The Tiger Woods Saga: The Media's Mistake and Their Angry Backlash

Gregg RContributor IFebruary 25, 2010

WINDERMERE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Tiger Woods practices golf outside his home on February 18, 2010 in Windermere, Florida. Woods will make a statement at the PGA Tour headquarters this Friday morning (February 19, 2010), according to a notice on the PGA Tour's web site.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

If there is one thing to remember as the soap opera of the Tiger Woods scandal continues to unfold it is that we created this iconic image of perfection not Tiger.  It seems like eons ago that everyone was in awe of the man we all once dubbed as the greatest of all time.

The lasting image, at least until his next professional victory, will be Tiger at the podium in front of the now infamous "set" audience trying his best to seem sincere. No matter how sincere Tiger may have been, the intense media scrutiny over every aspect of the speech has already made it seem disingenuous. 

The lack of public speaking ability is simply one more thing to add to the laundry list of problems America currently has with Tiger Woods. However let us remember one thing, we made this man perfect he never asked to be.

Somewhere along the line the American public as well as the media decided Tiger Woods, because of his incredible ability and extreme focus, was a role model.  There was no possible way this man could be caught smoking a cigarette or sipping on a cocktail let alone cheating on his wife.  Tiger was just to good for all of that, he was better that the rest of us.

Then suddenly, one slip of the gas pedal and one sizable dent in a Cadillac later and all those fallacies came crashing back to earth.  All of a sudden everyone realized that Tiger could make mistakes, he was not the second coming.

The reaction to this realization was not the same as it has been for athletes in the past. Even OJ was still embraced in certain circles until his most recent foray into felonies.  The reaction to the Tiger Woods "scandal" can be described in one word: anger. 

The public and the media where so angry that we had been duped into this dream that we lashed out at this man without remembering we conceived his Jesus like persona in our own naive craniums. 

The negative attention from nearly every media outlet has been unrelenting and the audacity of some of the commentators has been deplorable.  People that once championed Tiger where the first to throw him under the bus for making the mistake that some of them have quite possibly made themselves. 

It would be easy to use the old adage that there is no news like bad news but the swift and unmercifully reaction to this man's mistakes simply plays into the anger card. The media was so heavily invested in Tiger's continued success that the thought that the investment would go belly up had to be taken out on someone. 

In no way, shape, or form could the all powerful media make the mistake of propping up the wrong persons moral values and skills.  However, if this mistake was in fact made the media seems determined to remedy this error by making sure Tiger's image is irreparably damaged. 

The ultimate end to the saga would be Tiger walking off the 18th green at Augusta, victorious on a Sunday afternoon in April and never looking back.  Tiger can prove to the world that he is above the criticism and hypocrisy by getting back to doing what he does best, just playing golf.