Eldrick "Tiger" Woods has won an amazing 71 PGA Tour events. He has already tacked up 14 Majors, putting him second behind Jack Nicklaus all time. He is arguably the most dominant athlete to rule his/her sport. Ever. But his greatest achievement may be taking the biggest leap off the proverbial pedestal in the history of human kind. Little did we know the events that would ensue, shortly after hearing of his November 27th SUV accident. Spicy nuggets of information started getting leaked to the media, day by day. The next thing we knew, the greatest golfer ever is a lying, cheating, fraudulent, conniving, biting, horn dog control freak.
Golf's television ratings plummet drastically when Woods is not playing in an event. Ratings sunk as much as 50% when he was out with a knee injury in '09, and are looking similar to that so far this young season. Ticket sales to PGA events also take a dive bomb. The PGA needs him, and fans need to watch him dominate the most frustrating of all sports to play. Tiger has mastered the art form of golf, and his return at the Masters in two weeks is already highly anticipated by all.
In a recent interview fellow pro Geoff Ogilvy stated, "he's been in a fishbowl since before he turned pro". How true it is. He was already a household name with an easily recognizable face. Then this story broke, and made the cover of the New York Post a record-breaking 20 consecutive days, breaking 9/11's streak by a day. We love nothing more than a good celebrity scandal. Personally I don't care about his marital shenanigans/torrid affairs. I just want to watch the guy hit his ball into the hole. (I apologize for the poor word choice). Could you imagine if every athlete's mistresses went public with their affairs? Shared their x-rated text messages with the media? The Post would have a cover story for eternity.
All athletes are human, possessing flaws, and are far from perfect. Woods may have been living a lie, but he didn't commit a crime (that we know of). We may think we know our favorite athletes, but the truth is we know only what their brand-managers want us to know. We know nothing about any of their personal lives. I love Tiger Woods "the golfer"; I don't love Tiger Woods "the person". I was cool with that relationship pre-Thanksgiving ‘09, and I will be cool with that relationship starting again at Augusta on April 8th. Hopefully there is nothing more to that Performance Enhancing Drug story ....