Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Good Luck, Mr. Woods

It's only hubris if I fail. - Julius Caesar.

And so it is confirmed, Tiger is human, too. He is not the first nor will he be the last to succumb to temptation.

Caesar did not have the benefit of a modern education drawn from the wisdom of centuries of scholars. However, I wonder if, during all those years of developing into the (current) world's greatest golfer, Tiger was ever provided any classical education. Ancient Greco-Roman history and mythology are excellent sources to use to consider the human situation. There are an abundance of examples in which a person rises from obscurity and becomes famous/powerful/wealthy. Then, due to hubris, they end up losing everything, or almost everything. Enough is never enough for some people.

Tiger had it made. He is one of the world's most successful athletes and has the accolades and endorsements that go with it. He has wealth almost beyond belief. He also has a beautiful wife and family. But, it wasn't enough for him. Although apparently able to resist the lure of some vices, like so many other exceptionally successful men, he was unable to resist the siren song of the lovely ladies. Even though there is an abundance of evidence that clearly demonstrates no one gets away with this sort of behavior for long, Tiger gambled for the highest stakes and repeatedly pushed all in. He not only gambled with his career and family, but also with his life and the life of his wife by, according to at least one paramour, having unprotected sex. His gambling, in this manner, was clearly out of control. He is fortunate not to have shared the tragic fate of Steve McNair. Now, he has irrevocably compromised himself and his family. He has withdrawn from golf, his life's work, to try to mitigate the self inflicted havoc he brought home. It would be difficult enough to attempt to reconcile after a single affair with one woman. He now faces the herculean task of attempting to reconcile after a dozen or so affairs with a dozen or so (at the time of this post) women. Frankly, I would not wager on him being successful in this endeavor. After all, a tiger cannot simply change his stripes.

However, despite all this adversity he will have to overcome, Tiger will recover, just as President Clinton did, just as Kobe Bryant did, just as all the others have. I suspect, by then, he will have learned an invaluable lesson. Family matters.