November 29, 2009

If You Are Man Enough To Do It, Be Man Enough To Say You Did It

Let's assume for a moment that Tiger is indeed playing another woman's back nine. If that's so, he needs to man up, call a press conference and take complete ownership of his deeds.

Woods needs to say what he did, what he intends to do about it and he also needs to apologize - profusely - to his wife and his family. He owes them that much, if he's any kind of man at all.

I can say that with complete confidence. While I know nothing about the pressures and requirements of tournament golf at its highest level, I certainly do have a complete grasp of what it means to be a man, and what marriage actually means. In that, Tiger Woods and I are complete equals. Like him, I stood up in front of God, in front of family, in front of friends and in front of society and the law and made a simple promise to a woman: "to forsake all others."

Yes, no one is perfect. No man walks on water, and no one is born without sin. What makes us different from each other, however is how we handle our inevitable transgressions.

When I was a young boy, I got some wonderful advice from my grandfather: "if you are man enough to do it, be man enough to say you did it." That's a wonderfully simple yet wonderfully deep statement. It says to be honest, be forthright and be clear, but it also implies not to do anything you wouldn't want to admit to. He was a smart guy, my grandfather.

And that's what Tiger Woods needs to do: if he cheated on Elin, he needs to admit it and he needs to apologize to her for the world to hear. If he didn't he needs to defend his - and his family's - honor. But he does need to say something.

Golf is a game of honor. In it, you are expected to call penalties on yourself if you break the rules. It's also said that golf is like life, and that life is like golf. If that's true, and Tiger, if you went out of bounds, you need to admit, take your penalty and move on.


  1. I don't necessarily agree with this myself.

    I think it depends on the relationship that Tiger Woods had with his wife. These days there are many different types of relationships and for that reason I wouldn't feel right saying categorically that he should apologize.

    And no matter what he did, I don't think one can say he should necessarily apologize publicly because, again, his wife may not want that.

    I think we CAN be sure that the PGA Tour wants it though, and that's what irks me about these situations. When I see a "cheating" polititian or actor or whatever, up there publicly apologizing with the wife standing by his side looking pathetic it always screams "reputation management effort by PR firm" and as a woman I feel 99% sure that no woman would ever do that if they weren't forced to by the PR people in an attempt to "save their husband's job" and hence they and their children's meal ticket." Think Silda Spitzer or the McGreavy wife ... or the woman who was married to the anti-gay senator (?) from MN who foot-wedged another gentleman in a public restroom.

    I feel quite sure those women would not have been there if they had a choice. They would not have wanted their dirty laundry aired with an apology, if they had a choice. The would far preferred not to present anything to the public. They would have preferred to be allowed to either work quitely with their husband to mend the marriage or quietly break off the marriage. The exception might be a women who felt the public display might help her get a better divorce settlement.

    No, I feel the public apology is done mainly for fans/constituants/sponsors not for family or honor.

    Anyway that's my take.... a differing opinion.

    BTW, the pulpy book cover is perfect.

  2. I'm not a huge fan of the public apology thing. To apply my reasoning to this situation, there are two factors involved.

    First, no harm was done to me. Depending on what facts eventually present themselves, I will decide whether to remain a fan, but beyond that, no celebrity owes me anything.

    Second, I would have to be a fool to believe that a person making a public apology is actually sorry to me personally. Public apologies are about damage control and public relations and, as such, are generally hollow and meaningless.

    Certainly, if things play out like they seem, then I would expect a lot of private mending needs to happen, just like if it were any of us. But that's a private matter.


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