Tiger fans — I don’t get ’em

“Do you think Tiger Woods is going to regain his form and dominate like he did before?”

“I hope not.”

The question belongs to me, the answer is attributed to an anonymous source whose name I won’t reveal without permission – but whose sentiments are not exactly rare in my experience.

Two and a half years removed from Tiger’s famous late-night, never-fully-explained fall from grace, he remains a subject of intense interest, and some controversy. Golf skills aside – and the endless deliberations over his golf swing – Tiger doesn’t appear to be much different now than he did before his very-public personal unraveling.

But things are different with lots of people I’ve talked to. I’ll candidly admit that I’ve never been a fan of Woods because of his spoiled brat on-course behavior, but I’ve got to say – the re-adoration that many appear to be feeling for the guy is puzzling to say the least.

The roars that accompanied Woods in his second post- collapse Tour victory at the Memorial were reminiscent of the “old” Tiger, and so were the slobbery statements emanating from the TV commentators who witnessed Woods’ Sunday charge. Woods holds the Tour “hostage” in the sense that so much of its media generated revenue is tied to the man, but MUST we endure this senseless adulation again?

See the anonymous fan’s statement above. Most of the golf enthusiasts I know can’t stand Tiger Woods, and it’s not because they’re intolerant of his ethnic heritage or unforgiving (or un-accepting) of his personal history. No one is perfect, and I’ve always found that people are usually open to sinners who repent.

The difference is, Woods has repented – but he hasn’t changed.

Who knows whether he’s still traveling the world and sending emissaries to round up girls. It doesn’t matter, either.  Despite promises that he would do better between the ropes and in front of the microphone – after his epiphany and months of counseling – he still swears, still scowls and still has the same disrespect for the game and fans that he’s always had.

He ain’t no Phil Mickelson.

Yet some people can’t get enough of Tiger’s drool. Throw the CBS folks in there with him (though I like all of them and they do a fantastic job, they need to stop portraying Woods as superman – he’s not). Woods’ galleries are as large as ever, and they still roar at every Woods shot.

Why, I ask?

Is being great at golf enough to allow you to put aside your better instincts in assessing this guy as a jerk? Can you like someone you don’t respect?

Woods should be working as hard on his personality as he is on his golf swing, then maybe he’d be able to muffle some of his cussing and otherwise atrocious public persona. Why do people still get into this?

I don’t get it.

In the meantime, I guess I’ll just have to be satisfied in being a member of the anti-Tiger fan club, which includes most of the people I know – and we’ll all just have to hold our stomachs while the pro-Tiger folks get their jollies off of scowls, glares, whining and a host of fantastic golf shots.

Is it enough? Not for me, man.


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