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Tiger Woods’ Failure as a Father

4 Dec

Just a dang shame...

Yeah, there’s a reason the picture is taking up half of the column space, and it’s not the guy holding the baby.

It’s the baby.

Lost in all of the ugliness that has become Tiger and Elin Woods’ life are the faces of Sam (the pictured infant, now 2 years old) and Charlie (the nine-month old son that many people didn’t even realize existed until the scandals broke). Their dad, arguably the most famous man on the planet, will now be remembered in an entirely different way.

And those two kids will have to live with that.

It’s hard enough when people refer to your dad as “the Black Jesus”, “a golf god”, “the greatest athlete of all time.” That’s a heck of a legacy to live up to; the kind of thing that has driven other children of famous parents into the world of depression, addiction, even suicide.

Now tack onto that pre-existing fame the collective disappointment that many of our nation are experiencing right now, and it becomes an almost unbearable burden:

To bear not only your father’s greatest successes, but his greatest failure as well.

I don’t much care how the media views Tiger. I don’t much care if things get better for him, personally, in the near future. He deserves the excoriation as much as he ever deserved praise. I agree with Jesper Parnevik to some degree: whatever Elin dishes out, he’d better shut up and take.

But I do hope this blows over quickly for the kids. I hope that Tiger can get back on the golf course and win five or six tournaments in a row, put the focus back on his exceptional and singular skills as a golfer, and let his family rest in relative peace for a while. Maybe by the time Sam is old enough to darken the door of the local Kindergarten, the events of the past few days will be lessened in the overall pantheon of their family life; maybe by the time Charlie hits school, the past few days will only be a lame taunt lobbed at him by an overly jealous classmate.

I hope that’s the case. I hope.

But I don’t know. Until then, I’m praying for the kids.