The commandment is actually to honor thy father and thy mother, but lately it seems that mothers are getting the honors and dads…well, dads get the blame. For example, look at Tim Tebow and his mother—honor. Look at Tiger Woods’ and his dad—blame. Tiger Woods has the reputation (one of many) of being a loving, loyal, respectful son. Substitute “husband” or “father” for “son” and you get other reputations he once had. Also, “nice guy” and “good role model.”
Woods is attractive, likable, and seems intelligent (though one must wonder). Even someone who is so far removed from the sports scene that she thinks hockey is a game in which men hit each other with sticks and therefore likes it, that would be me, thought that Tiger Woods was a refreshingly sincere, dedicated athlete. This is why Time doesn’t let me pick “Man of the Year.”
Although “Honor thy father and thy mother” is one of the original Top Ten (commandments), its adherents belong to all faiths and no faith. Its top supporters, I suspect, are parents. When I was nine, my fourth-grade teacher (Sister Julia Michael) expanded its scope to include all authority: teachers (surprise!), policemen, politicians, laws; it basically meant do whatever you’re told. We did. Now that I am no longer a young Catholic, but an old Methodist, I learn my lessons elsewhere.
When the July 20, 2009, People” arrived in my mailbox, it was carelessly tossed aside since it was the “Goodbye, Michael” issue. I said goodbye to Michael long before he died (another fallen idol, not mine, but an idol nonetheless). When I was looking for junk to start doing the annual income tax mess, I found the magazine. Oh, how timely. Had I read it in July I would certainly have forgotten by Thanksgiving what Tiger Woods, in an interview, said about his father.
When award-winning photographer FC Etier (my husband) learned of his comments, he was flabbergasted to discover that Earl Woods was nothing more than a lying, philandering [fill in the blank]. This man, so beloved and respected by his son, Tiger, was apparently one of the worst examples of a father that you will find. No, he didn’t beat Tiger when he was a mere cub (not that we’ve heard), and he hasn’t been accused of neglect. Far worse.
Tiger Woods’ dad is the single person most responsible for the problems Woods is now experiencing. In Tiger Woods’ own words, “My dad was my best friend and greatest role model.” Aha! Woods further explained that he still feels his father’s presence and, “I think of him every day. I hear his voice when I have decisions to make.” To be fair, we don’t know if that voice is saying “No, Tiger! Stay away from that ho!” or “For God’s sake, use a condom,” and Tiger is just ignoring it. Pretty damning, though, is the statement “Everything I do and everything I am is because of him.” Everything? Case closed.
There you have it, folks. Still don’t believe? How about “A lot of things he taught me is [sic] just through example”? The only mitigating factor is that Tiger Woods is, undeniably, a liar. Which leads to another question…is he always a liar or just a part-time liar? Was he lying, in that same article, when he said “I’d just rather be home”? Hmmmm…that could be true. But what about when he discussed his $110-million income in 2008 and said, “everything else about my life is normal”? That gross misstatement of the truth lets Dad off the hook, unless Tiger meant for a “normal” horndog.
I don’t know, TW, how normal it is to blame everything on the dead guy. Sure, the government does it, but you’re an athlete. We hold you to a higher standard. While there are some feats attributed to you during your escapades that some “normal” guys might envy, on the whole there’s not too many of us out here that would call you normal. And right now, there are a whole lot of people (sponsors and common folk) who just wouldn’t call you at all.