Tiger Woods: Should We Have Expected Any Different?

Alan ThomsonCorrespondent IDecember 4, 2009

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL - MAY 08:  Tiger Woods dries his face before playing his tee shot on the fifth hole during the second round of THE PLAYERS Championship on THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass on May 8, 2009 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Once again, one of society’s preeminent personalities has been exposed as a philandering cad. Oh, the shock of it all. How many more times does something like this have to happen before we finally understand?

Apparently, to some folks, Tigergate is beyond jaw dropping. To these people, allow me to suggest that you retrieve your lower mandible from wherever it has fallen and, at long last, accept the fact that this is to be expected.

No, I am not a proponent of adultery. It is obviously an egregiously hurtful and destructive act. But from the perspective of a prodigy turned mega-celebrity, this is par for the course. And Tiger Woods is as great as they come at performing eminently better than par.

Accounts of his boorish behavior and indiscretions are now seeming to emerge from every orifice, no pun intended, of virtually every place he has ever set non-golf shoed foot. While some of these may prove to be dubious at best, there is no reason to believe that enough truth hasn’t been spewed to qualify the formerly antiseptic-repped links-maven as an accredited debaucher.

Shocking? Not really. Why? Because that’s what the “superstars of society” are programmed to do.  I could list all of the names of such known transgressors, but I’d like to finish the article while there is still time left for me to Christmas shop.

OK, I’ll name-drop a few. Michael Jordan comes to mind. Babe Ruth was notorious for it. I think Bill Clinton may have dabbled a bit as well. And possibly Michael Jackson, but I’m not even going to get near that one.

In the case of true prodigies such as Tiger, these are people who have been idolized and ass-kissed by virtually everyone around them since their youths. They have unwittingly developed an innate sense of entitlement. Their reality is vastly different from yours or mine. Many of the accepted rules of society have never been enforced on them.

They are programmed to get what they want while having any "questionable" behavior if not outright approved of, receive a blind eye turned toward by the sycophants who huddle around them. These includes coaches, school administration, occasionally the police, of course girls, and oftentimes their own parents.

Combine these things with the fact that superstar athletes never seem to mature in the manner in which the rest of us do because they don’t go through the same rites of passage that we do. Most of us progress through various stages in which our priorities change and evolve. The importance of high school gets replaced by that of college or trade school, followed by the beginning and assorted stages of growth within our careers.

Superstar athletes have one main priority from grade school through middle-age: their sport. Their world hinges upon the very same thing is has since they were children.

So what you end up with after all of this is an immature, athletic and virile, narcissistically programmed young mega-millionaire celebrity.

It should come as a shock to anyone that a personality of this type would cheat on his spouse?

Husbands who have cheated account for, according to some studies, more than half of all married men. There are still many who don’t, but according to my observations, do you know one of the reasons for this? Because a good portion of these men rarely, if ever, find themselves in situations where they easily can.

As non-celebrity, non-pro athlete civilians, we tend to live relatively mundane lives. When the most handsome, dapper, and suave among us strolls into a crowded Starbucks, he does not elicit a crowd of adoring women. At best, he may catch a glance or perhaps even a quick smile. Even the most genial and polished of men are very rarely able to parlay this type of interaction into a situation where the acquisition of latex is highly recommended.

Now imagine that you are an astronomically wealthy, young, athletic, and overwhelmingly popular and adored mega-celebrity. Your work leads you to travel more often than you are able to stay at home. Inevitably, you are going to be sought out by and find yourself in the vicinity of continuous bevies of attractive to “forgive me father for I have sinned” types of stunningly beautiful women, whether you choose to do so or not.

How then does a man like Tiger Woods, along with the baggage of his conditioned behavior described above, navigate through a near daily, unending stream of adoring women who would like nothing better than to get their hands, and other parts, on his, uh...driver?

I feel sincerely sorry for Elin Nordegren and other spouses of the blinged and notable who have found themselves on the disconsolate side of an adulterous affair. She doesn’t deserve that. I’m not condoning or excusing what happened and I certainly am not endorsing adultery.

I’m just wondering why we would expect anything different from someone at Tiger Woods’ station in life. It would almost be unnatural.