I'm trying to stay away from the Tiger Woods saga here on the blog. But, I just read this article that quoted Jack Nicklaus. One quote from him: "He's (Tiger) a great athlete. He'll figure it out." What does that mean? That being a great athlete is some sort of miraculous superpower that allows you to grasp the answers to life's biggest problems? He was a great athlete before all of this crap started and it didn't help him at all. In fact, it probably contributed greatly to the mess he's in. I don't think Tiger needs to be hearing that he's a great athlete right now. He needs to be hearing how horrible he is. Otherwise, he won't be learning any lessons. This "He's a great athlete" thing sounds like a free pass to me. A boys' club kind of thing.
And you know what, I bet someone once said OJ Simpson was a great athlete. Maybe they said something similar about the ear biting Mike Tyson? I'm sure people once considered Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson a phenomenal athlete as well. How about US track star Marion Jones?
Maybe the free pass would be less objectionable to me if the game of golf wasn't built entirely on honesty and integrity. It's a game where you police yourself. And it's long been a game that the whole family could enjoy. Now, the game has been tarnished, though I think tarnish is too weak of a word to describe it. The PGA Tour may still have a lot of players who are happily married, quote the bible or attend prayer meetings. But those guys never drew the headlines that Tiger did. For better or worse, Tiger defines the game right now for all of those people watching CNN, HLN and all of the other networks. And it isn't a good definition.