Do we have go through this again?
Just before Tiger Woods' official pre-tournament news conference at The Arnie on Wednesday, I Googled his name, and the first three stories that popped up had nothing to do with him being back to his old self on the golf course and everything to do with him having a new girlfriend on Facebook.
"Tiger's ex gives advice to new girlfriend Lindsey Vonn."
"Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn: It just might work."
"Lindsey Vonn once mocked Tiger Woods during pro golfer's 2009 cheating scandal."
Enough is enough.
Isn't it time for all of us to get back to a point where we care more about Tiger's birdies than we do about his babes? As Irish funny man and Golf Channel talk show host David Feherty so aptly told me Wednesday, everybody just needs to stop "looking up Tiger's kilt with a flashlight." It's time to leave him be and let him go about his business of trying to become the greatest golfer who ever lived.
"I hope people will have some sense of decency and leave him alone," Feherty said. "He endured such a beating for so long for whatever it was people felt he was guilty of. I hope people will give him some space, although I don't think there's much chance of that happening."
Feherty is absolutely right as evidenced by Tiger's revelation Wednesday that he was essentially forced to make his relationship with Vonn Facebook official to get the tabloids off his back. Both Tiger and Vonn, the attractive world champion alpine skier, posted tandem photographs on their Facebook pages to stop the hounding, harassing paparazzi's endless quest of snapping the lucratively "exclusive" first photos of the pair together.
"We wanted to limit the stalk-a-razzi and all those sleazy websites that are out there following us," Tiger said. "The extent they'll go to, I've had situations where it's been very dangerous for my kids. We basically devalued the first photos. Unfortunately, that's just the way it is in our society right now."
Don't get me wrong, we've all had our fun with the jokes about Perkins waitresses and porn queens that started when Tiger wrecked his SUV in front of his Isleworth home on that fateful Thanksgiving night. But that was nearly FOUR years ago. Time to move on. Tiger has since moved to Jupiter Island and just sold his Isleworth home to his good friend and defending Masters champion Bubba Watson.
Watson has modified the house, made it larger and doesn't appreciate the jokes about whether "fire hydrant removal" was part of the remodel.
"The people that are making the jokes, they're dumb," Watson says. "They mess up, too. … There's a lot of people who mess up in the world; there are a lot of people who do wrong. I've done wrong in my life. … [Tiger] made a mistake. I forgave him, and he's living through that."
Maybe I'm an old-fashioned sports fan, but I don't really want know about my sports heroes messing up in their personal lives. I don't care to know if an athlete is having marital problems. I don't feel compelled to know the dirty details of who an athlete is sleeping with. In fact, I don't even care to see Facebook photos of Tiger with his newest squeeze.
You know what I want a see pictures of? I want to see pictures of Tiger winning his eighth Arnie on Sunday and once again becoming the No. 1-ranked player in the world. I want to see pictures of Tiger pumping his fist after draining a tournament-winning 20-footer at The Masters. I couldn't care less about seeing pictures of Tiger in pursuit of Lindsey Vonn; I'd much rather see pictures of Tiger in pursuit of Jack Nicklaus.
When asked Wednesday if he thinks he'll ever be as good as he once was, Tiger looked the questioner dead in the eye and said without hesitation: "I don't want to become as good as I once was. I want to become better."
He's already won twice this year and may well be on his way to becoming dominant once again. And as sports fans, this is all any of us should care about.
Let's be honest, the only reason we ever loved Tiger in the first place is because he could hit a little white ball really close to the hole from really far away. Who cares if he's dating Lindsey Vonn, Lindsay Lohan or Lindsey Buckingham for that matter?
Time to get the flashlight out of his kilt and once again start shining it onto his game.
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