I have to admit, I was a bit shocked to walk into the office cafeteria and see a sizable group huddled around the television this past week. It was 11 a.m. EST, and I had forgotten about Tiger’s faux news conference. Unbelievable, I know.
To be quite frank, I have not seen a group gather at the office TV set like that since Sept. 11.
My first thought was the assemblage consisted of a group of die-hard golfers wanting to see if the “gifted one” was getting back into golf. I would not blame them. Where would we be without the likes of sports icons such as Peyton Manning, Michael Jordan and, yes Tiger Woods?
A quick survey indicated these colleagues were not golfers at all.
Nope, they were only a few of the millions watching with a hell-bent curiosity on what Tiger will say and do next.
The National Enquirer-like fervor that has taken hold of the country since the Buick got bashed is not surprising, however. Entertainment has far eclipsed hard news as a rallying cry for curiosity seekers and those wanting to see others crumble under the harsh light of fame and fortune.
But Tiger cannot be surprised by the intensity of the interest. Or, can he?
Those people who rise to the multi-billion dollar club are, many times, taken aback by the wild interest in their private lives. Tiger said he wants to keep his life private. Good luck at that.
Once he became famous he left the privacy card at the door. Many well-to-do, successful politicians and athletes forget that once they start making money by leveraging their fans or constituents to gain monetary strength, their lives become a fish bowl. No, you cannot go back. Once you sign up your life is as transparent as Glad wrap.
Does this mean there’s a double standard? Does this mean that “Joe Six-Pack” doesn’t get the introspection that Tiger is seeing? Yes, absolutely.
And, to all those people seeking public office or a spot on a professional sports team, just remember these words: “How will that action you took today read above-the-fold in tomorrow’s paper?”