comments" to know exactly how they felt about this one-ring circus.

I guess your opinion on this whole thing depends entirely upon the baggage you carried into it. Me? I don't care a whit about golf. I have no intention of ever watching a round of golf on television (it falls even below the pairs figure skating at the Winter Olympics as an event I wouldn't waste my time with). Give me a college football game, a college or a pro basketball game (these last two Mavericks games were marvelous theater), an English Premier League or World Cup soccer game, or a New York Yankees baseball game and I'm there. But golf? Blaaaahhhh!

I have nothing against those professionals that play the game. In fact, I rather liked to read about Annika Sorenstam, mainly because both physically and because of her drive for perfection she reminded me of My Hero. Tiger, to me, is just another name on the sports pages, like those Nascar drivers who all seemed to be named Bob Johnson.

Yet to many, may others, golf is a big freaking deal. And I guess I can see why. Most people will never run a basketball court like Kobe Bryant, or race for touchdowns like Reggie Bush, get the clutch game-winning hit like Derek Jeter or bend it like Beckham. But they can get out their trusty old set of golf clubs and head out for the very same courses tread by the great ones. Playing with a group of just three other guys at the Augusta Country Club, they can picture themselves trying to sink this put to win the Masters with thousands of people holding their collective breath in the gallery.

To these people, I guess, Tiger Woods is a positive symbol and they want him to do well. Woods, for all practical purposes, has saved the game of professional golf -- even elevated it. I saw an astounding graphic the other day that showed how many golfers had won $1 million in a single year before Tiger joined the tour and how many last year. The increase was astronomical -- something in the neighborhood, if I recall, of 50 times as many.

So, if you are one of these, you probably thought ol' Tiger did OK with his public confession. More power to ya. But, if you're like my son and My Hero -- the two individuals I have had analytical discussions about the event with -- you probably agree the entire thing was a complete waste of time. Yet you may also be shouting: "Run, Elin! Run!"

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