Dear People Who Care about Tiger Woods off the Golf Course,

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Stop clicking on the stories when they come up on Yahoo or ESPN.  Stop watching when it’s mentioned on SportsCenter.  Stop giving careers to sketchy lawyers.  Stop giving book deals to porn stars.  Stop acting as if Tiger owes one thing to one person except his family and friends.  Stop being a pawn in the circus.  Stop paying attention.

You own a set of Tiger Woods golf clubs and feel betrayed?  Sell them and pipe down.  Your kid looked up to him?  Take some responsibility for letting your kid have a role model you don’t know.  You just find the whole thing “sort of interesting”?  It’s a big world out there and if you do some work, you may find some stuff that’s way more interesting.

Same for you media.  You’re doing your job as a reporter?  Stop being lazy and find a real story.  You’re doing your job as a columnist?  Stop being dumb and come up with your own opinion.  You’re doing your job as a producer?  Show some sack and make interesting something else in the wide wide world of sports.  All of you are cashing in on America’s pathetic tendency to slow down at a car crash.  You know we look, we gossip, we have opinions on business that is not ours.  And you feed that.

But yes, the responsibility does ultimately lie in the individual who tunes in, who forms judgments based on other’s perceptions, who put these slimy lawyers on the map, who cause floozies to come out of the woodwork and rain crocodile tears about how Tiger broke their heart.  It does come back to us.  So when Tiger returns (and lays waste) to Augusta, mute the TV when the chatter heads start innocently wondering “how he must feel after all that’s gone on.”  Just watch the greatest golfer in the world playing the greatest course in the world, and not only have some respect for him, but for yourself.

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Follow Caleb at www.twitter.com/calebgarling

Caleb Garling lives in San Francisco and wrote The St George’s Angling Club, available at

www.calebgarling.com

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8 Responses to Dear People Who Care about Tiger Woods off the Golf Course,

  1. Kat says:

    Wow Caleb, how do you really feel? 😉

    I totally agree with you and hope that he plays well so (maybe) everyone will start talking about golf again and stop talking about something that’s really none of our business and has caused lots of people lots of pain.

    Love the blog! Hope you’re well. Kat

  2. george starn says:

    Nice work. After teaching H.S. for 36 years, I felt that I was able to read people pretty well and I felt that you were this kind of person. Keep up the good work.

  3. Josh says:

    Also, don’t you think that there may be more to this than the whole slowing down to look at a car wreck thing? I mean, forsome people it isn’t just that they enjoy all of the juicy gossip, it’s that they like to see a guy who had everything in the world brought back down to their level. They just can’t stand to see someone doing well and having the kind of success that they can never have. They’re reassured that a guy who seemed almost invincible actually has flaws because it means that they’re own shortcomings are a bit more excusable. On one level, I suppose it’s only human, but on another level it’s kind of sad. Why can’t we have idols who don’t turn out to be creeps? Why not work to make our lives better instead of revelling in the fact that the people we admire are actually just as screwed up as we are?

    • Bob Jones says:

      Their level, Josh? I hope not.

    • Caleb says:

      Good point, Josh. The car crash curiosity does seem to extend into some level of vulturistic (just made that up) behavior where once we start feeding, we can’t stop until there is nothing less.

  4. Josh says:

    You also have to love the fact that the women feel betrayed by Tiger when they knew that they were the “other woman” in the equation. Really? You’re shocked that you couldn’t trust a guy who was cheating on his wife with you to be open and honest about his feelings?

  5. CHT says:

    I agree that people should stop clicking, watching and reading, but the deeper issue is not why are the reporters doing these things, but why are people participating? I think there is a train wreck phenomenon here. Flawed people with dull lives, constantly belittled in their jobs, constantly forced to feel insecure by advertisements peddling the next best thing. They–we–seek some sense of retribution through the downfall of the “biggest” among us.

    Still not sure why this story is such a surprise, though. Athletes play sports and get famous, rich and powerful. They don’t subject themselves to all the sacrifices of professional sports out of a love for the game–that’s a myth. They do it to get paid and to get laid. Then we are surprised when an athlete like Woods cashes in to enjoy the sacrifices of celebrity?

    • Caleb says:

      CHT, that is the part that I think those that feel outraged by it all need to examine the most: why do you feel entitled to outrage? Tiger doesn’t owe anyone anything. America loves to insert themselves into people’s living rooms when they don’t know them at all, then play parent. Probably one of the curses of the internet and 24/7 news. We know too much

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