Tiger’s Troubles

On a day when I should be remembering the over 4,000 souls who lost their lives in Bhopal, India as a result of a toxic cloud that escaped from a Union Carbide plant exactly 25 years ago today, I find myself bombarded with “news” stories about Tiger Woods.

There must be many days when Tiger wishes he could just be an ordinary Joe, but the price one pays for contemporary celebrity involves sacrificing personal anonymity. And so this week when a gossip magazine published reports of his alleged infidelity, what would  have been for most of us a “private transgression” ended up becoming more grist for the public  gossip mill.

It goes without saying that I hope Tiger can make amends with his family. But what won’t get said is also what many of us feel: that Tiger’s storybook life will no longer be quite the same. In hindsight perhaps it was too good to be true. The son of a service man, through his extraordinary hard work, and with the mentoring of his extraordinary dad, not only breaks through in what had been a traditionally white man’s sport, but ends up redefining excellence in it.

If there’s a little less spring in your step today, it may just be that perennial realization that even the giants among us are often far too much like us.

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