Ron Hart Columns: Tigergate: Pride and prejudice but no sense or sensibility|
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Tigergate: Pride and prejudice but no sense or sensibility
December 13, 2009 - Panama City News Herald
By Ron Hart
The Tiger Woods saga was described to me in a manner unique to my friend when he said, "It looks like Tiger ran into a tree with his car and nine women fell out."
That is the problem with being famous. Those partners in dalliance enjoy the media spotlight when they can come out and proudly tell all, or even make things up, about their fling with a famous person. There are built-in defenses against this if you are not all that attractive or famous. In my case, a woman would be embarrassed to say she had anything to do with me; it would be no great source of pride. Or for that matter, rarely would a woman trumpet having slept with an unemployed drifter whom she met at the Greyhound bus station.
Guys are guys and women are women. We are not going to change that.
Football players on my high school team would brag about sleeping with teachers; it made for great locker room fodder. When I bragged about having sex with my teacher, the guys would always try to belittle it and say things like, "Yeah, but you are home-schooled." You open yourself up to scrutiny when you make assertions about sexual conquest. Guys can be cruel, and today's media can be even crueler.
But if you think guys can be mean, women are worse. As Frank Sinatra once said about women who claimed to be involved with his buddy, John F. Kennedy, "Hell hath no fury like a hustler with a literary agent." I would amend that for modern times and opine that hell hath no fury like a jilted cocktail waitress who has retained Gloria Allred. To me, having to spend time with Allred (a woman who is clearly not sleeping with anyone) is like excessive drinking - it is its own punishment.
Once Tiger shook the bimbo tree and all these women fell out, he opened himself up to revelations about his game. Details will come out - like he preferred to play the back nine first, and that he certainly does not celebrate diversity when it comes to his women. Heck, in today's world the tree, which to date has been silent about the details, might write a tell-all book.
People do survive sexual scandal. Let's look at a short history of luminaries who have dealt with it, starting with our Founding Fathers and stretching pretty much through every famous man up to Tiger Woods. Jack Kennedy was an accomplished womanizer and golfer as well. Yet in a recent Vanity Fair poll, he was voted most likely to be the next president to have his likeness carved into Mount Rushmore. If he had lived, he certainly was on a trajectory to be voted the president most likely to be beaten by Jackie Kennedy or a Mafia kingpin for his sexcapades.
The Tigergate story is not over. Like most situations when the government gets involved and the cameras are rolling, they have to come up with something. You would think Tiger's wife, Elin, would be in the clear here, but she did smash the window of a Cadillac with an African-American in it. She will probably be charged by Attorney General Eric Holder with a hate crime.
The media are not going to let this go. However, this painful process might be speeded up some if Tiger would just release a list of women he did not sleep with. People do not want to judge him; they just want details (especially us men - lots and lots of details, and pictures if you have them). And our commentary on the whole matter is entirely predicated on our proximity to our spouse or to our guy friends.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to male hubris and women's need for attention. What history teaches us, and what Bear Bryant poignantly reinforced, was that even with all his victories over the years, sex remains undefeated. Tiger would do well to remember that.
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