Tiger Woods: An American Obsession

Shaun AhmadSenior Analyst IFebruary 22, 2010

NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 19:  People watch television monitors as professional golfer Tiger Woods makes his first public statement concerning a string of infidelities he has confessed to February 19, 2010 at an ESPN restaurant in Times Square in New York City. Woods, who made the highly anticipated comments at a tightly controlled event from PGA Tour headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, apologized to his family, friends and fans and said that he will return to sexual addiction rehab Saturday and that he could return to golf as early as this year.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

We've all seen it.

We've all heard it analyzed and dissected.

We've all heard the media heads tell us if it was heartfelt or disingenuous.

Everyone has an opinion on Tiger Woods and the press conference he had to publicly apologize for his actions this past Friday.

Whether you believed it or not, whether you "forgave" him or not, and whether you will continue to support him or opt not to, I don't care. 

It is irrelevant.

In fact, this entire news story is relevant based on irrelevance. 

Are our own lives so uninteresting that we have to gather around televisions or internet streaming videos to watch CNN, ESPN, FOX, NBC and every other major news outlet broadcast an apology from a superior athlete - an apology that shouldn't be targeted towards us, but towards the wife he betrayed? 

Are we that desperate for something interesting that we feel we are owed some sort of showing of sorrow, from a man that the majority of us have never met and for an act of adultery that had zero impact on our own personal lives?

(Side note:  I've just realized that we exhibit more behaviors similar to that of a stalker than not.  Think about it - we support television shows and magazines that track every move of celebrities.  We read about their personal lives.  We want to be the first to see what Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's newborn looks like.  As a society, we support that stalker like behavior.  Don't believe me?  TMZ has its own show.  Check out the ratings of a stalker like Perez Hilton's website.  It's because millions of Americans want that information on a daily, scratch that, hourly basis!)

What is wrong with us as a people if we have to sit and listen to hours upon hours of analysis as to whether a complete stranger meant what he said or not? 

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In fact, ESPN had a "Body Language Analyst" on their Sportscenter telecast discussing the lack of movement above Woods' eyebrow line.

Give me a break!

I have heard the notion of, "Tiger Woods served was a role model.  That is why we are upset." 

I'm sorry, but if your role models are young men who happen to be professional athletes surrounded by wealth, prosperity, and all the sinful things that come along with it, then you have to re-evaluate your choices.  Following an athlete as a role model is setting yourself up for failure and disappointment. 

Do I admire athletes for their unique gifts?  Yes.

Do I cheer loudly for them when they do well?  Yes.

Do I feel sad or upset when my favorite athletes lose?  Yes.

Do I want to be like them and shape my own personality and morals based on what they do?  Absolutely, unequivocally not.

Parents that get upset with athletes like Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant or Tiger Woods for not being better role models need to be better parents.  Teach your children to enjoy sports and the athletes that exceed expectations, but to draw the line between personalities on the field and behaviors off of it. 

I loved Michael Jordan when I was a child and a teenager.  But did I feel like I was let down when I learned about his many affairs and in many ways, deviant lifestyle?  No, because I was taught to not admire the athletes in such a high regard when they are not in their arena or stadium of their respective sport. 

What athletes do in their own personal time is not my business.  As a sports fan, what they do in their professional setting is my business.

I don't condone what Tiger Woods did.  I wouldn't recommend it for anyone.  But I am also not in any position to judge his character, and neither are the vast majority of us, because we do not know him. 

We have to get that through our heads.  Just because you watch an athlete play the game, read about him in magazines, or see him in a public appearance does not mean you know them.  Only those in Woods' circle (his wife, friends, family and coworkers) can judge.

The rest of us should focus on more important things.  Let's see how we as individuals are living our lives as well as those close to us. 

For a change, judge yourself before you judge a stranger. 


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