Hey, did you hear Tiger Woods crashed his Escalade over the holiday weekend?
Any shred of doubt as to who the most influential professional athlete on Planet Earth is should be gone. The best golfer on the globe demands so much attention that the attention is a story.
It's gotten to the point that even non-fans are being pushed into his orbit (nature never sucks).
I've yet to watch a round of golf in which I wasn't participating. Furthermore, I don't particularly care about Woods and never have since my college days when his former pledge brothers told me enough genuine stories about the dude to confirm the only thing that rivals his prodigious talent is his equally monumental ego.
A boring spectator sport being dominated by an astoundingly self-centered, petulant adult-brat? Thanks, but no thanks.
This gated-community fiasco is a whole different cup o' tea, though. It's a legitimate news story partially because of what Tiger Woods represents and partially because of his arrogant attempt at deception.
The minute Eldrick's official statement was released and digested, Woods himself ensured that this story would have legs for miles and miles.
You can't call the rumors flying around the traditional media/blogosphere "unfounded," malicious," and "irresponsible." You can't say, "[m]y family and I deserve some privacy no matter how intrusive some people can be."
You can't try to shift the crosshairs onto the clamoring horde.
Not when you're a married father of two linked to some club-hopping hussy who appears to have more boobs than brains. Not when the official story explaining an accident in the wee hours of Thanksgiving involves a semi-conscious, 200-pound body being dragged out of a crashed luxury utility vehicle by a 110-pound ex-supermodel. Not when she allegedly knocked out TWO windows to do it.
I mean, has Elin Nordegren suffered brain trauma in her past?
What made her so crazed she would run around the large vehicle smashing out windows with a golf club? Did she think the car was going to explode? Why would she have this sense of extreme urgency over an accident so mild the airbags didn't deploy?
This is not a reasonable narrative.
The firestorm could've been avoided by a simple "no comment" initially—after all, it's not a criminal matter so nobody was ever entitled to an explanation. At that point, it was a private matter deserving of respect.
Contrary to what some commentators think, Tiger Woods isn't pulling some special trick by refusing to speak with the police. Nobody—not you, not me, not Joe Six-Pack—must answer to the police while in his/her own home absent a warrant supported by probable cause or some exception to the requirement.
That's the Fourth Amendment, baby, and it applies no matter how much money you have nor how big your home is. Until the police choose to create one by making it a formal investigation, there is simply no imperative on anyone to fess up.
Consequently, Woods still has no legal obligation to speak on the matter.
But the first attempt to avoid all embarrassment changed the situation and made it exponentially worse. Now, Tiger has joined the fray and seems to be using a bit of the ol' "the best defense is a good offense" approach.
In so doing, he's let the cat out of the bag, so to speak.
It's one thing to be a worldly talent, pimping shiny baubles on every airwave. To be that guy and get your tail caught in the wringer. Sadly, the general public has seen this enough for the charade to have become tedious.
Lying to the masses and then haughtily handing out judgment when your tall-tales aren't swallowed is another thing altogether.
The people always have an appetite to see that kind of hypocrisy punished.
Which means, whether Tiger Woods likes it or not, he's got some 'splaining to do. Sooner or later.
And the longer he waits, the harder it gets.