Tiger’s “I’ve let my family down” statement today should remind us all of what we already know.
These people we root for — worship — cherish — spend money on — devote ourselves to following: we don’t root for the person…we root for the performer.
Because if we were REALLY rooting for the person, we’d probably not be fans if we paid much attention to what they really stand for in life.
I’m the biggest rock-n-roll fan in the world. Growing up, I was a huge fan of Jim Morrison and The Doors. I knew every word to every song (still do) and it would be very safe to say I idolized Jim in my teenage years. Truth? He was a drug-using, woman-banging miscreant who just also happened to have a sky-rocket IQ and the ability to write great songs and sing them just as well.
I was smitten the first time I heard “Love me two times”. But he wasn’t a great person. He was just a great rocker.
I’m a big-time Jay-Z fan these days. He used to sell crack. He’s apparently changed his life now, but the fact of the matter remains — he wasn’t a choir boy growing up and he did some horrible, horrible things as a teenager. I don’t care about that. Maybe I should. But I don’t. I like his music. So, I listen. And in October, I gave him $100 for the privilege of watching him sing for two hours at the arena downtown.
I know for a fact — with 100% certainty — that a current professional athlete in Baltimore is having an affair with a woman outside of his marriage. I don’t care about that. Maybe I should. I still root for the guy. He’s a VERY good player. That’s all I really worry about.
Brian Roberts used steroids. That bothered me greatly, because I really thought he’d be above that stuff. But in all reality, it hasn’t changed my opinion of him. He’s still my favorite Oriole. He made a mistake. I didn’t like it. But I’m still a fan.
Chris Farley was the funniest guy on the planet in the 1990′s. I’ve read his story. He was, by most accounts, a good kid who wound up feeling shamed about his weight and turned to drugs and alcohol. And he died from it. But I never stopped watching his movies or his stuff on Saturday Night Live — and there were plenty of nights on SNL when it was OBVIOUS he was on drugs while on TV. Obvious. But I still watched.
Michael Phelps smokes — or perhaps, SMOKED — marijuana. At the very least, we know he did it once. Big deal. All I know: the dude can swim. Right? And because he’s a Baltimore guy and an American, I like it all the more that he can swim. Bong hits for everyone…let’s watch Mike win another gold medal.
I could go on and on and on.
Every rock-n-roller you’ve ever listened to has PROBABLY used drugs or been involved in some kind of less-than-impressive behavior in their music career. We still buy their records, tapes and CD’s. Nearly every one of us has adored an athlete who has been involved in something scandalous at some point. We get bummed out, but we never go away.
As long as they can still sing, we listen.
As long as they can still perform, we go to the concert.
As long as they can still catch the football, we buy the tickets.
As long as they can still hit the golf ball, we watch on TV.
As long, as long, as long…as long as they perform, we stick with them.
When they can’t perform anymore, we’re done with them. I was a huge Stone Temple Pilots fan back in “their day”. Scott Weiland was great. He was also a heroin user. A regular in the LA drug rehab circuit. I didn’t care about any of that until STP’s music started to stink. Then — I was done with Scott Weiland and his band.
What happened to Tiger is a shame. It’s a shame for his wife, mainly, who now must face the home-bound tension of dealing with this situation and then, face ridicule and snickering when she goes out in public. Tiger’s children are too young to understand but they could certainly be impacted if the family is broken up.
But what happened to Tiger happens in homes across America every single day.
But it’s none of my business.
I’m a Tiger Woods-the-golfer-fan.
I was yesterday, I am today, and I will be tomorrow.
I don’t know much about Tiger the husband or Tiger the father but it looks like he’s not quite as adept at home as he is on the golf course.
His family is his business.
His golf is my business.