Forgiveness v. Celebration

“Who let this drunken idiot in here?” thinks John Daly.

Goodness knows, I don’t want to seem like a jerk, and I’m all about forgiveness and second chances and all that stuff. But can someone explain to me why we’re all supposed to be rooting for Tiger Woods now?

I’m a golf fan, so I’ve been watching sports media this season as Tiger has edged his way ever closer to being a significant force in the world of golf again.  I would say that their coverage has the slobbering, moon-eyed quality of a Seventeen magazine profile of Justin Bieber, except that would be an insult to both Seventeen and Justin Bieber.

They’re clearly desperate for Tiger to be successful and popular again. Everybody who makes money from golf remembers the last time Tiger was successful and popular, and they were making a whole bunch of money back then. So, their attitude is understandable. But their assumption is that everybody else should be just as excited as they are about the prospect of Tiger’s re-ascendance. And you know what they say about assuming: “When you assume, it makes Tiger Woods a jackass.”

Because as far as I can tell, Tiger is exactly the same person he was before his self-immolation, and that’s not the kind of person I’m inclined to root for. If there had been some kind of change of heart in there somewhere, I could understand the celebration — y’know, a “guy shakes off his demons” kind of thing. But I haven’t seen it.

What I have seen is a guy who was really good at golf getting good at golf again. And that’s great; I’m not mad at Tiger Woods nor at the TV networks for wanting Tiger’s star power back on the course and in contention.

But it’s one thing to accept someone who’s made a fool of himself and everyone around him; it’s quite another to celebrate that person as a hero for putting out a fire that he set himself. Especially when the fire was on his own pants.

So if Tiger is back to his old form, that’s fine and dandy. But there are lots of other people who play golf, so I’ll be watching those other guys too.


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