Did Tiger Cheat On Us, the Fans? Yes, He Did. Here's Why.

Scott LambsonContributor IIIDecember 12, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 11:  A TAG Heuer watch billboard with an image of golf legend Tiger Woods is shown  on December 11, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. Woods announced that he will take an indefinite break from professional golf to concentrate on repairing family relations after admitting to infidelity in his marriage. Woods has a TAG Heuer professional golf watch model named for him.  (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
David McNew/Getty Images

As the circus surrounding Tiger Woods continues, and rumors of alleged affairs and salacious encounters stream in, there is one thing we do know for certain:

Tiger Woods cheated on his wife, Elin Nordegren.

Apparently not just once, not just twice, but multiple times, with multiple women, and we still haven't heard the end of it.

Granted, some of the affairs haven't been confirmed, but judging by Tiger's silence and decision to take a leave of absence from the game of golf, it seems even Tiger knows there's more shocking evidence to come.

With what seems like all of the world's combined news media focused on the scandal, the question of late has been this: Is it any of our business?

Should we, the fans, simply ignore it? And when, or if, Tiger comes back, should we go about our business as if nothing happened? After all, it is a private matter, right?


Well, maybe not wrong, but definitely not right.

Like it or not, there is a major difference between the everyday Joe on the street and Tiger Woods.

Long ago, Tiger Woods made the decision that he was going to be one of the world's largest celebrities. He made that choice, not us.

He could of just decided that he was going to be become the greatest golfer that ever lived. Nothing wrong with that, and yes, a level of fame would have followed.

But Tiger also decided that he was going to become much, much, more than just famous. To be honest, and I'll cut him some slack on this, he didn't have much choice, being the greatest athlete of his sport, of all time.

But he didn't have to be the official endorser of what seems like, well, everything.

You name it; Nike, General Motors, Titleist, General Mills, American Express, etc. If you could sell it, Tiger sold it. If Tiger had an opportunity to be on TV, he took it.

It was Tiger who made the decision to come into the world's living rooms every day and sell the world on his image.

Through these endorsements, he made the choice to earn millions and millions of dollars by becoming one of the most recognizable faces in the world.

Now before I go any further, I want to make it clear that I do not blame Tiger for taking advantage of that opportunity. Who wouldn't? If I could make millions wearing Nike gear or by simply holding up an American Express credit card, I'd do it.

But with that kind of world-wide media influence, comes real responsibility. Tiger cannot shy away from this fact.

An entire generation of fans has grown up watching Tiger Woods every day of their lives. Whether it was Sunday's tearing up the links, or selling them countless products through the television.

This generation believed in Tiger, he was different. He not only dominated his sport, but he never "seemed" to do anything wrong. We grew up with him, we felt for him when his father passed away, we were there rooting for him after his knee surgery.

We believed in him.

So this brings me to my point. After a decade of selling the world on his talent, likable personality, and clean-cut image, in reality, was Tiger Woods really this stupid?

Now don't get me wrong. People make mistakes, people "transgress" as Tiger admitted to doing. But not everybody does it again, and again, and again, and again. Especially when the world, and millions of young admirers are watching.

What's truly amazing, is how long he went without getting caught. But so what? Eventually he did, and if he hadn't you can bet your Tiger Woods Nike apparel that he'd still be at it.

Obviously Tiger has issues to deal with. Only a handful of people on the planet could ever relate to him. Of course the old adage is true; Until you walk in someone else's shoes, you really don't know what it's like to be them.

But come on, Tiger? This wasn't a mistake. This wasn't a one night stand from two years ago. This is infidelity at its worst. This isn't a bad choice of judgement, this is an ongoing, serious character flaw.

You sold me and millions of others on your image. We've spent hundreds of millions on the brands you sold to us, because, well, we believed in you.

Look, I'm not saying that we should burn Tiger at the stake. But what I am saying is that is isn't something we should ignore either.

The word "cheating" can be a harsh, but yes, I do believe that Tiger has cheated his fans. It was his decision to sell and profit from his image and we bought into it. But as it turns out, the image he sold us was bunk.

The real image is that of a careless and irresponsible man who cheated on his wife and children, multiple times, with multiple women, and lied about it. And oh yeah, he happens to be the greatest golfer the world has ever seen.

Of course, many will see that assessment of Tiger as a bit harsh. It probably is.

After all, he has his charities and all the positives, which are countless, that he has brought to the game of golf. In fact, who has done more? Nobody.

Some will find Tiger's transgressions not as bad as others. But let's be real about this. If Elin were your daughter, your sister, your niece, how would you honestly feel about Tiger Woods right about now?

This doesn't mean that we can't eventually forgive Tiger. We can. Or we can choose to move on and believe in someone else. Better yet, maybe the best lesson that comes out of all of this is to not believe in any manufactured image that we are sold through media.

At the end of the day I'm not going to lose any sleep over the "Tiger Woods scandal." It's simply a sad story.

To be honest, I feel as bad for Tiger as I do Elin. Of course I don't know them personally, but I can imagine the embarrassment and shame they both must feel.

But I do take issue when celebrities make millions by inviting themselves into our living rooms, to sell us on their image, and then all of the sudden choose to tell us to kiss off, to leave "them" alone when they screw up.

If I had one reminder for Tiger Woods right now, it would be this;

Hey Tiger, just remember it was you who decided to come into our homes and sell us on your image, not the other way around.


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