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Honor Thy Father

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The commandment is actually "honor thy father and thy mother," but lately it seems that mothers are getting the honor and dads … well, dads get the blame. For example, look at Tim Tebow and his mother — honor. Look at Tiger Woods’ and his dad — blame. Tiger Woods has the reputation (one of many) of being a loving, loyal, respectful son. Substitute “husband” or “father” for “son” and you get other reputations he once had. Also, “nice guy” and “good role model.”

Woods is attractive, likable, and seems intelligent (though one must wonder). Even someone who is so far removed from the sports scene that she thinks hockey is a game in which men hit each other with sticks and therefore likes it, that would be me, thought that Tiger Woods was a refreshingly sincere, dedicated athlete. This is why Time doesn’t let me pick “Man of the Year.”

Although “Honor thy father and thy mother” is one of the original Top Ten (commandments), its adherents belong to all faiths and no faith. Its top supporters, I suspect, are parents. When I was nine, my fourth-grade teacher (Sister Julia Michael) expanded its scope to include all authority: teachers (surprise!), policemen, politicians, and laws; it basically meant do whatever you’re told. We did. Now that I am no longer a young Catholic, but an old Methodist, I learn my lessons elsewhere.

When the July 20, 2009 issue of People arrived in my mailbox, it was carelessly tossed aside. When I was looking for junk to start the annual income tax mess, I re-discovered it. Oh, how timely. Had I read it then I would certainly have forgotten by Thanksgiving what Tiger Woods, in an interview, said about his father.

When award-winning photographer FCEtier (my husband) learned of his comments, he was flabbergasted to discover that Earl Woods was nothing more than a lying, philandering [fill in the blank]. This man, so beloved and respected by his son Tiger, was apparently one of the worst examples of a father that you will find. No, he didn’t beat Tiger when he was a mere cub (not that we’ve heard), and he hasn’t been accused of neglect. Far worse.

Tiger Woods’ dad is the single person most responsible for the problems Woods is now experiencing. In Tiger Woods’ own words as reported by People, “My dad was my best friend and greatest role model.” A-ha! Woods further explained that he still feels his father’s presence and “I think of him every day. I hear his voice when I have decisions to make.” To be fair, we don’t know if that voice is saying “No, Tiger! Stay away from that ho!” or “For God’s sake, use a condom,” and Tiger is just ignoring it.

Pretty damning, though, is the statement “Everything I do and everything I am is because of him.” Everything? Case closed.

There you have it, folks. Still don’t believe? How about “A lot of things he taught me is [sic] just through example”? The only mitigating factor is that Tiger Woods is, undeniably, a liar. Which leads to another question: is he always a liar or just a part-time liar? Was he lying in that interview when he said, “I’d just rather be home” than in the midst of a media flurry for his newly released video game? Hmmm … that could be true. But what about when he discussed his $110 million income in 2008 and said, “everything else about my life is normal”? That gross misstatement of the truth lets Dad off the hook; we can believe he was a great dad after all (unless Tiger meant for a “normal” horndog).

I don’t know how normal it is to blame everything on the dead guy. Sure, the government does it, but you're an athlete, Tiger. We hold you to a higher standard. While there are some feats attributed to you during your escapades that some “normal” guys might envy, on the whole there’s not too many of us out here that would call you normal. And right now, there are a whole lot of people (sponsors and common folk) who just wouldn’t call you at all.

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About Miss Bob Etier

  • Reese McKay

    Tiger Woods is obviously a driven man, a man with enormous ambition and competitiveness. Sometimes that masks various personaly weaknesses. More to the point, when someone is that driven it would seem by now that people would expect them to be unbalanced in various ways. He is a great golfer, no question. That is no reason for the rest of humanity to worship him. The PGA announcers on television have also deified him ever since he turned pro. I thought it was rather disgusting how much they fawned over him, just gushing. Johnny Miller is the only regular announcer who had the guts to critique him, even finding flaws in his golf game. As good as he is at golf, even there he has certain habits that cause him problems. In that sense Woods is not so different than every other golfer who ever lived. He has his own demons, his own problems. Ultimately, in golf, more than most games, you are playing against yourself. Or you could say you are playing against the course. On every shot you get immediate feedback on whether you were able to keep your focus and concentration or not.

    The other thing I would say about Tiger Woods (and every other celebrity in modern history) is this. I find it is the American public that is so pathetic. The public worships celebrities. Fans of many celebrities (even the “good” ones who really are good role models) are so caught up in being a “fan” of so-and-so that they don’t even have a life of their own. It is pretty sad. Maybe that is true for me too. Here I am writing comments on blog posts. There’s no harm in that, I suppose, as long as I remember to focus on the important things in life.