More Stress Than Being Chased by a Tiger

Did you see that?

Well, I have mixed feelings about Tiger, the golfer. As a guy who held off marriage until I was 40 — precisely because I never wanted any shame and wasn’t sure I could prevent it — I didn’t trust myself — he did do the deal and so my sympathy is limited. When you’re adult, you’re responsible, no matter what.

On the other hand, how much did his dad ever teach him about anything but golf?

What I see is an almost impossible perfect storm. His formation was about The Game. From what I’ve seen, his dad wanted to create a champion golfer. He did that, completely dropping the ball on the fact that Tiger needs to have a life beyond the game. …Only because he’s a young man, there’s part of me that sees him as an unfortunate victim, while not excusing him at the same time. It’s weird, but that’s what it is.

It’s sad, really, and the only reason I chose to blog this is because my jaw dropped wide open when I saw Tiger on TV just now. Awful. He has aged 10 years in 2-3 months. Unbelievable.

Genes, people. While he may have been self-medicating via junk food, alcohol or both, it really goes to show what a combo of stress and other factors can do. Conveniently, it can be reversed, just as fast.

So this is really about the profound power of genetic expression.

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  1. Eugene Kan on February 20, 2010 at 00:29

    Arguably one of, if not somebody who was the greatest golfer of all-time, I’m not really surprised by the off-field behavior of Tiger Woods.

    Especially given the fact that golf can be a very anti-social sport in which only a few participants interact at a time (unlike a team sport), your ability to socialize is very different.

    It’s similar to Olympic athletes who may have great success but find out quickly how difficult life can be when they aren’t competing and not in the limelight… they don’t know what to do other than the regimented life they live.

    But as some have said, Tiger Woods technically did nothing wrong to the sport of golf and we should remember that. Not unlike McGwire or A-rod who were juicing.

    • Michael on February 20, 2010 at 01:28

      But as some have said, Tiger Woods technically did nothing wrong to the sport of golf and we should remember that. Not unlike McGwire or A-rod who were juicing.

      Personally I’m not convinced even that is wrong, but………I don’t want to go there, just voicing my opinion. :-)

  2. Michael on February 20, 2010 at 02:02

    On a personal level, for Tiger as a husband and father it is tragic. No other way to measure it.

    However the statist loving sports media is full of a bunch of attention starved hypocrites. The way this is being handled (and the way Tiger is handling it) is wrong on so many levels, but I digress.

    I grew up in the house of a professional athlete. I have been around sports celebrities (and for a time Hollywood celebrities) a good chunk of my life. Tiger checking into a sex addiction clinic was/is absurd. It is a brazen attempt (which will probably work) to save his image. If Tiger Woods belongs in a sex clinic then so does half the professional (and amateur) sports world (college and above) for both genders. I know this. First hand. So does the media. Hands down.

    It is what athletes do. It is what entertainers do. It is what idolized people with lots of money have always done. There are some “perks” to being a celebrity/famous that just being rich can never match. Tiger just got caught and, unlike say Michael Jordan (who was every bit the match of Tiger in this department), no one could look the other way given the circumstances that brought it to our attention..

    As Richard pointed out the guy should have never married until later in life (which is basically true for most professional athletes and entertainers), but professionally he will more than survive, he will thrive. Personally, who knows, at least in terms of his current marriage.

    Physically, well that remains to be seen. Will he change that gene expression around? I doubt it. But he will probably be able to put off its most devastating effects until much later in life.

    • Lucky on February 20, 2010 at 04:06

      My ex is a musician and it was the groupies that did us in. He couldn’t resist – and I think it’s the rare entertainer/sports star who can. Having been around that world for a while, I see what kinds of temptations Tiger faces. Even though our culture defines monogamy as the pinnacle of family structure, I don’t think we are much cut out for that.

      All I know is I ain’t gettin’ involved with any sports stars or traveling musicians! Ha ha. Lesson learned!

    • redcatbicycliste on February 20, 2010 at 12:17

      On a personal level, for Tiger as a husband and father it is tragic. No other way to measure it.

      Yes, it is tragic for his wife and his children. Tiger Woods’ sexcapades jeopardised (jeopardises) the health of his family, especially, of his wife. There is the risk of his passing on syphillis, gonorrhea, chlymidia, and most tragically the AIDS virus. I doubt, given how careless he was in concealing his many trysts, that he made sure he wore a condom each and every time he inserted his penis into the vagina of a woman who wasn’t his wife, and given that his extra-sexual acitivities were not with one woman, he increased his odds of catching a STD.

      By the way: Pappa Woods “cheated” on Tiger’s mother, too. His mother was interviewed by a British paper, wherein she stated how disappointed she was in her son, and that she knows how badly her daughter-in-law feels, for she went through the same thing with Tiger’s father.

  3. gallier2 on February 20, 2010 at 03:13

    Just a little pique Richard: what are you talking about? I get that you’re talking about Tiger Woods but what prompted you to ask “Did you see that?” without giving reference to what the that refers to. A video, a picture, a life TV-show? Just giving a hint to what you were refering too would have been good to avoid the minutes of puzzlement over what you were talking about. (even if it is a TV show the rest of the world can not know).
    Just a little reminder to that this post was not of the usual “quality” we are expected to from you.

    • Michael on February 20, 2010 at 03:25

      I’m not Richard and maybe I don’t understand what you are asking, but I’m sure Richard is referring to the news conference Tiger Woods held on Friday that has been plastered all over the news.

      • gallier2 on February 20, 2010 at 09:07

        All over the news? Where? Not in France, not in Germany, not in Luxemburg, not in Belgium, the 4 countries which news I follow. It was just a little reminder that Richards audience is not limited to only the US. It’s true that due to globalization we get a lot of your cultural references without too much problems, but it can happen now and then that we do not get them.

      • Richard Nikoley on February 20, 2010 at 10:12

        Good point, gallier2.

      • Michael on February 20, 2010 at 10:57

        Ah okay, my bad. :-)

        Since the British press is raking in loads of money off this, I just assumed liked everything else Tiger Woods, that is was pretty much a worldwide story.

  4. John FitzGibbon on February 20, 2010 at 07:44

    Now here’s a question regarding paleo and marriage.
    A lot of people I know claim that a life long committed relationship with one individual is unnatural. I just got married last summer, unfortunately due to the our educations we have been 2000 miles apart for most of that time and I’ve never once thought “wow I want to go out on campus and find myself some easy action”. I agree with Richard in that you’re an adult, you entered into a legal contract which involved being faithful to one person, a stanford educated adult should know what that means and have the ability to say no I don’t want to make that commitment.
    Back to my original question, this is something that has a huge impact on our lives, my wife being around changes everything in my life and helps me so much to deal with stress. Is marriage a natural thing for us to enter into?

    • Dave on February 20, 2010 at 09:21

      Well, it is unnatural. Monogamy is not natural (biologically speaking) for humans. We adhere to it nonetheless for cultural reasons. Paleo can’t explain _everything_.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 20, 2010 at 10:15

      For me, John, the state and its “legal contract” can go get effed.

      It’s only about a moral commitment to me. Only reason I went through the state blessing rigamarole was for my wife and our families.

  5. Dave C. on February 20, 2010 at 08:06

    I’m not sure what genetics has to do in this, other than the mountain of anecdotal evidence demonstrating that males who are extremely successful and are elite athletes tend to have sex a lot, and get plentiful opportunities to do so with many different women.

    There may indeed be significant biological pressures for polygamy, but I suspect that there are also probably inverse pressures for monogamy as well. Like the potential for a much more well rounded, educated, and nurtured person when they are raised in a stable, loving and drama free family environment.

  6. Wayne on February 20, 2010 at 11:03

    That’s a good point that I never really thought about. His dad was so concerned with teaching him to be a golfer he forgot/neglected to teach him how to be a man.

  7. Trish on February 20, 2010 at 11:47

    It was very telling that Tiger’s wife wasn’t at the conference–usually when stuff like this happens the wife can be cued to be sitting/standing by the miscreant’s side, looking up at him with adoring understanding eyes (and occasionally a new big honking rock on her finger–hello, Vanessa Bryant) as he tearfully recounts his sins. I have a bit of respect for Elin Woods for refusing to participate in this charade. I didn’t see the press conference, don’t want to. What-the-fuck-EVER, Tiger. Give it a couple of months, win the Masters or the U.S. Open and the media will be going on about your great comeback in the face of adversity. Collect your millions and get on with life.

  8. Ray Dixon on February 20, 2010 at 20:00

    Bullshit Richard, it might be his upbringing if he makes these mistakes at 18 but by the time you live through 18-25 or so you are your own person. Tiger’s faults are his alone not his fathers. I’m not mistake free, neither are you, neither is Tiger, and neither is anyone else. Everybody is tempted but Tiger couldn’t resist the temptation. Don’t try an justify a great golfer’s failure’s on the fact that he had a lousy dad.


    • Richard Nikoley on February 21, 2010 at 11:16

      Good point, Ray.

      I didn’t mean to suggest that Tiger should be excused (for breaking his word, publicly embarrassing his wife, putting her at STD risk & doing harm to his kids).

      At the same time, this sort of behavior seems to correlate with a less than decent upbringing. So, no excuses for Tiger, but shame on his dad, who I guess also fooled around on his wife according to a previous commenter…

  9. Jim on February 21, 2010 at 14:34

    Did he say in the conference that he grew up practicing Buddhism, or Bootyism? I’m not sure.

  10. Ian on February 22, 2010 at 11:19

    Why are we referring it it as a news conference? When you gather 20-ish close friends and family, invite two reporters who are not allowed to ask questions, and *perform* an obviously rehearsed speech crafted for you complete with dramatic pauses, it is a NOT a news conference. This was a performance for the few sponsors left that support him. I could not figure out why it pissed me off so much, but after my wife asked “why does he even need to explain this” it dawned on me that this was just spin theater for his sponsors…he really does not owe anyone shit in terms of an explanation outside of his family, but for him to just produce spin was gross.

    I totally agree that the sex rehab is also part of the show. And, just my opinion, having a lousy Dad is a cop out as well. My Dad was a big time cheater, was not a great Dad, has been married 5 times, cheated on everyone except the last one that I know of, never mentioned fidelity or being a man to me once but I did become a strong, moral man as a result of his infidelity and seeing the scorched earth he left behind. Forget the legal contract, etc… it IS all about the MORAL aspect of how you live your life and if you take your vows seriously.

    Personally, I would rather him just have had a real news conference, say I will not answer any questions today, and then basically tell everyone to get the fuck out of his private life. He will return to golf when he decides to period. It is unfortunate that he, like the government food agencies, nutrition agencies, agriculture agencies, etc… is beholden to corporate demands and control, you pay a price to be a $100 million man, just like most politicians pay a price to be elected by accepting $$$ from corporate america.

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