Saturday, December 12, 2009

Tiger Woods Must Return to Solidify Legacy, Escape Scandal

Well, he refused to give us an explanation for what has turned into the biggest sporting scandal. Believe it or not, Tiger Woods doesn’t owe the world an explanation, even though he’s the world’s greatest athlete or greatest role model.

Weeks removed from revelations of a befuddling storm, led us to view Woods as a deceitful and infamous sleaze. Before committing transgressions, he was perceived as arguably the spotless paragon and beyond wrongdoing.

But he’s the epitome of human error, making front page headlines for an alleged marital affair. Drastically, we as curious citizens invaded his privacy, pursuing answers for slamming into a fire hydrant and a neighbor’s tree. Assuming the storyline was conclusive when we tried solving the missing pieces, maybe we were right. Maybe we were accurate, speculating he was chased out of his gated community home for pissing off his old lady.

Maybe he wrecked the Cadillac, attempting to escape his wife and backed out of his driveway and suffered lacerations to his lips in the accident he caused. Add the fact his incident labeled him as the biggest tragicomedy in sports in the past weeks.

For all the ongoing scrutiny and embarrassment of his mistress selling a voice message for six figures, urged Woods to announce Friday night on his website, of course, that he’s taking an indefinite leave. It’s the first time in his lifetime, I’m sure.

For once, he has chosen to leave behind his livelihood. This seems like a cowardly ploy, rebuffing to return to the golf course and play a much-strategized sport. After all, now is a bad timing to run away from the insane circus of media outlets and critics.

But now isn’t the time to decamp from a profession, where he has constituted a modest image. Suddenly, his image has turned into an infamous reputation, crippling the way some perceive him.

Of course, critics are ridiculing Woods, uninterested of his dominance and historic deeds on the greenery, while some are still advocates. But to avoid further insanity of a devastating scandal, Woods cannot be reluctant of digesting the long-lasting saga or negative publicity.

If he’s insisting on privacy, he’ll deliberate on hightailing so quickly. If he’s looking for euphoria, he’ll participate in all upcoming events. If he wants to solidify his legacy, he’ll try his pursuit of surpassing Jack Nicklaus’ 18 major championships all-time record.

No miraculous milestone matters, when tantalized by paparazzi that invaded space to snap photo shots, or when 13 TV satellite trucks waited in front of the hospital for information on the world’s famous golfer and driver of the SUV when Tiger’s mother-in-law was rushed to the hospital. Whatever the issues relates to, the media isn’t leaving the scene or putting the story to rest.

So now, Woods is running away from the tabloids, exhausted of the uncommon bedlam and weary of critics. It’s practical to realize his legacy and image is irreparable, if he’s not willing to play.

Even if he owns 14 major titles, his no-show forms defective matters and blemishes his credibility more. If he’s willing to remorse infidelity, he’d man-up and cope with his erroneous blunder, removing a hideous scandal that has lasted for the past two weeks.

Playing a game he truly admires, relieves stress and makes those angry forgive Woods of his transgressions. Rather than showing his face in the public, he’s avoiding the media and fans in the galleries, ashamed his name is involved in a scandal.

Well, he brought it on himself, committing marital affairs against his wife, Elin. She may never accept Tiger back. If so, he isn’t focus on securing a faltering marriage or a damaged reputation. His lame explanation is to escape all the turmoil he has yet adapted to, used to the worshiping of fans and media.

But that’s when he was the cleanest man in sports, known for running a learning center for children, known for luring in consumer’s to purchase his drink, video game, and shaving razor. Woods game might not survive, unless he plays.

Keep in mind, his sponsorships will stay in contact, where much of his salary is produced bringing home $100 million annually. Still, he could be trying to save his marriage and raise his young children to be humbled and bright.

Instead of winning another green jacket at the Masters, he’s ashamed to look at the public after being labeled as a serial cheater. And earlier this week, a tabloid said he was “suicidal.” Could it be he doesn’t want to deal with public humiliation? Or could it be he’s not comfortable of strangers penetrating into his private life?

For Woods, it’s both issues. After behaving in such a mature and polite way, it’s rational to assume he tries earning back respect. Imagine golf without Tiger stroking masterful shots off the fairways. It won’t be long before golf becomes a dull sport. The average citizen looks forward to his return, magnetized to his dominance and matchless effort to play as the greatest.

Had it not been for his alleged affair with a cocktail waitress, Woods absences would be the least worry. What made golf was the presence of Tiger. From his commercial appearances to epic performances, he has just about done everything correct satisfying the average sports fan, until he had alleged affairs that changed his life drastically.

His personality will never be perceived the same, in which a scandal has unveiled a horrific side of Tiger. As it stood, he was sitting above the world. He was the imitable icon we couldn’t help but to love, not only for his impact in golf, but for his chartable work and warmhearted donations to assist those in distress.

Blinded by the devastating allegations, some lost all respect. But common sense tells us Tiger is better off returning to reduce some of the anger and bitterness. Instead, he chose otherwise.

“I’d like to ask everyone, including my fans, the good people at my foundation, business partners, the PGA Tour, and my fellow competitors, for their understanding,” Woods wrote.

“What’s most important now is that my family has the time, privacy, and safe haven we will need for personal healing. After much soul searching, I have decided to take an indefinite break from professional golf. I need to focus my attention on being a better husband, father, and person.”

He didn’t owe us an explanation, but taking a hiatus ruptures the game of golf. More so, it hurts Tiger’s legacy, refusing to clean up the toxic waste he spilled. We can only hope, Woods will again pump his fist and dominate the game like no other. We can only hope for an epic classic, where he captivates us with a 91-hole sudden death like a few years ago in the U.S. Open, against long-time friend and competitor Rocco Mediate.

But a man of guilt is bound to isolate himself, embarrassed of wrongdoings and pressure of critics. If he wasn’t vague and had press conferences, most heated criticism would’ve receded as media outlets mind their own business finding something else to dwell on.

Although he made it worst on himself for staying mum and providing less detail, from his preference, he had a right to protect his privacy. It wasn’t our business until the alleged mistress gave her side of the story and accused Woods of having sex with her more than 30 times.

As most feel hoodwinked, lied to and cheated, he is avoiding further drama. Understand he wasn’t the only athlete publicly humiliated. This decade has been classified as the biggest era of scandals. Seems the greatest athletes get caught in an unlawful predicament for foolish activity with troubled women or either drug use.

A few years ago, Kobe Bryant was disliked for alleged rape charges, which were suddenly dismissed. What erased a heinous background was the performance level he brought to the hardwood, reshaping popularity as he dominated basketball at an all-time high.

He is, the greatest swimmer of all-time, owning the most gold medals in Olympic history and still is after returning to the swimming pool. That is, Michael Phelps, the swimmer, who months ago was caught on a photo sucking from a water bong. Suddenly the story disappeared from tabloids, highlighted by his shear milestone at the U.S. Championship event.

Trust me, Tiger can rekindle his image, but can’t take the cowardly way out.

Now, is the time Tiger must face the world.