I won’t quarrel, at least not entirely, with Tiger’s decision to take an “indefinite break” from being in the public eye. But don’t kid yourself, Tiger isn’t taking a break from golf per se. Golf isn’t what got him into trouble.
I could be wrong, but I think having sex with multiple other women might have been the culprit.
So why take away golf?
Golf is not to blame unless you want to say Tiger’s golf success and status gave rise [no pun intended] to the opportunity. But if that’s the case Tiger could go on to become a successful stock broker, a neuro-surgeon, or even the president of the USA, and he would still be confronted with the desire and temptation to give in to his sexual appetite.
So lets be clear about at least one thing, the break from golf has only to do with taking Tiger out of the fishbowl.
Everyone of us, at one point or another in life, encounters an event whereby we need some space and time to regroup. It’s impossible, or at least a good deal more difficult, to accomplish such a feat with tabloid-like coverage of your every move 24/7. An escape from the public eye, if only for a few months, gives Tiger [and Elin] much needed time out of the limelight.
But what, precisely, do they expect to accomplish?
While the TMZ’s of the world would have us believe Tiger is nothing more that a throw-caution-to-the-wind and insensitive horn-dog, the number and kind of escapades Tiger is reported to have engaged in is, according to even more reports, an addiction. Perhaps even a mental illness. Presumably therefore, like most other addictions and mental illnesses, there are treatments and cures. Personally, I think a healthy dose of personal will-power wouldn’t hurt.
No doubt whenever Tiger resurfaces, be that in days, weeks, months or years, there will be those who don’t buy the paragraph above. Some, like TMZ, won’t because there is still a buck to be made from believing and pushing the story otherwise. Others simply don’t believe in addictions and mental illness, much less in treatment or cures.
And then, of course, there is Elin who has ahead of her an entirely different challenge. I’ll get to that in a minute.
Tiger’s imposed or self-imposed purgatory, with or without treatment, may be successful. Like everyone else I don’t know what he is or is not capable of on a personal level. Although the kind of success Tiger has achieved in golf involves a certain discipline which should give him a leg up.
There are, however, at least a couple of possibilities I would argue are more likely scenarios and which suggests the road Tiger and Elin have chosen is doomed for certain failure. This leaves selfish fans such as myself questioning the logic of the hiatus away from golf.
Another required read is the MailOnline piece entitled “How Elin Woods couldn’t be less like the women Tiger jumped into bed with.” The piece is confirmation Elin Nordegren is anything but the stereotypical bimbo it appears Tiger has a secondary, if not a primary, attraction to. And therein lies the rub.
If Elin was, say a Holly Sampson or a Jaimee Grubbs, then Tiger would have less of an issue to contend with. There is a class of women (men too) who would be only too happy to be married to the billion-dollar athlete that bangs everything in sight. But those aren’t the girls who earn general public respect, a special place in mom’s heart, nor are they the women most men want as their wife and mother to their offspring. The fact Elin Nordegren is, on top of everything else, gorgeous, hot, and every other shallow superlative imaginable, simply a bonus. A bonus it may be too late for Tiger to further reap the benefits thereof.
Tiger can change, receive treatment and be cured. Forgiveness too, from Elin, while tenuous at best, is possible. Less certain is whether or not Elin can forget or at least put the sting far enough back in the memory bank to still have a happy life with her children and Tiger.
We aren’t talking, allegedly, about a single instance of transgression. While not excusable, that would be understood. But a plethora of wild orgies with dozens of skanky women, hookers and porn stars who now are only too happy to report on every detail of Tiger’s apparent endowing and energizer bunny like characteristics is likely too much of a painful and vivid memory for any woman – I don’t care how virtuous she is – to accept.
Tiger can re-write the definition of p-whipped, even taking it to new levels of submission never before performed, and it won’t change what I believe Elin will fail to ever get past.
The jury is still out on the wisdom of the “for the sake of the kids” argument, and in any event there are tolerance limits to what a spouse can put up with, which Tiger has, by all accounts, gone way above and beyond. In short, Tiger could tomorrow become a man of the cloth – bad analogy I know – and he is still doomed insofar as salvaging a healthy marriage with Elin Nordegren.
Finally, there is Tiger himself and what he is driven by. One does not become what Tiger is to the world of professional golf without it being ingrained into your blood and central nervous system. Tiger can, I am certain of this, get over or deal more appropriately with his sexual appetite. Tiger will also come to learn the best relationship he can have with his kids may not be in pretend family mode. In time that fairytale too fades and can, in fact, make matters for the kids worse, not better.
Since the Tiger saga began, this space has been and continues to be supportive of Tiger. However, on December 9th when this image hit the real and figurative newsstands, Tiger’s and Elin’s road to recovery took a sharp turn for the worse. The current path and strategy, whatever it was, became irrelevant. On that day the very essence of what Tiger may have been dealing with forever changed calling for an all-new and back-to-the-drawing-board approach.
In order to resurrect, re-invent, and reintegrate himself back into the world of professional golf, Tiger and his sponsors need time to let the raging attention subside. Time in the penalty box is therefore the right thing to do and necessary. But time served needn’t, and I would argue ought not, take years.
Despite everything Tiger is, may be guilty of, and has or will come to genuinely regret, I simply can’t imagine on April 8, 2010, day one of the Masters, Tiger uttering the words, “Honey, [gulp] can I have the remote?”
On or before that date I strongly suspect true colours, clarity and direction will emerge.