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Susan Estrich
5 Feb 2016
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Tiger's Feet of Clay


Nine women. And counting.

When did this guy find time to play golf?

And taste? Shall we put this nicely? This was not about intellect. It was not about character. My favorite so far is the pancake waitress, who would go from her $8 an hour job to playing with Tiger. Tiger was democratic — and catholic — in his offers to the women who served him food and drink.

Of course, it's not exactly shocking news that a guy who must have women throwing themselves at him 24/7 and who clearly has an eye for beauty has behaved poorly. As a matter of fact, if the tabloid reporting that is being reprinted by major news organizations and that typifies the coverage here is to be believed, the National Enquirer cut a deal with Tiger two years ago when they caught him red-handed in an SUV behaving like a teenager. The deal allegedly landed him on the cover of sister magazine Men's Fitness in exchange for keeping the photos out of the press.

So bad boy gets caught. Wife moves out and gets lots of money. Bad boy apologizes and keeps being bad. Why should we care if he can still birdie?

The answer, the one you hear every time you turn on the TV or want an excuse to ogle the latest addition to the Tiger posse, is that guys like Tiger Woods make their real money not by hitting the ball but by selling themselves, and that role models live and die by their reputations.

Do you really want to buy clubs from a guy whose wife uses one of them on him? (OK, maybe.) Do you want your kids to look up to such a man? Only for his golf game.

The stupidity of Tiger's egregious misbehavior lies in his assumption that these women would protect him. Why would they? Why sleep with Tiger Woods if you're not going to tell people? Unless he pays you.

I had to laugh when Gloria Allred's daughter and CBS commentator Lisa Bloom said that the only reason her mother would cancel a press conference is if there was an agreement prohibiting the parties involved from saying anything.

Poor Tiger. He should've had all of them sign agreements first. Some superstars do.

The truth is that most of these guys get away with it, most of the time. There but for the grace of God goes whoever you were cheering for last summer at the ballgame, or are hollering for tonight on the basketball court, or will be rooting for on Sunday on the football field.

This is nothing new. Nearly 30 years ago, I shared a motel room during a campaign with a self-described "Baseball Annie" and flight attendant who had literally played with my beloved Red Sox for years. Working in politics, I was shocked by such conduct. I'm kidding, of course. In those days, reporters used to go to parties with politicians and interns. These days, they still don't write what they know until and unless someone else does. And then they are shocked, shocked, to discover gambling in Casablanca.

None of this is a secret. Was no one from the press ever there when Tiger was flirting with women in hotels and bars and pancake houses? Were representatives of his sponsors never around? Was he really all by himself, unnoticed? Why do I think not?

The media and their sponsors celebrate these guys as role models even when they know they have feet of clay. Then, when the club flies or the other shoe drops, they beat the bushes for the women they've been seeing hanging around for years.

Hypocrisy lies at the core of most contemporary idol worship, certainly the commercial kind. Those who promote the Tigers know their flaws better than anyone. Did anybody ever tell Tiger to cut it out? I doubt it. Is anybody telling all the other Tigers out there that they had better stop or else? I doubt it. Tiger will survive, and they won't stop.

To find out more about Susan Estrich and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at



4 Comments | Post Comment
Of course, all of this can be applied to politicians as well. I worked for a cabinet secretary in the 80s and was able to squirm out of saying "yes" when I was propositioned within the administration and on the Hill-- fortunately, because the girls who said yes found themselves looking for other employment a few months later. Political staffers know about a lot of boorish behavior but never talk if they want to stay employed. But the politician's peers probably have no idea how crass their esteemed colleagues are when they think no one is watching. So who tells the politicians to knock it off, until they get caught? Including yourself, who was at the top of the staff pyramid? Did you ever tell someone to quit being a tomcat?
Comment: #1
Posted by: Lesley Barnard
Wed Dec 9, 2009 10:54 AM
wHERE IS IT WRITTEN THAT SPORTS FIGURES have the right to cheat on their wives? Years ago, I spoke to Mike Schmidt about this very thing. He and his close friend Andre Thornton were right up front about the subject of fidelity to their wives and family. Mike to his wife Donna and to his kids Jonathan and Jessica. He told me that he could not be the baseball player he was without the devotion to and from his family. He told me that he could never hurt any of his family by involvement with another woman. Mike , at that time the hottest hitter in baseball, had tons of babes trying to bed him. He told me that if he accepted and then got an STD, his wife would be a double victim and he was terrified of that happening. It was an easy choice for him. Just go home and have a happy family life. Mike belonged to an organization of Christian Athletes dedicated to high ideals and ethics. It is amazing how few of those guys you see with negative headlines. And guess what, it is easier to be a decent human being than a "Lion Cheetah".
Comment: #2
Posted by: robert lipka
Wed Dec 9, 2009 2:36 PM
Susan who cares? Why don't all of you stop writing; and stop reporting about this stuff. For me, behavior like this only matters if one has the opportunity to affect my life; such as an elected or appointed official or a school teacher, police officer, etc. Some one able to make policy or law that may change my life. Tiger Woods has nothing to do with us. No one is shocked anymore; so why should anyone pretend outrage over any of it. As far as the media goes; I could see the Tiger deal as a one day story; where it is only mentioned or noted. There are so many more important things that we the American people should be focused on.
If all of you; in television, radio, and newspapers would stop the wall to wall reporting on all the celebrity junk; it would help to clean up a lot of the bad garbage reporting one must go through just to get to the 5 seconds of some news worthy item.
I would like to know more about the tax cheats that were nominated and confirmed by the senate recently, and more about the people appointed by Obama as advisers. We don't get much on that front; yet theses people; who ever they are have a great deal of power.
Comment: #3
Posted by: Leona Hiley
Wed Dec 9, 2009 11:18 PM
Tiger doesn't owe me anything. If he wants to roll the dice with his marriage, like millions of other men and women, why is it my business?
Comment: #4
Posted by: scott365
Thu Dec 10, 2009 8:28 PM
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