<Title>THE SPORTS DOCTOR- Private life no more: Tiger owes us an explanation
One would think Tiger Woods' Thanksgiving night dust-up with a fire hydrant would be old news by now, but it's anything but. Everyday brings some new snippet of information regarding that fateful night, and people are eager to hear it, no matter how small or insignificant. What began as a mere (please use the French pronunciation here) scandal quickly degenerated into an all-out war.
Last Thursday on the Dan Patrick Show, Jason Whitlock, Kansas City Star and Fox Sports columnist, was more than eager to distill the entire issue into the opportunity white media has been waiting for. According to Whitlock, in the eyes of white America, the only thing Woods did wrong was betray a "white blonde woman." Whitlock claimed the word among black journalists was "Some of this smells like ‘Don't you be O.J.'"
Really? Is that where we're going with this?
Some people claim that knowing even the slightest detail about Tiger's foray into the world of imperfection is not anyone's business but his own. Gene Wojciechowski, longtime columnist for ESPN, wrote that no matter what happened Thanksgiving night, "I don't care."
Such a dismissive attitude is really no surprise coming from Wojciechowski since he named Woods the "Greatest Athlete of All Time" back in 2006, a myth he continues to promote. Wojciechowski writes that even though Woods is "perhaps the planet's most recognizable athlete... Woods owes us nothing, especially an explanation." Among sports writers and golf lovers, that seems to be a common, though utterly ridiculous view.
On the other hand, news outlets all over the country are digging through Woods' garbage, trying to find the smoking gun that will discredit him in the eyes of even his most loyal fans. The New York Daily News reported Monday that a porn star is the seventh woman to allege intimate relations with Woods, and that the golfer dallied with an Orlando waitress while his wife was pregnant. Even CBS' The Early Show is insinuating that prescription opiates may have played a part in Woods' accident and that "Someone familiar with Tiger's medical treatment, back at the end of 2007... had a person personal talk with Tiger to ramp down the dosing."
Can we all just calm down a minute? This entire situation has gotten out of hand. Why the armed camps? Why is news of Tiger's alleged infidelities so polarizing? Woods is certainly not the first American hero to fall from grace. Why does no one care one way or the other when Bruce Springsteen is named as the other man in a divorce case, but Woods has the capacity to turn best friends into enemies?
Misguided though he might be in believing that golf is actually a sport and not just a game, Wojciechowski offers insight into people's responses to the Tiger debacle– and the explanation is not nearly as complicated as one might think.
For Wojciechowski and the many people like him, Woods belongs less on the cover of Sports Illustrated than the cover of Tiger Beat. It's that old black magic, the man-crush, not racism or an intrusive public, that's at fault here. Blind love and adoration— that's the answer to the puzzle.
It's no secret Woods has lived in a bubble ever since he won his first major in 1997. By his own choice, Tiger's life was exclusively his own, even after he married and had children. His demand for privacy was so great that it was literally fatal for any sports agency to attempt to scale the wall.
Unfortunately for Tiger, he's been far luckier than most famous people. Years of denying interviews and accosting cameramen while manipulating the media for his own gain have finally backfired. No matter what one may think of his golf game, Woods owes everyone an explanation. We're the ones who genuflected to him, and that makes us complicit. His privacy was a gift of public trust, and it's that love affair he's truly responsible for.
Juanita Giles lives in Keysville where she makes videos and updates her Sports Doctor site.