Saturday, December 12, 2009

5 comments Scoop Jackson Finds A Silver Lining In the Tiger Woods Situation

I originally wanted this to be a "Ten Things I Think I Think Peter King Has Not Thought Of," but I wrote it TWICE and both times my Internet did not save the post and I only ended up with my typical long introduction rambling. I really miss doing the "Ten Things..." but that's for another day. Fortunately Scoop Jackson is our hero coming to the rescue. Whenever I am down, I know I can count on him to provide some bad journalism to me. Scoop Jackson sees a silver lining in the whole Tiger Woods saga that seems to be more of a fantasy to me.

OK, Tiger got busted. He got caught, admitted to his "transgressions," and is now paying the price.

The price: His wife hates him, he is going to lose a ton of money in the divorce, and his children are probably scarred for life because daddy hooked up with pornstars and failed reality television show contestants. He may lose endorsements and this is getting in the way of his golfing career because now he and his wife are spending quality time together, which means Tiger has to look at the person he cheated on rather than taking his frustration out on his fellow golfers on the golf course.

The good news is there are probably 10,000 other women who would be willing to sleep with or marry Tiger Woods in a heartbeat and it appears none of the women he slept with got pregnant nor gave him an STD. So he has that.

But the bigger picture is this: What happens now? Not to him, but to all the other world-class athletes who could easily meet this same fate. Think this can't happen to you? Better think again.

Oh no, athletes are still going to cheat or mess around on their significant others. The only lesson Tiger Woods will teach these athletes is they need to be a little bit better about keeping a smaller trail of women who are willing to talk about cheating with him, text messages, and voicemails to the other women they are seeing. Athletes will get better at cheating, not smarter about not cheating at all.

If Steve McNair getting murdered by his girlfriend did not stop athletes from cheating, then Tiger's wife chasing him around with a golf club isn't going to stop him these players from cheating either. Again, a prominent athlete got KILLED partially because he was cheating on his wife and this didn't stop Tiger Woods from continuing his cheating, so what makes anyone think it would stop other athletes after Tiger gets caught? Somehow Scoop misses the idea that athletes think they are invincible and can't be caught. That's the nature of the beast and it isn't changing.

Like Michael Wilbon wrote in the Washington Post last week , almost every iconic athlete (Jackie Robinson excepted), from Babe Ruth to Michael Jordan, has been exposed for being unfaithful.

Every iconic athlete? How about Wayne Gretzky, Peyton Manning, LeBron James, Joe Montana, Albert Pujols, David Robinson, Tim Duncan, Greg Maddux, and countless other icons in sports? I don't think they have all been exposed as being doesn't mean they haven't cheated of course. They just haven't gotten caught.

So the question isn't when it's going to stop. The question is: When are they (we) going to learn? When are they (we) finally going to get it?

Never. Athletes will never get it...and I don't appreciate the "we" in parenthesis. I know Scoop is trying to relate normal, everyday people to Tiger because normal everyday people cheat as well...but if Mr. Jones down the street gets caught with 11 other women, there won't be the news stories about it and he won't suffer the public consequences that Tiger Woods has. So while it still happens, being caught cheating isn't as bad publicly for most everyday people.

Until the Tiger incident, the true answer has always been: Never. Is it naïve to think that maybe because of the magnitude of what transpired over the past 10 days, things might change now?

It is so very naive. In fact, I would bet after the Tiger Woods incident many athletes and their mistresses exchanged, texts, emails, or phone calls joking about the situation and how they would never do that to each other. I bet the joke, "You aren't going to do me like those women did Tiger are you," has been uttered to hundreds of sports mistresses over the past couple weeks. Over the past couple of weeks athletes probably have been even nicer to their mistresses for fear they would reveal the relationship to the public. Text messages are being erased, names in phones are being changed, alibis for whereabouts are being firmed up better, and athletes are probably being a hell of a lot more careful. Tiger Woods getting caught is probably the best thing that has ever happened to the flower industry.

I even bet athletes have joked with their wives about how they would get a basketball or baseball bat thrown at them (whatever that athlete's sport of choice is) if she found out he was cheating on her. The wives of athletes who cheat think their husband wouldn't cheat because "her husband knows better" and that athlete thinks he will never get caught because "he is more careful than Tiger Woods." It's very naive to think athletes will change.

Maybe that could be the silver lining in TigerGate: He had to go through this episode and sacrifice his public image and maybe even his marriage to make life better for all the other athletes in the world. That alone would move him up from the "Heroes and Icons" section in 2009 to the "Leaders and Revolutionaries" section in 2010 on Time's "100 Most Influential People in the World" list.

Since Tiger didn't make this sacrifice voluntarily, I am not sure that would make him a leader or a revolutionary. Columbus may have "found" America by mistake and be seen as heroic for this but I don't know if cheating on your wife with 11 women so other athletes can know the dangers of cheating, and doing this by mistake, is a heroic deed.

Because wouldn't you think that after this, they just might get it?

No. They may get it when they get busted. Maybe. Even then I would bet even odds they just keep on cheating or maybe get addicted to strip clubs or something like that...assuming that is possible. I don't know if it is possible to get addicted to strip clubs, but I never put anything past people at this point.

That the millionaire boys club of sports just might look at this one and relate; connect; empathize; say, "Hold up ..."? That this might be the one that finally makes them think?
I don't think at any point the boys club of sports might look up and think that Tiger Woods got caught, and think there is a good chance this could happen to me. Empathize? I guarantee no one can understand the amount of easy sex that gets thrown at the millionaire club members on a daily basis. I think athletes will think about this for a few minutes and think twice maybe a couple of times and then they will start doing what they did before. People can change, wake up calls can happen, but major sports athletes are still going to want to hook up with women that are not their wife.
Of course, what happened to players such as Magic Johnson, Roger Clemens, Kobe Bryant and Steve McNair apparently didn't change the general mindset, so maybe nothing will.
Exactly, if AIDS, potential arrest for having sex with a minor, being accused of rape and being murdered by a mistress are not enough to convince athletes to hold off on the cheating, I really doubt an angry wife, embarrassing phone calls, text messages and some bad publicity is going to do anything either. I don't know what else could happen that would convince players to go easy on who they sleep with, but nothing stopped Travis Henry and Shawn Kemp from trying to populate the Earth with their kin after Magic Johnson found out he had HIV, so I doubt today's athlete will learn the lesson when they see Magic Johnson as an NBA commentator and successful businessman. Most athletes today probably forget that Magic Johnson has HIV, so I don't know what kind of lesson he is to today's athlete.
Tiger Woods is not going to be the standard bearer for bad things that happen when an athlete cheats. I think he will bounce back from this and probably break Jack Nicklaus' record for major golfing events won. There is no silver lining for athletes as a whole on this issue. Maybe a couple athletes will learn their lesson, but I really don't know how much of a difference Tiger Woods' situation will make in the long run.
maybe the dudes who are now doing the "A-Rod" might be rethinking their "transgression" strategies and realizing that a fling with a cocktail waitress just ain't gonna be worth it.
Yes, because most athletes are thinking about the long term while they are sleeping with multiple women behind their wife's/significant other's back. Athletes, hell even normal everyday people, are never thinking about the long term ramifications of what they do in situations like this. They are simply thinking about what they want to do RIGHT THEN...which in cases of cheating is pretty much sex.
And because of the way the saga continues to unfold, because things seem to get less forgiving for him by the day in ways that might eventually break him psychologically and hit him hard financially...because of all that, this might be the point in which Tiger's influence goes beyond his impact as the world's greatest living athlete.

I really don't believe Scoop Jackson is this naive. Maybe a couple athletes will think about their potential and past transgressions and fix them, but right now I would bet most athletes currently in another relationship outside their marriage are sort of scared shitless to break it off. They are afraid if they break it off then the woman (women) they cheat with will go public with it like Tiger's mistresses have done. I would bet less athletes are breaking off extra-marital relationships right now and trying to brainstorm ways to end it gently in a couple of months. There may be some athletes that think twice, I wouldn't doubt that, but this situation isn't going to cause a great change in athlete extra-marital behavior.

This might happen now -- when it hasn't happened yet in the first 2,000 years of sports -- because of the internal and external impact this will have on Tiger's life.
Other athletes can see the pain it is causing Tiger and his family, but they can't actually feel the pain or experience it for themselves so I think the external and internal impact on Tiger's life is muted for these people. Really until it happens to them, most people have a hard time putting themselves in someone else's shoes. Normal people and athletes see the pain it has caused Tiger but until they feel that pain themselves, I don't know if they could truly understand how it feels in this situation.
Hard enough, just maybe, to make others who share his space in athletic notoriety use the outcome to change how they're living.
At this point, Scoop is just writing the same sentence over and over and the hopes he can get his word count to where it needs to be.
The problem is that we don't know the entire outcome of this situation yet. Is Tiger getting divorced? If not and he didn't give his wife a bunch of money and they stay together then what lesson is there to be learned? Cheating is fine as long as you are nice to your wife afterwards?
Now if Tiger gets taken for all he is worth, then I think other athletes are going to learn to cover up their transgressions a little bit better. Not to be negative, but even then Tiger Woods can earn more money so his infidelity was a minor set back for him financially. Will this really stop other people/athletes from cheating?
So maybe there's something else the world can learn from Tiger, and this one would be more important than anything he's done on a golf course or anything he's done in business or philanthropy.

This is idiocy. There is no way Tiger showing men the drawbacks to cheating should ever be compared to any philanthropy work he does. Tiger does a lot of philanthropy work and his work is much more important than teaching cheating athletes the drawbacks of their behavior.

His late father, Earl, once said he felt his son one day was going to make "the world a better place to live in by virtue of his existence." Wouldn't it be something if that day has finally come, and come like this?
I find it hard to believe Tiger Woods will make the world a better place to live by being caught cheating. It would be ironic if Tiger did make the world a better place and all men and women quit cheating then that would be something. But, um, that's not happening. Tiger has also made the world a better place through some of his philanthropic endeavors, but rather Scoop seems to believe curbing cheating is a much more worthy cause apparently.
It would be nice to think most athletes will learn from Tiger's situation but I doubt it is going to happen.
Maybe that legacy will be that Tiger's tale convinced the other gods of sports to do something they've never done before: Pay attention.
That's a lesson I am not sure every athlete or person would get.
-Just for shits and giggles, here is my Heisman ballot:
1. Ndamukong Suh
2. Toby Gerhart
3. Colt McCoy


KentAllard said...

Considering that men cheating and chasing tail goes back way beyond recorded history, so I doubt Tiger has the magic power to re-write our tomcatting DNA. I wonder if there has ever been a sportswriter who cheated on his wife? Nah, probably not, since they are so noble and pure.

I wish everyone would stop using Woods' father's quote in these articles, since it's the one thing he didn't have any responsibility for. My dad used to say about me "One day maybe he'll be smart enough to come in out of the rain", and he didn't know what he was talking about, either.

Martin F. said...

All this does is point out the fact that The Jeter is the smartest man in sports.

rich said...

It always amazes me when people expect athletes to be upstanding people, simply because the media portrays them as such. So people thought Tiger was a good, family man, why? I don't how people can form personal opinions based on media reports and advertisements. If a guy has millions of dollars at stake, odds are he'll lie to you to get that money.

It amazes me even more though that people actually care this much. Tiger cheated on his wife and hurt his family. Before this all came out, Tiger Woods, to me, was phenomenal golfer who, like most golfers, had a family. When he pimped out Gatoraide, Gillete and Buick (Or was it Cadillac?) it was just some guy being paid to tell me to use stuff that (save for the car) used b/c it has a huge marketshare and I'd been using it for years. Basically: People who think Tiger owes anyone besides his family anything is a complete and utter moron.

I will however say that whoever was in charge of maintaining Tiger's wholesome image while he acted like that should definitely get a huge raise at work. That's impressive work.

And Martin F, as much as I hate to say it Derek "Intangibles" Jeter has it right. Famous, athletic and rich? Don't get married and no one will care that you're sleeping with every woman who you see.

Bengoodfella said...

Men have always chased ass, and it's not going to stop now. Yeah, sportswriters who travel all over the country covering their sport, they probably never cheat.

I don't like it when they quote Earl Woods either. It's like they just have to put one more dagger in Tiger by reminding everyone how he pretended to be a family man and isn' his dad will not be proud of him or something.

Martin, The Jeter knows exactly what he is doing. There is no doubt about it.

Rich, exactly. He was trying to sell a product. Do I think the women in the AT&T commercial is wholesome because I see her care about her family's rollover minutes? No, but that's also because there isn't a whole other image I associate with her. In reality, Tiger is a marketing tool who plays golf.

I googled it and I think Buick is a division of Cadillac or the other way around. Tiger owes us nothing, but that doesn't prevent sportswriters from using him as an example that can change mankind's ways.

Derek Jeter knows what he does well. He dates attractive, dark hair women and stays out of the limelight as much as possible and he doesn't get any trouble. Imagine if Jeter got married and then was found to cheat? Just imagine if he married Minka Kelly and cheated with Jessica Biel.

Chris W said...

Why didn't we see an article like this when Steve Phillips got busted!