Tiger Woods and Ben Roethlisberger Still Heroes to Me

rich hansenContributor IApril 12, 2010

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 11:  Tiger Woods waits to play his tee shot on the third hole during the final round of the 2010 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 11, 2010 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
David Cannon/Getty Images

Remember when we all rooted for Tiger because he was the greatest golfer in the world? Remember when Steeler fans watched Big Ben guide their beloved Steelers to two Super Bowls?

Remember when no one gave a second thought as to who was in bed with Tiger in his room at the MGM? When no one was concerned that Big Ben was going to pull a Mike Tyson on some college student on any given Sunday? When no one was writing death threats to the face of football for fighting dogs?

Well, I hardly remember the good ol' days.

I, for one, could not care any less if Tiger is a good father, husband, or friend. I care about him being the greatest golfer in the world and chasing records.

If I were looking for a moral role model, then maybe I'd be at mass on Saturday or church on Sunday, but I'm not. I'm at home watching the Masters.

It was so undeniably painful to watch one of the greatest competitors the sport has ever seen be forced to play four rounds of golf without being allowed to show any emotions. It felt about as natural as the latest Playboy Bunny. 

Anyone else notice how many times those sunglasses came on and off his head? Go ahead, Tiger Woods—smash your club into a tree, curse the ball, compete!

Thank God for mute on my TV. If I had to listen to Nick Faldo and Jim Nantz talk about Tiger cursing after a bad shot during the third round one more time, I would have lost it.

I tell you I cursed many times over watching the Masters. I cursed when Tiger missed a putt. I cursed when he eagled. I cursed when I burnt my sandwich. But, God forbid, Tiger curses when he screws up while doing something of actual importance. 

I am not a sports fan because I'm short on people to look up to. I've been raised to know the difference between right and wrong. I don't automatically assume there is a direct correlation between athletic ability and morals. I do, however, believe there is a direct correlation between athletic ability and the entertainment value of such talent. 

This is not the WWE. I don't care who is sleeping with whom behind the scenes.  I don't care whose life TMZ is trying to expose tonight. Can we please, America, get back to cheering on athletes, because they are just that—athletes!

If you need a role model, go find your father or the Pope or Obama.