Tiger Woods' Statement Shows Why He's a Champion and We're All Chumps

Bryan KellySenior Analyst IDecember 2, 2009

I'm almost certainly in the minority when I say this—most people probably wanted juicier details, a clearer confession of wrongdoing, or at the very least, not to be told off—but I thought Tiger Woods' remarks regarding his wrongdoing were extremely important, spot-on statements on the challenges of modern media.

Didn't he make you feel a touch guilty for Googling what you've Googled for the past five days? Jaimee Grubbs pictures, Rachel Uchitel Tiger Woods, famous celebrity transgressions (and for some of you, definition of transgression).

We get one shot on this earth, and we fill it with this?

I've actually never liked Tiger Woods, as a golfer or as a person. I played golf in high school, but never cared about the sport enough to admire or even be jealous of the guy.

I thought the statements he made to people on how much money he pulls down made him arrogant. I rooted against him in tournaments, but that's because I've always been one of those guys who roots for underdogs.

Now he is the underdog. And he sounds like it, discussing in his PR statement how there is an "important, deep principle at stake" in the ongoing pursuit of his extramarital affairs that is at risk, that he has the "right to a simple, human measure of privacy." I agree, and I can't believe more people don't.

I didn't feel chastised by what he said, as others have said. To forgive the pun, the guy has balls. He has every right to say what he said and to feel how he is feeling.

He has enough on his plate with an angry wife, and he has no obligation to explain himself further, give details, or feign contrition.

This is what happens when people actually write down their feelings, unedited by PR men or done without their consent. Why more celebrities don't respond like this is beyond me.

But I'm encouraged that there are still people out there who know a naked emperor when they see one, and the pursuit of celebrities' personal lives is as naked as they come.

Rise above. Evolve. Ignore what is unimportant. These are the actual measures of a champion, in spite of what the PR people are saying on ESPN.

Don't be surprised if Woods gets better at golf, because all we've done is fuel his competitive spirit, dare him to appear human.

The simple fact is that he is human, and so are we. I've cheated on girlfriends, too, and sent those texts, left those voice mails (though I've never been much of a dirty picture guy), and now I'm trying to think how I would feel if the detritus of my personal life was deemed public property by the jackals running the tabloids.

Before you argue it, let me say I've also never bought into the athletes as examples, heroes. Those are fine as fairy tales, but eventually kids grow up and find out that everybody cheats, lies, swears, and steals.

I never admired sports stars as a kid, so this might also have something to do with my position. I admired writers, actors, and musicians (and my older brother).

Most of these people carry on transgressions as a function of being artists; if they didn't transgress—take drugs, sleep around, act like assholes, i.e., be normal people—it would make the news.

But that's why I've always preferred the arts, and attack sports from as aesthetic a perspective as I'm allowed (when I'm not putting together slideshows of players hitting each other really hard).

They're liberating, they're free, they're honest and forgiving. They tell the truth, just as Woods did.

That's part of being human.

The unnatural process of celebrity, the grandiosity, the ignorance of common sense that Woods railed against, correctly, is also now a part of being human, but that does not mean it ought to be tolerated.