Tiger Woods' Public Scrutiny Having Little Effect On Positive Image

C KSenior Analyst IDecember 6, 2009

TURNBERRY, SCOTLAND - JULY 17:  Tiger Woods of USA leaves the 18th green during round two of the 138th Open Championship on the Ailsa Course, Turnberry Golf Club on July 17, 2009 in Turnberry, Scotland.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Very rarely has Tiger Woods spoken at length about himself.

For as popular a man as he is, very little was known about his personal life before the events that took place last weekend.

Over the years, tabloids and pesky media members have refrained from shining too much light on the flaws in Woods' private life. Countless other professional athletes have had much less luck, having their public image torn to shreds by overblown news stories.

Society lives and dies with its heroes, yet is willing to transform today's legends into tomorrow's failures in the matter of minutes. The rapid advancements in technology have merely aided in the demolition of these athletes.

The speed at which news stories and rumors can reach the public has increased exponentially. Credible information can be found on nearly any topic in less than one minute in a simple Internet search.

Because of this, privacy will soon become an element of the past.

It would be difficult to count on a single hand the amount of celebrities who have not had a personal issue, no matter how minor or major, pointed out in a mass media source.

Yet, somehow, the most popular, well-liked, and wealthiest athlete on the planet found a way to keep out of the public scrutiny nearly all others like him face.

So how is it possible that someone as powerful and influential as Tiger Woods is able to lead a life without the same public scrutiny of numerous other athletes and celebrities?

He is very rarely all that personable. Not many times has Tiger Woods shared a laugh with a reporter, appeared on television, or taken part in any public event not at a golf course.

He is as brief and to-the-point as any athlete on Earth. He prefers not to talk much about his thoughts and beliefs, and is especially opposed to discussing any aspect of his personal life.

Society prefers attention-grabbers, people who can entertain but who you can also relate to. Tiger Woods is neither of these things.

In a world as pre-judgmental as today's, where a large amount athletes are disliked because of their supposed "unrelatability," Tiger finds a way to remain atop the sporting world.

He suffers from the same symptoms of the athletes forever shunned by the public, yet has been immune to the harsh public scrutiny.

It was not until the eventful night of Nov. 27, 2009 that Woods began to experience the true life of a global superstar.

The rumors were floating all around, going in every direction. By now, we have all heard the reports and stories from supposedly accountable sources.

The affairs, the disputes with his wife, the public admissions, the recordings; it has all been released to the public since the happenings of that early Friday morning.

Very little said about the situation has been in Tiger Woods' favor. Yet, somehow, the public seems to have turned a blind eye to the fact that he has committed several demeaning and improper acts.

There are those who have taken the hammer down on Tiger, but not nearly to the extent of athletes such as Alex Rodriguez, Sean Avery, Adam "Pacman" Jones, Michael Vick, and Ron Artest.

It seems as if once the PGA season begins in 2010, the amount of supporters for Tiger Woods will fail to see a dramatic change. Sure, there will be the hecklers and many will showcase their displeasure with him. But the majority will remain fans of Tiger.

In the grand scheme of things, Woods is receiving a simple slap on the hand from the public compared to others in his situation. The extreme scrutiny of the past week has done little to harm his image.

In a very recent ESPN.com poll, the question of how you would root for Tiger Woods after all that has occurred over the past week. You could select either more than you did before, about the same, or less than before.

An overwhelming majority chose about the same, and it was nearly even between less and more than before.

People today are extremely quick to turn their back on those they look up to, but have yet to do so with Tiger Woods. There is no logical explanation as to why, though.

If this were Peyton Manning, the situation would make a tad more sense. He is very relatable, has appeared all over television, and is extremely likable.

Tiger, as stated before, is none of these things.

The true judgement on the number of supporters Woods lost will be seen in the coming months. But so far, the public continues to react in a very peculiar way.

People are more intrigued by the story than they are upset with it, which is odd when you compare it to the situation of the athletes listed above.

Society adores Tiger Woods, that can be said with not a single a doubt. It will continue to do so, barring any inexcusable and unforeseen acts in the future.

The answer as to why will remain unknown for as long as the question shall be asked.

It is plausible that the public is simply unsure of how to react to such a shocking story. Or maybe it is because of the way in which the story was first reported, giving the initial thought that Tiger Woods was in serious condition.

Whichever and whatever it may be, Tiger Woods should be extremely thankful to have retained almost equal popularity as before his life was turned upside down.


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