Excuse me while I throw up.
Since hearing about the Tiger Woods situation on Saturday morning, I’ve been reminded why I hate the media. And, no, not because it’s “liberal,” because, the fact is, both CNN (“liberal”) and Fox News (“conservative”) both have something to sell and it usually isn’t objectivity.
The reason I disdain the media is because 50% of media coverage these days is gossip. Whether it’s John and Kate, Tiger Woods, Taylor Swift, Alex Rodriguez–or you name the the latest 15-minute-famer–most television hosts would rather discuss some reality contestant’s one-night-stand more than [insert anything that actually matters here].
Look, I’m not naive. Tiger Woods is one of the world’s most famous people. He’s an icon. If he allegedly gets in a wreck in his driveway at 2:30 in the morning and passes out in the street with cuts all over his face, then, yes, that’s going to make news.
But somehow, probably with the dawning of the internet age (I’m doing my part), our society has turned news into a voyeuristic obsession to know everything about everyone who is more famous and makes more money than we do.
It’s sad, really.
I’ve done it. Heck, I listened to the radio today while two idiot sports talk hosts speculated for 15 minutes about what Tiger was up to at that hour. We thrive on it. You’ve got to watch National Geographic or the Food Network just to get away from all the gossip nonsense.
Massive websites and companies exist with the sole purpose of finding out who A Rod is sleeping with and where Kanye West ate dinner last night. But we’re buying it, or else they wouldn’t be selling it. And we’ve been eating up this Tiger Woods story.
So let me say this: I don’t care. Tiger Woods is not my president. Tiger Woods is not my pastor. Tiger Woods is not my family member. Tiger Woods is not my friend.
I like Tiger Woods as a golfer. He’s always been one of my favorites, actually. I’ve built him up quite a bit on this blog in the last 18 months. I really like the guy. But I don’t know anything about him. Nothing. Tiger Woods’ personal life is not my business, and Tiger Woods’ personal life in no way affects my job, my marriage, or anything else that matters in my life.
If it turns out that the pedestal couldn’t support Tiger and his lack of judgment, then that’s our fault for placing him on the pedestal in the first place. He’s got issues just like the rest us.
Maybe not the same stuff, and maybe not to the same degree. But we’ve all got baggage, no? Tiger’s just got a lot of money to hide his issues–or, maybe in this case, to put a big fat nationally televised spotlight on them.
As I said, I’m not stupid enough to think this isn’t going to get covered. It is THE Tiger Woods, after all. But the morbid rubbernecking with this story is flat out disgusting. And, the fact is, we know very few facts outside of scumbag gossip websites. But as long as they get the web traffic, they’ll keep on posting.
In sum, don’t give in to the gossip. And if it’s all true–whatever “it” may be–take a deep breath and realize that Tiger Woods is just a dude who is really good at a game. That’s it.
Your neighbor Bob the candlestick maker is probably a much better person than Tiger, or any other athlete, ever dreamed of being. That’s not a slight to Tiger; it’s just reality. Celebrity does not guarantee morality.
Several years ago, I had an article published on this exact topic from a Christian angle. But the subject wasn’t Tiger Woods; it was Michael Vick and baseball players on steroids. Read “When Heroes Fall.”