The Masters this week marks the return of one Eldrick "Tiger" Woods to competitive golf. He comes back after a self imposed exile to take care of some personal problems that have, by now, been well doucmented by every media source on the Planet. This isn't so much a blog about his actual return to the game. It is more about how everyone has reacted to his return, especially the fans. Your impressions and those at the tournament is my interest and one Sunday morning host on the radio network with 4 letters had an interesting take on the situation.
So, I'm on my way to work on a sunny KC sunday morning, doing some Sirius channel flipping. John Kincaid, a Atlanta talk show host and a ESPN host on weekends had something interesting to say. He apologized for being wrong. He was sorry he had misjudged the reaction to Tiger and his return at the Masters. He was under the impression that the fans would not be kind or supportive of Mr. Woods. Following him for five holes during the tourney and through most of a practice round, John was amazed to see overwhelming support and cheering for TW. Kincaid heard many comments that were to the effect they didn't care what Tiger did in his personal life, they were still fans. he also heard comments about how the media made too big of deal aboput the whole affair (affairs to be accurate). This got me thinking, and thinking and driving are dangerous companions for me. Why are folks reacting this way? I wrote awhile back he didn't owe me an apology, yet I was never one of his big fans either, Why this reaction?
Three things came to mind. One was sympathy for having his private life plastered a throughout the media, especially the tabloid print and TV. There are a fair amount of people who are not fans of how this section of the media treat celebrities, yet the watch. Second was as a nation, we tend to forgive those who come clean with their sins in sports, especially when it doesn't have anything to do with performance. Cheating on the Mrs is okay, gambling on your own team isn't in the US. The last is simly no one cares about infidelity anymore. It's no longer a career fatal scarlet letter for commoners and celebrities alike. We might get pissed off for a minute that Tiger cheared on Elin, or Jesse james was stupid by obiviously going down several notches in the looks department by cheating on Sandra, but in the long run, it doesn't affect many's opinions about the person as long as they still perform their job or are successful in the sport. Maybe those are oversimplifications. Are there reasons I'm missing?
I am very curious to know how everyone else perceives this? Was anyone else in the galleries at the Masters who can verify this? anyone else see this the way I'm seeing it or do you have a different take? Thanks for reading this and I hope to get your reactions about how the golf fans react to Tiger.