Enlightened Conflict

My Commentary on Tiger hitting the Wood out of Bounds

December 19th, 2009

Dude is gonna get some penalty strokes. Its gonna be rough. Tough pin placement for his future.

Ok I am done with that.

Anyway. Back to Tiger’s wood.

So. Here’s the deal. I don’t condone what he did (although I would like to remind everyone we are still a little unclear what he did. Oh. Unless you consider The Enquirer a reliable source).

Next. Once again someone we have put on a pedestal because of their athletic ability shows us they are human.

I do believe mega sports celebrities have added responsibility. Regardless of whether they wanted or asked for that responsibility when they signed up to play a sport they are gifted at is irrelevant. The responsibility comes with the job of being the best. Too many kids are seeking leadership and role models and mega sports people are the examples they look at (sorry Tiger).

So. Yeah. I believe Tiger blew it (assuming he did something). Do I believe we put incredible pressures on someone who didn’t really train to be anything but a great athlete (I am not sure being a great athlete is a prerequisite for being a great role model)? Yeah. Sure. But I also am not sure what qualifies someone for “role model status” unless it is just inborn character.

I believe if we look closely (I haven’t done a regression analysis) but I believe we would find great athletes who lived up to the spectacularly high role model expectations would be exceptions rather than the norm.

Why?

First. They are human (and statistics are probably in favor of some mistake within a lifetime).

Second. They are athletes not priests. Or taken some vow to be a better person then everyone else. For us to expect something like that is naïve.

Third. The burden is heavy. And typically the burden is assumed at a young age. That is why someone like Tim Tebow looks so exceptional at the moment. He’s 20 (or so). Articulate. Mature. The whole package. Unfortunately for him that means the public is starting to heap expectations on his young shoulders. Great character can carry a heavy burden. So what happens if it gets too heavy?

Anyway. Tiger should have kept his wood in the bag. No doubt. Was I surprised? Heck. I don’t know. I guess I had never thought of him as the high values representative of superstardom. He never said he wasn’t but I never heard him volunteer (absence can speak as loudly as words). What we really know about these athletes (despite paparazzi nosiness) probably could fit in a Dixie cup. And yet we judge them feeling like you had received the whole keg of knowledge.

Tiger. Dude. I don’t know you, but you screwed up if you did this when you were married (if you did it when single…well…good for you…you were being a single guy).

In the end. How many penalty strokes should be assessed?

Well this is kinda like golf etiquette. If he comes into the clubhouse and reports himself. And stands up for all that is right about the game? (Just stick with the metaphor cause it seems to be working). He is going to be assessed a fair penalty and earn the respect of everyone. If it drags on and other players start pointing fingers. The penalty will be bigger and he will lose all respect of the players.

My advice to him?

Look to his own game, the one he loves, for guidance. He will know the right thing to do.

Enlightened Conflict