I’ve avoided posting much about Tiger Woods. It’s just too easy. However, today ESPN had a piece from Rick Reilly that is just too crazy to not poke at a bit. The piece isn’t badly written or “wrong”… it’s crazy in its assumptions and bombastic its claims and it might just be an accurate reflection of golf’s, ESPNs, sports’, and Tiger’s audience values.
Here’s the zinger of it all:
We don’t usually build statues of nice, helpful, well-balanced men.
This sentiment seems to call out a justification of Tiger Woods’ behavior – in the pursuit of greatness you should do anything… in fact, greatness is a result of Tiger Woods’ “self-obsession, a limitless appetite for domination, me-first-ism to the extreme.”
That’s the same logic used by people to suggest that great comedy comes only from troubled souls, good writing from lonely people, successful business from obsessed workaholics, etc. etc. These are catchy statements that help people wrap up complex situations but they really aren’t justified. For one, you can’t at all determine causation from correlation in any of these examples. It might be that great sports stars learn those behaviors while playing their sport, or they self select into the sport, etc. etc.
He vows no more “entitlement.” But Tiger Woods always played as though the trophy had his name engraved on it when he showed up Tuesday.
He vows to “tone down my negative outbursts and … my positive outbursts.” But can he win without the fist pump? Can he win without passion?
So… if Tiger Woods doesn’t win the Masters will Reilly and the audience blame rehab? Tiger’s wife? Buddha? The Weaker Fist Pump? There’s a subtle suggestion in this article that suggests that Tiger sorting out his personal life might not be worth possibly losing some golfing success.
I suspect there’s a good chunk of the audience that share these value statements – winning golfing tournaments might be more important than the other stuff……….
If Tiger Woods wins his last 4 months of behavior will fade quickly from the public discussion. (Remember what Kobe Bryant did a couple of years ago? No, not that winning MVP and championships….)
I’m not saying it’s good or bad values that we’re seeing on display or I share any of these.. just calling out that there are value systems at work here and they often aren’t very politically correct.