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Jewish World Review
Jan. 14, 2010
/ 28 Teves 5770
Hold That, Tiger
When I read the other day that the lapsed golfer Tiger
Woods' nationwide approval rating had fallen from 87 percent to 33
percent, the only conclusion I could draw was that he had been out
campaigning for the Democrats' health care plan. According to an
interesting piece on him in the current Vanity Fair, the superb golfer
now has a disapproval rating of 57 percent. Is this the consequence of
his getting too close to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the
glacial-faced House Speaker Nancy Pelosi? No, apparently it is the
consequence not of his associating with politicians, but rather of his
living like one. His sex life has been exposed, and it is comparable to
that of a particularly virulent germ.
If the reporter for Vanity Fair is accurate, Woods' sex life is
hyperactive, to say nothing of unhygienic. Yet his disastrous collapse
in the polls still perplexes me. If he were president of the United
States and being impeached for his wantonness, his polling numbers would
soar. His critics would be assailed with that popular line from the
1990s, "it's only sex." Why, I ask, is a golfer being abominated for
promiscuity? He tried to keep his sex life private. He did not flaunt
his many gallantries. It is not as though he has cheated on his golf
game, and if he has, so does Bill Clinton. There are whole books written
about the former president's cheating on the golf course. Some Americans
find it amusing. Others give Bill a good-natured pass.
Supposedly, the disapproval Woods is suffering is because he and his
handlers carefully choreographed a squeaky-clean image for him. Yet most
politicians live carefully choreographed lives. Worse, they invite the
press to cover their lives, while they keep the unsavory stuff out of
sight. Woods did not invite the press into his private life. He was a
very private person. Unlike the politicians who invite the press into
their homes while keeping the cuties out of sight, Woods never practiced
such deception. Members of the press might at least show him the respect
they once showed 2008 presidential candidate John Edwards, who played
the reporters for fools.
With the revelations about Woods' scortatory pursuits, millions of
dollars of corporate endorsements have been withdrawn. The claim is that
Woods' publicists lied about his wholesomeness. Well, what is surprising
about that? Publicists are supposed to lie about their clients. They
exaggerate their clients' virtues and hide their defects. In fact, I
would argue that the word "publicist" is a euphemism for "liar." Maybe
Woods' critics should turn their wrath on his publicists and let him get
on with playing golf. It is his golf game that attracted the millions of
people to follow him, not his sex life though this might change now.
One of the complaints now swirling around Woods is that his handlers
carefully manipulated his news conferences. In them he would, according
to an indignant golf correspondent, "talk forever and say nothing." Now
this brings me to a matter that always has mystified me about news
conferences held for sports stars. They almost never have anything
interesting to say. Woods is now being criticized for ornamenting his
news conferences with such vacuities as "I had a pretty good day."
Apparently, the assembled reporters believe he had an obligation to add
something like this: "And I am going to have a pretty good night. I have
two bimbos waiting in the limousine. They're in the trunk with the
One thing has caught my eye in all the angry coverage of this fallen
golfer. He was a sports prodigy from a very early age. Reportedly, at
the age of 2, he appeared on "The Mike Douglas Show" and demonstrated
his "perfect swing"; the reference is to a golf swing, I am sure.
Apparently, he has been in the limelight ever since. He has won about
every tournament that an athlete in his sport could win, often more than
once. Then he retires behind a facade. His only real interest has been
I have actually known two child prodigies from different sports, one a
very popular sport, the other less so. For years, they dominated the
opposition. Both men had one thing in common. They were born blanks.
There was nothing to them, aside from their athletic achievement.
Perhaps Woods' critics among his erstwhile fans and among the sports
writers would not be so angry if they had recognized Tiger Woods'
emptiness. Still, they only have themselves to blame for investing in a
superlative golfer qualities that he never had. Yet give him this much
credit: He never made any claims to nobility. The errant politician
always does and his loyal followers fall for his claims every time.
Even now, there are Clinton loyalists out there insisting that Bill is a
noble man. Some might even believe he is a virgin.
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