The critics, like Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club Billy Payne, rant about the effects of Tiger's actions on the American youth who considered Tiger their "hero." To that, I respond, "get another hero." And this time, make it someone other than an athlete or political figure who wields an obscene and indiscriminate amount of power. The reason these public figures think they're holier than thou is because, to us, they almost are.
We bow at the altar that is our TV set, take their words as gospel and pray for them to succeed. When they stray from our ideals, we feel personally let down. We evoke the terms "abdication of responsibility" and "negligence of one's role in society" without considering that we carelessly bestow that responsibility upon them. We're so busy finger-pointing that we willingly put ourselves in the same situation the next time a captivating guy woos us. We lionize these powerful figures until they fall from their pedestal and then we toss up a substitute and again watch them disgrace themselves and, by extension, us. It has been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. I guess we better start mass-producing straitjackets...
The Nike commercial that premiered last night and has already been shown on ESPN 76,364 times shows Tiger staring awkwardly into the camera while
Tiger is not my idol and never was. I never invested myself in his private life; I invested myself in the four times a year I watch him play major tournaments. I have rooted for Tiger because he's one of the most compelling athletes I've ever seen. If he's on the 18th hole on Sunday and needs to sink a putt to win it, I'll be on the edge of my seat with a fist pump at the ready. I'll be cheering for Tiger the golfer the same way I would applaud any other person who mastered his or her craft. If he wants to celebrate afterwards in a swanky hotel room with Rachel Uchitel and a bottle of Moet, there won't be any sweat off my back. I just hope he doesn't stain his green jacket in the process.