Life lessons from Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods was once the most marketable athlete on the planet.  He was as dominant as we’ve ever seen in any sport.  Five career majors behind Jack Nicklaus, he was well on his way to becoming the greatest golfer to ever walk 18.  In fact, many had already crowned him as such.

That was ten years ago.  A lot has happened since then.

There’s an old, golf adage that goes, it’s not how you start the hole but how you finish.  Let’s just say, after crushing one off the tee and hitting a fairly successful approach shot, Tiger is floundering around the green.

News broke Memorial Day weekend that he had been charged with driving under the influence.  It was an appropriate and unfortunate end to a troubled soul.

Tiger’s is a tragic tale.  Few athletes have risen so high and fallen so low.  However, as with any other tale of woe, there are lessons to be learned.

 

  • Don’t get married if you’re not ready

Tiger once had the perfect life… or so it seemed.  Giant yacht, mansions from coast to coast, endorsements from every company imaginable and a hot Swedish model for a wife.  Then came that fateful Thanksgiving in 2009.  Woods’ wife had discovered his sordid affairs, a compilation of soirees that made Bill Clinton look monogamous.  We heard of Perkins waitresses and porn stars while countless others came out of the woodwork.  All the while Tiger’s bride was sitting at home with their child.

We know how that ended up.  A golf club through Tiger’s Buick, a bruise to his head we never saw the full extent of, a healthy divorce settlement and a televised apology that was difficult to watch.

America’s divorce rate hovers around fifty percent.  Few were as notable as Tiger’s.  He probably should have held off on tying the knot until he was good and ready.

 

  • Don’t drive under the influence… of anything

I’m not joking.  I was about to go out the other night, have a few pops and see what kind of trouble I could get into.

The Tiger Woods story kept me in for the night.

See that?  Athletes CAN be role models after all.

In all seriousness, Uber exists for just that reason: to prevent the lot of us from getting blasted and getting behind the wheel of a car.  A guy like Tiger can not only afford to buy an Uber, he can afford to buy Uber.

I have no idea what “prescription” medication Tiger was taking that night #JackDaniels but it clearly put him in an eyelid-shutting sort of mood.  The sad holding cell video was evidence of that.  And whoever decided to release that tastelessness is hopefully going to hell for kicking a man while he’s down.  Is that something we really needed to see, a zombie-like Tiger all dazed and confused?

Eldrich could have afforded a ride that night.  He just doesn’t have the good judgment to figure that out.

 

  • Don’t get back surgery

I have a bad back.  I’m also nearly fifty years old.

My workout regimen includes regular stretching, working out, massage, chiropractic visits, yoga and relaxing whenever possible.

My back hurts every day.

That being said, I would NEVER go under the knife.  Not even the most qualified physician is getting anywhere near my spine with a scalpel.  I have a dear friend who has recently been operated on.  His recovery is slow-going and he’s younger than both me and Tiger.

I’m not sure who Tiger consulted before getting sliced open (repeatedly, mind you) but it sounds like Woods has been sold a bag of bad goods.

And can the guys who operated on Tiger get a little bad publicity?  Aside from Tiger’s own personal demons, this batch of quacks is surgically responsible for destroying the career of one of the greatest athletes we’ve ever seen.

Can someone get the AMA on the phone?

 

  • Don’t lie to millions of people on national television

Now starring in the latest production of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf…”  Tiger Woods!

Seriously, this guy is starting to lie more than a room full of A-Rod’s, Pete Rose’s and Lance Armstrong’s.  I’m waiting for those guys to welcome Tiger into their Liar’s Club like Steve Martin, Tom Hanks and Alec Baldwin welcome repeat SNL hosts into their five-timers club.

As sports fans, we generally forgive and forget.  We might not let you into the Hall of Fame but if you at least come clean, we’re willing to let bygones be bygones.

We’re sympathetic folk.  I’m not saying that Tiger’s had a rough life but if he just came out on Barbara Walters and said “I’m depressed,” we’d probably forgive him.

We get it.  His best years are behind him.  We don’t need any more, weepy moments of him telling us how many times he fucked up.  We know he’s fucked up.  We’ve been paying attention.

Just be sincere.  Oh, and lay off the Xanax.

 

  • Know who to trust

I don’t want to compare Tiger Wood’s downfall to Mike Tyson’s but… it’s like Mike Tyson’s downfall.

After Cus D’Amato passed on, Iron Mike Tyson had nobody he could trust, nobody to look out for him, nobody he could lean on.  He didn’t know who his friends were, who was truly in his corner.  After Tiger’s father passed away, Woods was never the same, understandably.  That’s a crushing blow for even the most strong-willed.

I don’t know how many golfers on tour he considered good friends but someone should have had his back, no pun intended.

Perhaps he burned too many bridges on his way to fame and fortune.  Tiger never struck me as the kind of guy that would josh around with the rest of the players on tour.  They always spoke of him as an outsider.  Even his ex-caddy wrote a tell-all expose about his life and times with Tiger.

Friendship is not overrated.  Neither is having people you can trust.

 

  • Don’t take steroids (allegedly)

Whoa, whoa, WHOA!  Who the hell said anything about performance enhancing drugs?  Certainly not me.

Oh wait, I just did.

There were plenty of rumors that Tiger, and his new physique, were the result of a Clemens-ian workout regimen, minus the donuts of course.

Until Tiger comes clean about any alleged drug use (the drugs that beefed him up, not the drugs that geeked him out), we’ll never know for certain if he took anything the PGA Tour might deem illegal.  Then again telling the truth has never been this guy’s strong suit.

Of course, none of that compares in importance to this guy getting his head on straight which at this point seems like a distant reality.

 

  • Have a sense of humor

Few athletes have tried as hard to make people laugh and failed than Tiger Woods.

Seriously, have you ever laughed at anything this guy has said?  Maybe it’s a Stanford thing.  Come to think of it, I haven’t laughed at anything Andrew Luck or John Elway ever said either.

Tiger’s that guy who tries to tell jokes at the podium only to hear crickets.  He’ll elicit the occasional chuckle because people either a) feel bad for him or b) are so astonished at his lack of a sense of humor that the act itself is funny, and most certainly awkward.  It’s like laughing at something your boss says just to appease him.

A life without laughter is no life at all.  Here’s hoping he finds some soon.

 

  • If you’re going to be careless, at least be filthy rich

In 2016, Forbes ranked Tiger Woods seventh on the list of America’s Wealthiest Celebrities.  I’m no conspiracy theorist but I find it odd that years ago, it took days for us to find out what truly happened in his private, gated community.  In fact, we still don’t know for sure.  Money sure buys a lot of privacy.

The guy we saw arrested by the cops on the side of a Palm Beach County road blew a 0.0 on the breathalyzer.  That’s all anyone said in his defense, brilliant spin from the Woods camp.  Apparently, Tiger lives in the only two counties in the nation where a black guy can get a fair shake from the cops. #OfficerDoYouTakeVisa

I get that his cult of personality ranks off the charts but the guy hasn’t played a meaningful round of golf in years.  His last major championship came almost TEN YEARS AGO!!!

He’s had more back surgeries in 2017 than birdies and more arrests than accolades.  What in the world is going on with this guy?

In the end, it’s Tiger’s life.  He can do with it as he pleases.  As a father, however, he should remember how the loss of his own father affected his life.  Far less determined athletes have overcome far worse.  It’s time for another doctor, one of the psychological variety and not one that prescribes drugs or uses scalpels, to help this guy out.

If Tiger Woods had the determination to become the most dominant athlete of his time, then there must be something left in this guy’s tank to straighten himself out.  His greatest battle remains ahead of him which is odd to say for a man that has already accomplished so much.  In essence, that’s true for all of us.

If he fails to recognize that, we’ll just continue to watch the tragedy unfold.

Don’t expect me to tune in as it does.  Some of us have already learned our lesson.

 

  • Don’t take anything for granted, ever

I’ve never seen Tiger work out.  I don’t know anything about his training regimen.  I do know one thing that all the greats have in common and that is that they work on their games relentlessly.  Their achievements are no accident.

I’ve seen professional golfers hit golf ball after golf ball (after golf ball after golf ball after golf ball).  There must have been a point in time when Tiger was doing that.  Hundreds upon hundreds of balls each and every day.  I’m not sure when that ended but he proved one point to us all.

Greatness is fleeting.

Michael Jordan returned to the league after a second retirement (or third, it’s hard to keep track of his and Favre’s retirements).  His return to the Wizards is something we like to forget.  Peyton Manning could barely pass the ball in his final Super Bowl appearance.  We all get old.  Nothing should be taken for granted.  Some professions allow us to succeed as we get older.  Professional athletics is not one of them.

I don’t know how Tiger went downhill so damn fast but he’s there now.  Here’s hoping it doesn’t get any worse before it gets better.  I can hardly stand another public apology.

19 thoughts on “Life lessons from Tiger Woods

  1. Damn dude, that’s a long read but dead on the money. I f up every day but all I do is try to not embarrass myself or my family. Hope all is well with you – FLA is fixing to fire up for the summer if it hasn’t already. Many tips your way I hope

  2. What’s been so tragic about Tiger’s life ? He wasn’t subjected to the racial prejudices of Lee Elder or Charlie Siford , who broke through the color barrier on the PGA Tour , long before Woods. Instead all Tiger Woods’ handlers have done , was to coddle and shelter his philandering immature @ss. I mean , it’s not as if the likes of Jack Nicklaus or even Arnold Palmer even went out of their way to even acknowledge the contributions of either (Elder or Sifford) , let alone the PGA itself. Way too many excuses have been made of a Woods, whose game is no longer what it once was. It’s so typical of what’s not only wrong with the media , but also the nation as a whole.

  3. Moose….

    I’ll be hitting the courses up, that’s for sure. Still trying to get the handicap down.

    Not sure if the same can be said about Tiger.

  4. Woods always paid credit to the guys who paved the road for him, Al, the minorities that didn’t have the chances he had. He was a student of the game and always paid them their proper respect.

    As it turns out, however, he wasn’t a student of what it takes to remain on top.

    There was a point where this guy was must see TV. He still very much is. If he ever got healthy and contended on a Sunday, millions more would watch than already do. I know I’d tune in.

    Somewhere along the way (passing of his father), he lost his focus. This guy needs some Iyanla Vanzant in his life STAT.

  5. As much of a Tiger fan as I have been, and as much as I hate admitting when you’re right about something :), I have to say you summed his story up pretty well. I mostly agree with your assessment that he is in need of psychological help. Having been under the knife for back issues, I can tell you it’s not joke and certainly isn’t what I’d pick in my top 10 of things to do for fun. On the other hand, I can tell you that while I experience back discomfort everyday, with stretching and some yoga thrown in for flexibility, I’m hitting some of the best golf I’ve ever hit. MY index is down to a 6.8, I’ve shot an even par round out here at Indian Wells in Palm Springs and most recently shot a 6 over 78 at Torrey Pines.
    So I get it…but the decisions he’s making are clearly not in his best interest. Some noted psychologist friends off mine, have suggested that he has that super athlete complex where you think you’re invincible, or where you are so private that you keep everything inside, for fear of something/someone discovering who you really are. You can name folks from Wilt, Michael, Magic, Kobe, and yes even Arnold, had their days. The difference, I believe is simply a matter of timing. Arguably, Tiger was the most recognizable athlete in the world. His decisions, like others before him, have/had consequences. He simply hasn’t handled them well. His path continues to be destructive and as you so aptly put it, we’re tired of apologies.
    If I had anything to say to him, I’d say Tiger, get some real help and stop fooling yourself that you are strong enough to manage all of this by yourself…you’re not!!! I still believe in you, but that’s not what going to save you. If interested, I know some outstanding psychologists…

  6. Of which you are one, Mony.

    Like I mentioned to Al above, this guy can’t get to Iyanla Vanzant’s front door quickly enough.

    Glad to hear the back is up to snuff but where you differ from Tiger, my friend, is upstairs.

    Here’s hoping this was Tiger’s rock bottom and there’s not much lower for him to fall.

  7. Despite all the BS, Eldrick’s still living the dream with that F-U money he has.

    Just the butt of a shit ton more jokes.
    …And some of the greatest memes ever.

  8. “Then came that fateful Thanksgiving in 2009. Woods’ wife had discovered his sordid affairs, a compilation of soirees that made Bill Clinton look monogamous. ”

    Geez, I love that comparison. Atleast you kept it R-rated. Did you catch that responding tweet that Phillippine prez Duterte sent to Chelsea Clinton?

  9. Tiger paid them credit ? Really ? LOL,LOL !!! He was force fed that bull%hit because of his so called advisors and entourage at IMG and by Leigh Steinberg in particular. It’s amazing how people will buy into the hogwash sold by the media.

    He was must see performer then be became the butt of jokes about laying porn stars and he was a frigging poor role model to kids and among his own damn race with his idiocy much as in the same way Kobe was after the Eagle Colorado incident. Another dumb @ss black athlete who simply lost his identity , racial and otherwise in one fail swoop. Tiger Woods may well return to the game , but the prowess he once had will be long gone. He’ll become Cabal-Asian version of John Daly with all of the idiocy attached with the persona now being evoked .

  10. Bleed…

    One would think this guy’s money will eventually run out, no?

    I know he still moves the meter but he’s not making any money on tour and who is still endorsing this guy?

    Is it possible we end up seeing him broke?

  11. He he, Bets…

    I can’t say I follow either Chelsea or the Philippine president on Twitter. What happened?

    Oh, and how’d you make out on the series?

    I’ve got a bad beat for ya’.

    My buddy had been playing a lot of prop bets on the series… and why not? In this video game-like series of high numbers, a lot were likely to hit.

    He had Kyrie over 28 points for the game last night. After the third, Kyrie had 26… and my boy lost.

    A gassed Kyrie couldn’t score in the fourth. This was after he hit his number for the game in Game Four… IN THE FIRST HALF!!!

  12. Finals? Made 2 bets. #1 Golden State sweeps 4 straight @+5 to 1..#2 Bet Cleveland in game #4 +1.60 hedging. Made grocery $$. Needed the sweep for a score.

    Chelsea/Duterte twitter exchange? The Philippine President made a rape joke while addressing his troops that are battling terrorists there. Chelsea tweeted, “Not funny. Ever”

    ” Duterte responded to her criticisms in his usual firebrand manner. “Be careful because you live in a glass house,” he said, according to Filipino television network ABS-CBN “When President Clinton was fucking Lewinsky, what was your statement or reaction?” ”

    The man is a sick dude put his popularity is off the charts in the Philippines.

  13. We had a sweep and did the same thing, Bets, hedged in Game Four. But we got better than five to one. I think it was closer to 7. Doesn’t matter though as it didn’t pay out.

    I’ve got a nice future for the Open this weekend. I don’t want to jinx it by telling you who it is. Let’s just say he’s pretty high up on the leaderboard.

    Wish me luck!

  14. Go Ricky Fowler??
    You got the right price(7-1) on the finals sweep. I bet the sweep after game #1.

  15. I can tell you it wasn’t Fowler, Bets.

    You know I like me and underdog, brother.

    If it ends up hitting, I’ll write all about it and exactly how I came up with the pick.

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