Consistency Is Key in Dealing With Tiger Woods Scandal

harry jamesCorrespondent IDecember 18, 2009

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 13: Tiger Woods watches his shot during the final round of the 2008 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 13, 2008 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

I recently visited a doctor's office for an appointment, and like always, I spent a decent amount of time aimlessly thumbing through magazines in the waiting room, while I waited to be called back to see the good doctor.

The now infamous copy of US magazine, featuring Tiger Woods on the cover proclaiming, "Yes, he cheated" was the laying on the coffee table across from me.

Since I had not yet glanced through the seedy details of Woods's affairs, curiosity got the best of me, and I began to make my way through the issue.

The nurse called me back to see the doctor, and she saw the reading material I had chosen to kill my time in the waiting room.

"Isn't that just terrible?" the nurse asked.

I glanced back at her and replied, "Yeah, I feel bad for his wife and kids."

"Well yeah, plus it is just sad that the guy is a dog," the nurse quipped back.

I gave a nervous laugh and cracked a smile. But that is when the irony of her statement began to sink in.

She went on to tell me she thought Nike should stop selling his line, because he was a disgrace to this country. The litany of insults flowed, pausing the tirade only to speak about my medical history.

It has been almost a month since Woods's SUV hit a fire hydrant near his home. We all know the carnage that ensued, which has left Woods's marriage, career, and reputation burning in effigy, all to the amusement and delight of the American public. 

I am not saying what Woods has done is not despicable, because it is. The guy clearly has issues with infidelity, lying, and poor judgment. But I can't help but come back to the nurse's statement in the doctor's office.

My physician, who I will not name for privacy's sake, has been an acquaintance of my family for more than 15 years. I remember spending time at social functions with the doctor, his now ex-wife, and family several times growing up. 

About six years ago, the doctor in question began an extramarital affair with one of his nurses. The subsequent results of the infidelity resulted in a child out of wedlock, a nasty divorce, and hurt feelings all around. I think the general consensus would be that the doctor's actions were pretty disgraceful in their own right.

However, the nursing staff has remained the same ever since I began attending this doctor's office, and despite the actions in the doctor's personal life, his staff has continued to remain intact, with some minor changes over the years.

I guess when it comes down to your own well being, a nursing career in this instance, it's okay to excuse infidelity or character unbecoming of a person. But when it comes to Tiger Woods, well, he's just a dog.

I am not condemning the nurse, because she has every right to her opinions. Being from a broken home caused by one parent stepping outside of the marriage, I know the pain that accompanies such deeds, and I have my opinions on the situation as well.

But you won't see me condemning Nike, Tag Heuer, Buick, or any other vendor Tiger Woods has a contract with. Why, you might ask. Again, it all comes back to consistency.

If Tiger Woods were simply, Eldrick Woods the insurance salesman, Eldrick Woods the local shop owner, or Dr. Eldrick Woods D.D.S., the American public would not care. Tiger could sleep with one, 20, or 100 women, and chances are you and I would not care. 

The truth of the matter is, whatever Tiger does, whether he gives to orphans or cheats on his wife, we need to keep the actions in their proper place.

Perhaps it is what Tiger represents to America, that has the world in an uproar, but the anger and outrage needs to be tempered with some objectivity.

Nike did not drop Tiger Woods' endorsement contract, because Tiger Woods still sells golf clubs, apparel, and golf accessories.

Nike did not drop Tiger Woods either, because Phil Knight and friends at the Swoosh know this is just par for the course (pun intended) in professional sports.

Michael Jordan, even though he's retired, is still one of Nike's biggest draw. Jordan still has a clothing line with Nike, and he still releases an annual shoe.

In fact, some of the NBA's greatest stars are a part of Team Jordan, who are players who wear Jordan brand gear plastered with the NBA legends iconic silhouette preparing to dunk. 

You may recall that it was revealed just a few years back that Jordan had numerous affairs outside of his marriage and fathered children out of wedlock.

But there was not angry mob camped outside Jordan's front gate, and there was no US Weekly cover with the Hall of Famer's mug proclaiming that Jordan was an adulterer, and Jordan's endorsement deal continues. 

Why? Because at the end of the day, Phil Knight does not care whether or not Jordan has one girlfriend or approached Wilt Chamberlain numbers. They just want to sell shoes.

We have an obsession in this country with watching our biggest and brightest fall. It is sexy to us, and those stories sell. But maybe we should examine ourselves first, and see the hypocrisy in our own backyards.

Unless the aforementioned nurse decides to leave my doctor's office, then she really should not be calling anyone a dog. Again, the action were reprehensible, but I will still watch Tiger play golf.

I'll still play the video game, and I will still buy the Nike TW golf stuff. I realize I am not perfect, and well if I am guilty of giving in to my doctor, why should I boycott Tiger for the same reasons?

At the end of the day, no matter what Woods does, he has entertained me for hours, and whether he is married to Elin or he is shacking up with another opportunistic, fame-seeking woman, I will still watch and those actions do not affect me.  

We all solicit business from vendors, physicians, and others who we know have done something despicable.

Unless you have stopped shopping at the store or stopped seeing that physician, then leave the judgment to someone else, like a higher power or Oprah. If you have remained consistent, then kudos to you. Judge away.

There remains one thing for certain, though. In a few months, we will have had our fill of Tiger's escapades, and we will have lost our interest.

By that point some popular celebrity will have died, or someone will have done something that will send shocking headlines through the gossip rags. Sadly, the same cycle will start all over again.


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