Thursday December 17th, 2009

After much soul searching, I have decided to take an indefinite break from Tiger-gawking.

I am deeply aware of the disappointment and hurt that my rubbernecking has caused so many people, most of all my wife and children, wherever they are. It may not be possible to repair the damage that I've done to my soul, but I want to do my best to try.

Now: Who is with me? Anybody?

Maybe you think Tiger's infidelity is not a story. Maybe you are so appalled that you swear you'll never wear another Swoosh. Either way: Is anybody changing their mind at this point? Don't we have enough information for 300 million one-person juries to reach a verdict?

Sure, he cheated on his wife with two women ... three ... OK, at least 9 ... 10 ... 12 if you count the porn stars, but we're going to need a ruling on that -- maybe he was just thinking of producing a movie and was doing the casting himself. Nonetheless: I stand by him completely, I don't care what he does in his personal life, he's my -- wait, he eats at PERKINS?!?!? I'm through with him!

When the Tiger story first broke, I believed it was really nobody's business if he'd cheated on his wife. I still believe that. But I admit there have been too many moments when I leaned over to see what TMZ was reporting and fell off my high horse. It is hard to look away.

It's hard to say when, exactly, I decided enough was enough, but when you need an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of a man's extramarital affairs ... well, what else are we supposed to learn at this point? How many more putter jokes can we make?

He was unfaithful. He admitted it. He was reckless about it, and it's easy now to wonder why he ever thought he could get away with it ... but hey, as of two months ago, he HAD gotten away with it. So maybe that's why he figured he could. I don't think we can get much insight into Tiger's personality from that.

Almost everything else is details. It's an involuntary reality show. Just this week, we learned that Charles Barkley wants to talk to him but can't. Ron Artest has offered to give Tiger advice. I'm sure Artest means well, but I think it's a little late for Tiger to blame the whole thing on a drunk fan.

CNN's Larry King said Tiger's infidelities made him even more amazing, because he was able to win so much while he did it. (Of course, King has been married eight times as of Wednesday evening. I don't know if this makes his comment more or less insightful.)

Everybody has an opinion. Tiger needs to quit golf. Tiger needs to win some tournaments. Tiger needs to take a year off. Tiger needs to hold a press conference, answer questions honestly and cry. Tiger needs to go on Oprah. Tiger needs to go on Letterman with Hugh Grant and Levi Johnston. Tiger needs to go to church.

Every theory seems to makes sense, until you realize that none of them make sense, because how many of these people know Tiger Woods? How many of them know what he is thinking? Why would anybody assume he wants to live the rest of his life in a monogamous relationship? I mean, maybe he does, but let's face it: there isn't a whole lot of evidence of that.

All the advice columnists are missing the biggest lesson from this story: we don't know Tiger Woods at all. How are we supposed to know how he wants to spend the next 30 years? How are we supposed to know what really went wrong in his marriage?

See, this is the problem with all the coverage: people tend to think first of what Tiger can do to win back the public. That is so backwards. Tiger, like anybody else on the planet, has to figure out what he wants to be before he can worry about pleasing anybody else.

And what does he want to be? How the heck should I know?

All I know is I've heard enough. Oh, if another sponsor drops Tiger, I'll take notice. If he says anything, I will absolutely listen. In the meantime ... well, I just saw a story that Elin is leaving Tiger, and another story that Elin is definitely staying with Tiger. My conclusion: I'm leaving Tiger and Elin. If they ask about me, tell them the truth: It's not them -- it's me.

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