Monday, December 7, 2009

Why, hello soapbox. I've missed you.

I've been asked my thoughts on the top story of the past week:

Tiger Wood's alleged infidelities.

Since I could go on for awhile on the topic - I'll try to keep it brief.

I'd just like to propose that everyone that is wanting to tar and feather Tiger should maybe suspend their judgment at least until the end of this post.

Of course, I think what he did was horrible - and will cause all sorts of damage to his family. For that, he'll have to make amends and try to heal those broken relationships. Or if his wife chooses not to accept that apology, he'll have to accept his poor decisions led to a broken family.

Tough any way you look at it.

But before anyone goes on about what a horrible human being he is, remember for just one second that there are millions of people all over the world that make this exact same mistake. They are just lucky enough to not have it splashed all over every media outlet. And they make the mistake without being a person in the spotlight with presumably thousands of women throwing themselves at you. Reading about Tiger's infidelity reminded me of some comments made by Eddie George, a friend and former teammate of Steve McNair (former Tennessee Titan who was killed by his mistress in August). This was from the transcription of his interview with NBC's Lester Holt:

Eddie George: You literally go from-- depending on your background, not having anything to overnight having anything you want. You walk into a situation where you have millions of-- millions of dollars and it's guaranteed--

Lester Holt: How do people treat you? Friends, strangers?

Eddie George: Oh, you're their best friend. (laughs) I mean you go from bein' a funny lookin' guy to bein' the best lookin' guy on-- in the world. You know?

Lester Holt: What's not to like?

Eddie George: I mean it's-- it's a great lifestyle. But the flip side of it, it-- it's a mean business. And you can be taken advantage of very easily.

Lester Holt: We all face struggles. But as a professional athlete it just seems like the temptation just must be rollin' in front of you all the time?

Eddie George: Oh yeah. I mean you walk in the clubs and-- and people recognize you. And it's like flies. You know? They're attracted to-- to the light.

This interview really stuck with me and made me think of these celebrities and athletes in a different way. Yes, they presumably chose this path. And yes they get billions of dollars for it. But is all that money worth the cost of never really knowing who likes you for you, or who just wants to be with you for money or fame? Is it worth not really knowing if your wife or best friends really loves the real you? Or if they're only around for the limelight. How horrible would that be?

Look at Tiger! He has billions of dollars. Gets paid to do something he loves to do. Gorgeous home. Even more gorgeous wife. Beautiful kids. "Easy street" you would think. But instead of just being able to enjoy all that he has, he goes out and carries on all sorts of lewd relationships with women that we can only assume he knows don't really care much about him - but just want to be with him for who he is. THE Tiger Woods. It's crazy to even think about. The pressure of "having it all" is almost more pressure than having nothing at all. It's like something happens in their subconscious that makes them self destruct. To want to push the people who supposedly love them away to see if they'll stick with them through the rough times.

And then you hear stories that Tiger's lawyers are trying to now draw up some paperwork to give Elin millions of dollars for staying with him just a few more years. Whether or not Tiger himself has anything to do with this - I don't know. But if he doesn't, imagine not knowing if your wife wants to try to "work things out" and really mend the realtionship because she loves your despite your shortcomings, or if she really just wants the payout that will come at the end of it.

I guess all this is just my point of saying, listen - 99.9% of us will never understand the situation they are in. Even if we were, no one understands their unique relationship and all the dynamics involved. So leave that poor family alone to deal with the aftermath of some really, really destructive decision making. Yes, he has a lot of apologizing to do. But not to us - to his family.

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