Monday, November 30, 2009

Tiger Woods is in the Rough

In case you haven’t heard, Tiger Woods was involved in a little incident this past weekend.

Click here for the story from Fox News.

I want to comment on this because I’m interested in both sports (although not golf, particularly) and pop culture – and Tiger Woods has a commanding presence in both. I find that I’m torn in my opinion of the coverage this story is getting. Let me work this out in the ever-popular blog format of bullet points:

  • The accident. This was a small accident. Just a little fender bender involving a pricey Cadillac Escalade, a fire hydrant, and an innocent tree. And an emotional woman with a golf club hovering over a bloody international sports icon who's floating in and out of consciousnesss. Not newsworthy if it happened to anyone else.

  • The celebrity. Seeing how his fame transcends the sports world, Tiger Woods is easily one of the most recognizable celebrities in the world.

  • The time. It happened at 2:25 am on Friday, November 27th. This alone raises the public eyebrow – where was he going at this time of day? Is it even anyone’s business?

  • The rumor. It happened two days after the National Enquirer published a story alleging a little romantic tryst with pop-tart Rachel Uchitel (which both Woods and Uchitel have denied). We can scoff at the reputation of the Enquirer, but remember, it was this publication that broke the news of Rush Limbaugh’s drug addiction in 2003, and John Edwards’ affair and subsequent love-child in 2007.

    Here’s a quote from the FoxNews story:

    Celebrity Web site TMZ claimed Woods was confronted by Elin (his wife) with the report that he had been seeing New York night club hostess Rachel Uchitel.

    The argument grew heated, and according to TMZ’s source, she scratched his face up.

    He then beat a hasty retreat to his SUV, with her following behind with a golf club. She reportedly used the club on the golfer's vehicle. Woods, then, reportedly became distracted, causing the car crash.

  • Here is where I’m conflicted:

    Is it anyone’s business? On a personal level – no. I hear people talking about the public’s right-to-know, but I don’t think we have any such right when it comes to a celebrity’s personal life. They are entitled to their privacy as much as any other person. However . . .

    Tiger Woods is the first ever billion-dollar athlete, and he makes 10 to 100 times more off the golf course than with a club in his hand. When a celebrity uses his or her image and reputation to endorse products, and sell the public on those products, said celebrity is held to a higher level of scrutiny than the average Joe Citizen.

    What are your thoughts?

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