Year of the Tiger?


Apparently, as per the Chinese calendar, 2009 was Year of the Ox. But, what will all the scandalous news of Tiger Woods on the prowl, this definitely was Year of the Tiger, and for all the wrong reasons.

Read this exceptional article for a quick summary of the Year of Deception, as the author terms it!

Many people are outraged at Woods’ deception, and think sponsorships falling out ‘serves him right’!

I think otherwise. For a couple of reasons.

1- Nobody, absolutely nobody is a saint. If Woods has been unfaithful to his wife, then he is not the first (and certainly not the last) man in the world to do so. People assumed he was a perfect husband, and it was this belief that was hurt most, in the infamous car crash that brought the whole scandal to light!

2- The reason corporates sponsor(ed) Woods was his golfing success, and not on him being a ‘faithful husband’ or a ‘role model for the next generation, due to his impeccable character’. I think what appeals most to people is ‘SUCCESS’. Woods was successful in golf, and therefore people were attracted to him, because people identify with role models and believe they can become successful like the champions themselves, in whatever field they choose. Accenture, for example, was also piggy-back riding on this huge wave of success.

I would be shocked if Woods’ affairs were never known to anyone, or never been rumoured about. Quite unlikely, that ‘womanzing’ (as it were!) to this extent, could be kept under wraps for so many years, don’t you think?!

3- I have a (probably) skewed image of Western culture, where I believe many people do not quite believe in ‘one man/one woman’ relationships. (Now, this is entirely an image derived from Hollywood, which is why I said this is a probably skewed). So, the fact that the media and public are outraged at Woods’ dishonesty surprises me.

Anyway, I am not as worried about Woods’ reputation or his career, or the suggestion that ‘he has sinned, and ought to be punished’ as I am about the self-assumed moral policing that people are doing. Who are these people, who shout out loud, that someone else has ‘sinned’. Who are these ‘perfect virtuous souls’? It would be quite interesting to meet them!

Can anybody forget a certain Miss Lewinsky, who became almost as popular as the personality with whom she was involved? But, public apology by Clinton AND ACCEPTANCE by Hillary Clinton is what clinched the deal with the public. We assume its a case of ‘alls well that ends well’. Ofcourse, the apology and acceptance was staged at the right time, and even now, people regard the Clintons with respect.

What’s more? Lewinsky became a celebrity AND a role model (?!!) AFTER the scandal broke out!

Not so in the case of Woods. He is no more a ‘golfer’. He is now a ‘womanizer’ and cheat!

I do feel sorry for him. He certainly deserves to be bashed, for not respecting that beautiful institution called ‘marriage’.

(If you asked me my reaction had this happened with me, I would be furious, and devastated. Ofcourse, if there was this huge a fortune at stake, then I too would follow in the footsteps of Mrs Wood 😉 )

However, I don’t think public outrage is justified. Afterall, if people took him for a role model, it is they themselves, who assumed other virtues in him. Why ostracise him for their own beliefs?

Plus, I think this is all simply ‘Breaking news’ by the media, for the public to lap up.

One well-rehearsed apology, and a wife who is willing to play along, and all is forgotten! Woods could have hired a PR agent to bail him out of this!

Again, I am not suggesting this ought to have been done. All I am saying is, the entire scandal would be forgotten in a few years time. Ofcourse, it will leave an indelible mark on Woods and anything associated with him.

But otherwise, people will forget. Life would go on, just the same. Until, the next scandal hits the news stands. Does anyone really care?!!

What is your take on this?

(Interestingly, 2010 is supposed to be Year of the Tiger 🙄 🙄 )

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20 thoughts on “Year of the Tiger?

  1. I think media went overboard this time Pallavi.I mean with all due respects to the man he has done something which no athelete has done (With respect to his earnings and not his escapedes ;-)).I feel the media should leave him alone .I mean if he has done a mistake then its for his wife to judge and not for the public to scrutinise.Each day one female yearning for her 15 mins of fame gives an interview about feeling sorry for Mrs Woods…Did nt they feel bad when they did the act.For these souls spending time with Tiger is their path to wealth.Sell the story to some magazine or come with a book….

    1. Karthik: Absolutely. People only think about themselves. Someone wants to pull Woods down, another wants to increase his TRPs, and the third wants to become a celebrity by spilling the beans! Don’t think anyone is really concerned about values any more. They are happy to preach and police!

      Prats: Thank you 🙂

  2. 1- Nobody, absolutely nobody is a saint. If Woods has been unfaithful to his wife, then he is not the first (and certainly not the last) man in the world to do so. People assumed he was a perfect husband, and it was this belief that was hurt most, in the infamous car crash that brought the whole scandal to light!

    2- The reason corporates sponsor(ed) Woods was his golfing success, and not on him being a ‘faithful husband’ or a ‘role model for the next generation, due to his impeccable character’.

    Well Pal… Tiger Inc worked with image consultants and PR folks plus assorted corporates… to create the ‘saintly image’. Even his e-mail responses have generous amount of references to family, his lovely wife and adorable kids… in their carefully written lines.

    His sponsorships come from ‘the ace golfer with the clean image’ combo. In other words… the ‘Perfect Man’… that Tiger Inc has helped create.

    His biggest mistake has been… creating an unreal image of himself, even after knowing that he is far from it. And then through every possible channel thrusting it in the psyche of the audience.

    So, when the proverbial cookie finally crumbled… he had egg and much else dripping down his face.

    I don’t know what to say…I believe if people think well of me, I wouldn’t try to tarnish that image by disclosing my flaws/negative attributes in public. Guess he played along because it suited him fine!

  3. Everything is hyped ! There are so many men and women who cheat; and we get to know only the celebrities story ! Thats not fair !! I would love to read the other stories too !! How else will I pass in my IAS exam ??? Bah ! We have so many stuffs to worry about than whats happened in some Tigers or Giraffes bedroom !!! Crazy world we live in !

    Ha ha, I completely agree. I know of so many sleazy stories in conservative Chennai (outskirts) itself, so why not in the US? ‘…Crazy world we live in !…’, I think you hit the nail on the head!

  4. OK..media make kings & monkeys out of same person to fill 24X7 airtime.
    frankly, I like Tiger for his golf and i would continue like his golf. and I dont care what he does with his person life… even if his wife forgets/forgives, media would make stories out of it and will sure she doesn’t forget.!! till date, talkshow makes jokes about clinton. so much hype and importance about issues which is no relevant
    . so much air time..!! even on NDTV? how much people carry about golf in india? or how many do really know tiger woods?

    Glad you think alike Yuva, about Media hyping every tidbit of news, so they get their TRPs soaring. To be frank, I know nothing about golf, but the Woods scandal has put the sport too, in the limelight 🙂

  5. Ah! the things that get done for publicity!!! 😉

    I do agree about your post and your thoughts! 🙂

    Exactly..all about publicity. I don’t think ANYBODY really cares, except the ones who are immediately affected (Woods family) and the ones who are financially affected (his sponsors, etc.). The rest of the junta only wants some entertainment.

  6. Interesting take, Pal. Yes, who are the people who are so outraged? Have they never sinned? 🙂

    When it comes to sponsorships and endorsements, some brands prefer not to have ‘negative’ values associated with them – so even if Woods is a great athlete, some brands will prefer dropping him.

    Wishing you and y0ur family a great 2010,

    Quirky Indian

    Me: My thoughts exactly. Who are the ones doing the moral policing?!

    As regards brand image, I do agree with you, in that sponsors do not want the negative value, and immediately try to distance themselves from the problem. I do not feel sorry for Woods being dropped, but I do have a problem with hypocrisy and double standards. re sponsorers saying they have never sinned and will never sin? Or are their employees epitomes of virtue? That’s why I find the whole episode absurd. People pretending to be perfect, and chasticising someone when they have the right chance 🙂

    Thank you for the new year wishes, QI. And wish you the same 🙂 Are you on FB?

  7. I couldnt care less… really… if people just expect them to behave as role models its their problem not his… !

    plus I thought its his and his wife’s problem ! why do we need to be bothered eh… !

    this is like exactly what Maradona once said… when someone said he is taking drugs and setting a bad example for kids !

    Maradona says.. if I take drugs its my life.. if your son is following me.. you make sure he doesnt… I cant help… its my life!

    Me: Really is between Miya Biwi, isn’t it?

    But after reading your Maradona example, I am beginning to think, maybe Celebrities like these do have an unwritten social responsibility too? Maybe… after all, if Maradona and Woods enjoyed the celebrity status and saint-like-image, maybe they should have tried to live up to it. I don’t know, you’ve confused me now 🙄 Post follows in 2010 😉

    1. why ?????? sorry… !

      its their life… if you follow them fine… if you try to emulate their success fine… if you try to emulate their faults… not their fault… !!!!! YOURS !!!!

      I thought exactly the same, Hitchy, until I read your comment on Maradona!! 🙄

  8. Love your post Pal.
    “Afterall, if people took him for a role model, it is they themselves, who assumed other virtues in him. Why ostracise him for their own beliefs?”

    Hear hear!

    Ostracise him or whatever, but let those who took him as a role model also look into their own heads and ask if they were so simple minded as to believe all the media hype and publicity that made him out to be what he wasn’t. Seriously, I am amazed when I see people talk about celebrity news as if it is gospel truth and then they go crazy when the truth about their ‘role models’ becomes public!

    Thank you so much, Shail. I too am amazed at the way we treat Celebs as Gods! Or maybe, we know perfection is hard to come by, so we choose to believe someone is absolutely perfect, and think all is well with the world?!

  9. We love to take mere mortals and place them on a throne and make saints out of them …… and then stone them. Its a human condition. Tiger Woods is an athlete, not a morality figure. He needs to be treated as such.

  10. Well honestly, I was much surprised when I read about all the recent stuff about Tiger Woods and felt bad for him. Because she just swung his career right into a little black hole! Okay yes he will still play golf and still be brilliant at it BUT his reputation, well along with 2009 he can bid farewell to that too! 😛

  11. When one “orchestrate” his/her image to create an image , he/she has to very much cope up with events when the image crumbles. “Musings of unknown Indian” has aptly put it. Else one need to be smart enough like Clintons ! In this case Tiger has failed to do what Billy did (sorting it out with his wiffy)

    Ofcourse, Media will hype things , add some zing, extra masalas (after all they are into monkey biz of “making” news) and we are “forced” to take note of it as if it is THE news. Other day I overheard my neighbour’s dad speaking about Tiger episode – but ask about Golf he would say it is just playing marbles with stick (seriously is it ?!) :p

    Media plays on the human nature to discuss/gossip another’s life when you yourself is no saint.

    1. * Ritu: You’re right, we love to make a saint out of people and tie huge expectations around their neck.

      * Miss M: Well said 😉 ! It is unfortunate, indeed, that Woods will be remembered as much for his infidelity as for his golfing ability!

      * LR: I think anybody would be happy to be glorified, and it would be silly to publicly proclaim that he/she is not a saint but a sinner!

      Though, after reading Hitchy’s comment above, I am wondering, if such people must not rise above the rest to actually live up to their image.

      * Kanagu: Woods today..someone/something else tomorrow 🙂

  12. Pal, when I saw the news abt Tiger cheating on his wife, only one thot hit me – Why did ppl come to a conclusion that just becos he has cheated on his wife, he cannot be a good golfer anymore ????? And when they brought in reasons like – with so many girl friends, he sure lost his focus and couldnt play well – All these are media hyped stories.

    I absolutely agree with you on the angle – Who are these ppl to find fault in other’ lives ???? Are they perfect ???? And its never new in the Western culture.

    Me: Very true, Uma. Looks like he was just another piece of ‘Breaking News’!

  13. Always wondered what the hula gula was all about.
    How when and where Woods lives his personal life is his business. I don’t think others have to interfere.
    Coming to his wife, I really have my doubts if she never knew about it earlier.

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