Life lesson for anyone that wants to admire, look up to or emulate anyone they see in the public eye. No matter how they portray themselves on screen or on the field for the world to see, you will never know the true person. To me that was never more evident than when the news came down on May 29th of Eldrick “Tiger” Woods DUI arrest.
Now, thanks to my dad, I became a fan of many different sports from a young age. Golf was included in that. Watching it on TV and also playing the EA Sports Golf game on PC that was pre-Tiger. But when he burst onto the scene in 1996, it really grabbed my attention. I’m not naive to think that ethnic people didn’t play or enjoy golf Pre-Tiger, but to see someone that looks like you playing a sport that is predominantly a rich and white sport will grab your attention.
Nearly 80 Tour wins and 14 Major wins later, Tiger is arguably considered one of the best ever. And for many years, at least what they were portraying to the masses, some would mock him for being a goody-two shoes. Until Thanksgiving 2009, news broke of his extramarital transgressions. This also hit very hard for me. It was unexpected and forever instilled in me that no one is above dealing with “normal” people issues.
Tiger has not been the same since then. Blame the aforementioned incident, blame injuries and a multitude of surgeries or whatever else you want to blame. The look that I saw on the man in the mug shot was a broken man. A man at what I would think is at the lowest of points. 41 years old, divorced father of 2, back is shot after 4 surgeries and now a DUI. For the first time in his 26-year pro career, I didn’t see Tiger in whatever notification that popped up on my phone. I saw Eldrick. A guy who will probably never return to the form that brought the masses out to golf courses worldwide. The man that forced the PGA to “Tiger Proof” Augusta National after he was winning by such wide margins.
He is now just… Eldrick.