People often say Tiger Woods “moves the needle.” This means, for example, that when he says he plans to play in this week’s Masters Golf Tournament, people take notice. They care – a lot.
Merely by his presence, broadcasters and advertisers envision a bump in the number of people who tune in to watch the tournament. He creates a stir wherever he goes, whatever he does, whatever he says.
I’m not sure why. This rather unpleasant guy doesn’t move the needle for me. Never has. I don’t feel warmth when I see or hear him. I’m not excited he says he’s playing in the tournament this weekend. I’m indifferent. I won’t tune in to obsess about him and whether he can walk the course on his reconstructed right leg.
I just don’t care that much what he does or doesn’t do because he’s not a person worth spending my time thinking or worrying about. I’m more interested in watching the other great players at the Masters such as World Number One Scottie Scheffler.
Scottie hasn’t been walking around being arrogant the past several decades, using mind-game techniques on the course to intimidate opponents the way Tiger has. I don’t sense Scottie and many of the other top players right now having reputations for being unpleasant to play with, being self-absorbed about winning every golf tournament even if that meant being rude and surly to opponents the way Tiger has.
Many other top players, like the rest of us, aren’t perfect and can be a drag to be around. But it’s fair to say they didn’t go wild socially on a scale that Tiger did – and admitted to – at the height of his superstardom. He took advantage of his golf status to run off with plenty of other women while married with kids.
He’s not the first guy to do this and he won’t be the last. But the fact that he had so many affairs tells me something about the man that I don’t find impressive. I find it off-putting.
He’s selfish. We all are. But Tiger Woods ranks among the most self-centered people I can think of.
Why is the story always about him? Why does the golf world revolve around what Tiger says and does and thinks? Now that he says he’s playing in the Masters, why does everybody seem to care and root for him? Is this really a guy we should be rooting for?
I do feel sorry for the misfortune he’s experienced in his life such as the near-death car accident and back and knee surgeries. Those have been bad breaks.
And his father pushing him into golf as a toddler screwed up his mind and perspective on life because he felt the pressure to always get better at golf and sacrifice so much of his childhood to ensure he’d become a great golfer. He didn’t have anything close to a normal childhood where he could develop and mature the way most kids do.
But he could have said no at some point. Instead, he proceeded down the path of becoming the greatest golfer in the world. And along the way turned off and hurt plenty of people, especially golf competitors. Why? Because he cared about himself and his goals more than them and their goals.
Tiger Woods isn’t a great human being, not even a good one. Below average at best. He should be commended for working hard at his craft and deserves to be successful. But he’s all about Tiger and always has been. He doesn’t care about you and me.
During the press conference, a reporter asked if he would be content with his golf accomplishments if he doesn’t achieve others.
“I think 82 is pretty good and so is 15,” he said.
Typical Tiger. He had to remind us – as if we didn’t know – that he’s won 82 golf tournaments including five Masters and 15 Majors. It was arrogant. It wasn’t necessary. It was self-congratulatory. And it was the essence of who Tiger Woods is: A super self-involved guy who wants us all to worship his greatness and remind us of that greatness whenever he can.
I thought after the car accident maybe he would become a cool and classy guy again, that almost getting killed would give him more humility.
Maybe it has. Maybe it hasn’t.
But I doubt it.
Sammy Sportface, a sports blogger, galvanizes, inspires, and amuses The Baby Boomer Brotherhood. And you can learn about his vision and join this group's Facebook page here:
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