The Tiger Woods story: Everyone gets their shot at The Great One

November 28, 2009 | Drew Forrester

Just in time for Thanksgiving, the media and sports fans everywhere have a story they can really feast on — the Tiger Woods one-car crash that left him hospitalized on Friday morning.

It was apparent thoughout the 2009 season — when he won more tournaments than anyone, by the way — that Tiger’s problem was, *ahem*, his “driving”.  So this latest story out of Orlando shouldn’t come as that much of a surprise.  Should it?

OK, enough joking around.

The story has new legs today as a national gossip site (TMZ, if you must know) indicates that Woods told a “non-law enforcement person” that his facial injuries were NOT connected to his early morning car accident — rather, the cuts to his lip and mouth were inflicted by his wife, Elin.

Yeah, I suspect Tiger Woods would confide in someone “on the outside” about a domestic case in which his wife struck him and committed a crime.

That was sarcasm, folks.  I can’t imagine — even if his wife DID strike him — that Tiger Woods would tell ANYONE that piece of information until he had time to confide in his PR folks and determine what public path he was going to take.  Remember, domestic violence works both ways.  If Tiger’s wife struck him, she’s guilty of a crime.

For now, the ONLY facts of the story are that Woods was backing out of his home at 2:25 AM on Friday morning, hit a fire hydrant and a tree, was pulled out of the vehicle by his wife (who busted out the back window with a golf club) and was treated for facial lacerations and released in good condition.

While I understand a lot of people like to play amateur-detective, I will do what anyone outside of the area should do.  That is, of course, wait until those involved issue statements and such.

It is odd, admittedly, that nearly two full days after the accident, Tiger still hasn’t met with police or made any kind of announcement about exactly what happened.  Then again, if I were advising him, I’d remind Tiger that no matter what he says, there will be folks to say, “that’s not how it happened.”  This could be a domestic situation.  That’s entirely possible.  And to that degree, it’s a matter for the family to handle within the walls of their home…in concert with the police, who have the right to investigate if they believe a crime occurred on Friday morning.

Of course, there IS a possibility that there’s much more to the story than simply Tiger pulling out of is driveway at 2:25 AM, hitting a fire hydrant and a tree, and having to be hospitalized.  There have been reports that Woods and jock-celebrity sniffer Robin Uchitel are having an affair.  You can add one and one if you like and figure it out from there.  Even with a beautiful mansion in the most secluded Orlando community, a rock-star husband, two maids (in case one gets sick) and her daily massage and reflexology treatments, Elin wouldn’t be too pleased if she found out her man was running around with some money-grubbing tramp from New York.  A confrontation gets heated, she lashes out, Tiger tries to high-tail it out of their before a complete meltdown occurs and there’s an accident as he leaves the property.

That COULD have happened.  It’s America.  Watch one episode of COPS and you’ll see what appear to be reasonably sane people doing crazy things.  Any of you that are married still proud to say “I’ve never had an argument with my wife?”

I didn’t think so.

That said:  It’s also possible that Tiger was going out to get food, formula or medication for one of his children.

Anyone who says, “I’ve never left my house at 2:25 in the morning” must not have had kids.  I’ve left my house at all hours of the morning to get something for Ethan.  Thankfully, I didn’t hit any fire hydrants as I exited my community.

The fact remains, though, that the story will remain sketchy until Tiger (and Elin, perhaps) speaks with the media, either through law enforcement or in a press conference setting.

I’m not judging what might or might not have happened until the facts are public and stories can be confirmed.

Anyone remember Richard Jewell, the guy EVERYONE thought was the Atlanta Olympic bomber?


In the meantime, the Tiger critics will have a field day with this one as it’s their first real chance to dig their teeth into him. The only thing that’s been more spectacular than his best-of-all-time ability on the golf course has been his ability to stay out of the limelight and the tabloids.

Until now, that is.

So the haters will step forward now and get their shots in.  All of the human elements will come out:  jealousy, racism, ignorance and insensitivity.  The guys who think Tiger gets too much ink because he can shoot 66 with his eyes closed — and they can’t — will surface.  Those who don’t approve of Tiger’s interracial marriage will be heard from as well — they’ve been waiting for a while to get this chance.  People who have no idea what it’s like to have every minute of your life chased down and chronicled by the media will forget all about that and simply say, “ahhhhhhh…fresh meat.”

You’ll see a microcosm of the haters right here in the “comments” section rather shortly.  Jealousy, racism, ignorance…they will each raise their hand and be accounted for in…..3……2……1.  Just watch and see.  The only thing missing will be a Confederate flag from someone’s avatar.

And lastly, the private life of Tiger Woods, Elin Nordegren and their two children should — ultimately — remain just that, private.  Like every other American family — or 99% at least — there is probably strife, misunderstanding and the occasional bump in the road at the Woods home in Florida.  But because he’s the greatest golfer on the planet and arguably the most well known athlete of the last 50 years, there is no private life for Tiger Woods.  That’s what earning a billion dollars gets you, I suppose.

Some days, Tiger probably would trade it all in for a round of golf at the local muni and a couple of beers with the boys while watching the Clemson-South Carolina football game.

Today, I assume, would be a “trade it all in” day.

I have no idea what happened on Friday morning.

The story we’ve heard might actually be the story.

Or, there could be lots more to it.

Anyone not willing to acknowledge both of those angles isn’t thinking clearly.

I’ll wait and hear what Tiger has to say, then make my observations accordingly.

For now, I’ll pass on taking the National Enquirer and TMZ at their word.

Occasionally, the dust needs to settle before the truth comes out.

Just ask Richard Jewell.