I mean really, what right do we have to expect anything from the world’s best golfer except the world’s best golf?
That was the argument made Wednesday by “Married Jake” of Glamour Magazine at Yahoo’s “Shine” site.
The item is called “Why Is Everyone Disappointed in Tiger?” (HT Instapundit). In it, jaded Jake jabs at a substantial portion of the public because, silly us, we thought that the guy was what he and his handlers portrayed.
Here is a graphic cap of Jake’s first three paragraphs. The “Related” insert isn’t his, and seems more than a little ironic in the circumstances:
Jake apparently needs to start taking more B vitamins to assist his memory, because there are at least two very good reasons why the public belief that Tiger was a faithful husband was mostly reasonable. You see, on two separate occasions, Tiger announced that he was taking time away from golf for family-related issues:
- The less directly relevant of the two was Woods’s nine-week hiatus in 2006 from the PGA Tour to be with his ailing father who was battling prostate cancer. The April 21, 2006 Washington Post reported that “He did not give specific details of his planned break, except to say he would not start playing ‘for a while,’ and the failing health of his father, Earl, would have a major influence on his future schedule.” Earl Woods died on May 3.
- Much more to the point, Woods specifically took time off to be with his wife Elin in June 2007 when their first child Sam was born. This decision prompted a wave of favorable media coverage (example here) with supportive opinions offered by Woods’s fellow PGA professionals.
Of course these items created the expectation that Tiger was devoted to his family. And of course, his shrewdly promoted, seemingly singular obsession with continually improving his golf game when it was already clearly the best on the planet led people to believe that he had no time for or interest in anything else besides his family (remember the commercial about him hitting practice drives during a driving rain storm, because he said — paraphrasing — “you can never take a day off”?).
Look, though I have little sympathy with the argument, you can assert that athletes aren’t supposed to be role models, and that involuntarily shouldering them with that responsibility isn’t right or fair. But this is about more than that, because Woods and his peeps for years have cultivated a public image that all of them had to recognize at some point was wildly at variance with reality.
So sue us, Jake. Yeah, we’re disappointed. We’re allowed to be. In fact, we should be. In fact, thank goodness we still are.
Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.