Tiger is Still Better Than You

Have you had your fill of Tiger Woods talk yet? If not, allow me to sum up what we're really dealing with here. The economy. When you boil this whole saga down to its essence, you get an incredibly self-aware man that knows what this country needs.

Tiger has an acute awareness of how the 24/7 news cycle works. It's vicious, it's unfair, and it is irresponsible, on its best day.

He must also have an incredible handle on how the news business is falling apart. Like any American, I'm almost certain he knows how tough things are for most people.

So, Tiger did what any American hero would do, he threw himself to the wolves. The evidence is right in front of us and is easily deciphered by a clever man. Woods had one of the cleanest slates in contemporary sports history.

The closest complaint anyone had about Tiger involved either his overwhelming athletic gifts or his propensity to curse on a golf course, as if that's not relatable to anyone that's played golf, ever.

And if there's one thing people like more than anything, it's tearing down the good guys. Everyone loves to yell "see! see!" to those "he's too good to be true" stories.

The worst impulses in people are fed by the constant attention this story receives.

The average consumer, unfortunately, is fairly predictable. That's why reality TV is so successful. That's why ironic people like to hate it and complain about it. There's not a better cliché to sum up this cliché than with the poignant "It is what it is."

Tiger knows what it is. He knows a story about the dark side of the clean-shaven superstar will sell newspapers. He shrewdly knew that one affair would make a story for a day, but that multiple affairs that could be discovered over time could feed the monster like the succession of Chinese firecrackers.

Nothing has united this country quite like the Tiger Woods saga. Office secretaries, whose sports acumen is limited to astonishingly accurate NCAA brackets, are throwing around one-liners on Tiger like they are writers for Jay Leno.

Speaking of Leno, we're now subjected to approximately 32 weeks of jokes like this, from a recent show.

"Mrs. Tiger Woods is a 19 — a 10 with a 9-iron."

If I may be allowed a counterpoint, Jay — you're a 4. A 1 with three chins — boom! How's it taste?

That was childish, I know. But as one of the few people that refuses to feign indignation about a man that has had an affair, I find myself trying to oppose this tidal wave of hate.

I gave an interview to FOX News about the situation and tried to take the complete opposite side of this situation, just so we could live up to the fair and balanced slogan they love so dearly. I argued my point eloquently, that I care only if Woods is a good golfer, not if he's a good husband. That I only care about his driving on the golf course, and not when it comes to driveway obstacle-courses.

I should stay above the fray, but I'm not strong enough. I realize Woods, in the ultimate self-sacrifice, orchestrated this debacle to give America something to believe in. To give America something to take pride in. Even the best can fail.

His well cultivated plan to fall on his own sword is noble. But even that has a flair of Tiger to it.

Sure, he cheated on his wife, what makes him different than David Letterman or Steve Phillips, who have both made waves recently with their marital indiscretions? It's his competitive streak. He didn't just have an affair with a homely production assistant or whatever passed over freak-show he could find, he put together a resume that can't be topped by mere mortals when it comes to affairs.

That's the only thing that puts a smile on my face. The casual golfer, who spends his weekends decapitating blades of grass while cursing his inability to mimic Woods excellence on the golf course, can laugh as much as he wants at Woods' expense.

Because now there's another bar Tiger has set and that's cheating on his wife. This weekend warrior will someday realize that no matter what happens in his life, he will never be able to execute a string of affairs like Tiger Woods. He may get lucky and bang the babysitter or some drunk intern at the company Christmas party, but that man will spend his soul-searching hours of loneliness cursing Woods yet again.

Because anything he can do, Tiger can do better.

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