If you have read any of my other sports posts on golf, which are actually pretty few, you know that I am a fan and supporter of Tiger Woods. I don't root for everyone and, in fact, to be an equal opportunity commentator...some golfers flat annoy me. :-) To say the past three months have been a nightmare for Woods is probably an understatement. It has to be one of the most incredible sports, as well as human interest, stories ever -- the #1 icon in the sports world takes an unceremonious fall because of infidelties in his life. He is still the #1 golfer in the world, and I believe that people, by and large, would like to see him recapture lost glory in relationship to his icon stature --this all remains to be seen. Yet, what I hope that people truly want to see, even more so, is if he can make good on his statement that he needs to have integrity in the struggling part, as well as the rest of his life. His press conference today was a good first step, in my opinion. He has been roundly criticized at every turn by the sports media...some who are sincerely concerned for him, while others are holier-than-thou folks who have taken some cheap shots at him. I am pulling for Tiger and his family...and I hope that others will be too. Christians believe in second opportunities...and even our country has been resilient in relationship to granting celebrities and athletes second opportunities following transgressions.
Tiger read for about 15 minutes from a prepared statement today, but it was apparent that his words and meaning were coming from his heart. He was humble and contrite, but also angry and defensive of his family. It is hard to fault him for this need to defend his families' privacy, but it might have been better in a follow up message -- it's hard to say. It took him three months to sort matters out before he needed to make a statement. Most sports writers and other media people did not like this, as they were wanting him to say something well before this point. Yet, I applaud him that he took his time and, therefore, said the things that he needed to say in the way that he needed to say them. I do have to say that one of the reasons I have always liked Tiger is -- he is real...right down to his passion after hitting a bad shot. I don't like it that he uses expletives, but I hope that he has done some examination in relationship to this aspect of his game...it would seem so. He did mention his Buddhist faith...and how his behavior and attitude has run contrary to what he was taught by his mother as he was growing up. I respect this. Do I wish that he would somehow and in some way come to know Christ? Yes, absolutely. But, I cannot criticize him because he has come to some important realizations about himself in relationship to his own life and faith.
What we can learn and understand is that Tiger is altogether human. He was on the top of the world, and as he said, he thought he could and should be able to do whatever he would want to do with and in his life without any significant repercussion. I think that this is the big lie and deceit of being a celebrity in our world system...not to mention in relationship to being, perhaps, the biggest celebrity in the world -- certainly the sports world. Humility can come when we least expect it sometimes, but God can work in it to make us better people. I hope that some of the burden is lifted from his shoulders...and that he will seek to continue to rebuild his life and relationships. Perhaps, this will not only make him a better golfer, but a better person.