Tiger Woods

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The Tiger Pause

“I was living a life of a lie. I really was. And I was doing a lot of things… that hurt a lot of people. And stripping away denial and rationalization you start coming to the truth of who you really are and that can be very ugly.”

Tiger Woods, March 21, 2010

Tiger’s startling admission to ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi culminated a serious of events initiated by Tiger’s crash into a fire hydrant only four months before.  Yet his collision with the ‘ugly truth’ was actually years in the making.  We learned that the child prodigy, who had matured into a ‘man among boys’ on the golf course and global corporate icon, could also display a seedy underbelly.  That Tiger had publicly succeeded in every imaginable way – the wins, the fame, the beautiful wife and family, the king’s riches – seemed to make his fall all the more shocking.  Entitlement aside, Tiger’s careless and destructive behavior not only interrupted his career, but now gives his adoring public great pause to wonder: “Who is Tiger Woods?”

Careers.org chronicles below Tiger’s actions leading up to his return to golf at the Masters later today.  What happens next is very much in play…  

November 27, 2009 – March 16, 2010:

From off the radar, to Radaronline to Tiger’s announced return to golf

11/27: In backing out of his Wintermere, FL driveway in his 2009 Cadillac Escalade at 2:25 am, Tiger crashes into a fire hydrant and his neighbor’s tree.  As an ambulance takes him to Health Central Hospital for treatment, he stands as the world’s greatest golfer and a global icon epitomizing the best in corporate values, with an overall “favorable approval” with the public of approximately 80%.  While Tiger is reportedly in “serious condition,” he will soon feel the first effects of a far more menacing threat to his well-being–the media. (Examiner.com)

11/29: In the first of three statements posted on his website, Tiger defends his wife Elin’s actions and takes full responsibility for the accident, saying that it was “embarrassing to my family and me” and calling it a “private matter and I want to keep it that way.”  He also volunteers: “Although there is curiosity, the many false, unfounded and malicious rumors that are currently circulating about my family and me are irresponsible.”  (TigerWoods.com)

12/2: In the next posted statement, as numerous allegations of extra-marital affairs dominate the public consciousness, Tiger expresses remorse about his “transgressions” and again defends Elin. (TigerWoods.com)

12/11: Tiger later announces that he is taking a break from the game “to focus my attention on being a better husband, father, and person.”  Tiger is criticized for not scheduling any interviews to discuss the allegations directly. (TigerWoods.com)

12/14: USA Today reports that, in the last interview before the scandal broke, Tiger ironically praised the positive impact of family on his golf. In response to the inquiry “Family first, then golf second – always been like that?” by (Australia) Sky TV’s Murray Deaker, Tiger said, “Always.” (USA Today)

12/16: Tiger undoubtedly wonders ‘if only people didn’t care so much about his private life.’ Notwithstanding the maelstrom around his public image, Tiger is named the Associated Press’ Athlete of the Decade.  “His dominance on the golf course — including 56 PGA Tour victories and 12 majors — was enough to lift him past a field that included Lance Armstrong, Roger Federer and Michael Phelps.  The voting wasn’t even close, with Woods pulling in 56 of the 142 votes.” (SunTimes.com)

Related to Tiger’s alleged sexual transgressions, People.com also reports that according to Tiger’s high school girl friend Dina Parr, Woods discovered in his teens that his dad was unfaithful “The irony? It tore Tiger apart,” says People.com. (People.com)

The New York Times’ Karen Crouse later reports on 12/26 that Tiger’s father Earl once said:  “I’ve told Tiger that marriage is unnecessary in a mobile society like ours.” (New York Times)

12/19: Tiger’s mom, Kultilda Woods, while supportive, “is hurt, angry and disappointed in Tiger,” a family friend tells People.com. “She wants to know how he could do this to his family.” (People.com)

What role did Tiger’s entourage play?

12/22: Tiger’s close inner circle of friends knew of his affairs, the New York Post reports. (NYDailyNews.com)

One writer notes that facilitators like these aren’t really friends at all.

“As the adage goes, ‘friends don’t let friends drive drunk.’ And friends don’t help friends screw around with untold numbers of women, risk a billion dollar career, rock solid reputation, the sexual health of a mother and two children, the mental and physical well being of the man in question, and – this is the kicker for Modern Love – their own sense of decency (which they must have lost somewhere on the back nine).  Too many knew of his transgressions years before this story broke. Maybe it’s time Tiger find [sic] himself a new set of friends who still remember what it means to be loyal.” (Examiner.com)

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