Tee for two ??
Tiger, Tiger burning bright!!Like countless Tiger Woods fans across the world, I was shocked out of my skull when I received a tweet which said Tiger had been seriously injured in an accident.It seemed plausible – anybody can get injured in a car crash. And the person does not have to be a reckless drunk. But as more details emerged about that crash, the story got spicier. Almost overnight, the golfing world’s God had revealed feet of clay! His perfect family man image lay in shambles, and the sequence of events leading up to the rescue, triggered off a series of nasty rumours involving a leggy blond, an enraged wife, sexting and more. It was just another made-for-tabloids story with shades of the O.J.Simpson scandal thrown in. To a lot of his shocked fans, Tiger had let them down by behaving like any other bratty sports star – what was the difference between him and Boris Becker? But for me, Tiger’s faux pas gave the robotic man a human dimension. I also found his website entries awfully cute and adorably immature. “I am embarrassed,’’ declared Woods, sounding more like an errant schoolboy forced to confess all, while being bashful about revealing intimate details.
At the time of writing, Tiger was still sticking to a vague script and had not made himself available to law makers. Meanwhile, Rachel Uchitel,the leggy blond who got Woods into this mess, had jetted off to consult Gloria Alfred, a top lawyer, after tantalizing the waiting press by stating mysteriously, “ I wish I could say something, but I can’t.” What this probably means is that she’ll first pitch her story to the highest bidder, sell movie rights and then open her mouth! Neat. That leaves Tiger and his club -wielding wife Elin, who had once boasted that the two of them were spared by the gossip press since they are “kind of boring.” No longer! The racy account of their little outing at 02.30 in the morning, ended with Tiger having a lot of egg all over his face, to say nothing of scratch marks and other injuries. The jokes have been flying around the world ever since - “ What were Tiger Woods and his wife doing out at that crazy hour? They went clubbing!” This is a mild one. Unfortunately, people with as high a profile cannot afford to make even a single slip and hope admirers won’t notice. Tiger’s positioning over years has been that of an upright, focused professional, with no real interests outside his game and family. This sort of an impeccable reputation was imperative to a man who made serious money out of his image. Not for nothing had Woods attained the enviable position of being the richest sportsman in history. After this, it won’t be easy to watch his commercial currently playing across our tv channels, without sniggering.Will the present scandal impact his game… his endorsements… his earnings… his marriage ( yes, in that order?) . It remains to be seen. Even though we do live in a moralistic, hypocritical world which hastily passes judgement on superheroes stupid enough to get caught with their pants down, how can we forget Bill Clinton and how smoothly he survived adultery , plus impeachment charges and went on to make even more money as a global speaker? Dented, but never down. That’s America, did you say? No, that’s India, too. And most other countries as well.
Adultery has obviously been downgraded. It is no longer such a big deal. Sure, Tiger’s fans will follow the story breathlessly while it is still hot. But the same people will also applaud enthusiastically if he shows up to compete in the Chevron Thousand Oaks, or any other championship.Though Woods watchers are also warning fans that it may not be such a cakewalk after all. Known for his discretion and reticence, Woods may just go into hiding for a while… at least till the scratches on his face heal. That will leave party organizer Uchitel and wronged wife, Elin, to slug it out. But this is one battle that may cost Woods a packet. If the sleazy story sticks,Elin will have to live on tenterhooks haunted by that old adage – a tiger can’t change his stripes. Tee for two, anyone?
The body count has gone up... and still counting, since this article was written. The lively glossies Down Under were carrying the most tantalising pics and stories on the scandal. Greg Norman's defence of Tiger did not find too many takers, however. But this much I can tell you, when we boarded the Qantas flight back home in Melbourne, my son Aditya, a golfing fanatic and ardent Tiger Woods fan , was carrying a magazine that featured Woods on the cover with the bold headline : 'SEX ADDICT'. Well, at least three men on the aircraft wanted to grab the magazine out of his hands , as they chuckled and gave a thumbs up sign. Tiger Woods - Closet Hero! Think of all the blokes who'd love to swap places with him, and you'll know what they say about men never growing up!!