The recent news — and, perhaps that’s being overly generous for some — about Tiger Woods deserves commentary: not about how a DUI in the middle of a dark Florida night, slumped over his steering wheel and failed several sobriety tests, Rather, we need to consider, quite seriously, how a 41-year-old father of two, celebrated beyond revere recognition in the sports international world continues to struggle.
It would certainly be easy to proclaim, with concrete evidence, Mr. Woods has fallen — tumbled is perhaps a more vivid verb — from grace. We could also say he is a man of his own demise — someone known to over indulge in adult beverages and gets behind the wheel to drive.
He should, absolutely, know better.
And putting others on the same road as while he is impaired is a crime and a safety hazard — something that never, ever should happen.
But, hark: it did.
Questions are being asked … is Mr. Woods an alcoholic … is his drinking, and maybe even other substance abuse, a reason he is not a weekly name mentioned in this PGA golf season … and, of course, what has gone wrong in a life that had so much promise?
Mr. Woods was destined for greatness in golf from the time, a good three decades ago, when he amazed the late night television giant Johnny Carson with his uncanny raw talent hitting a golf ball. As millions watched young Tiger live on television, expectations began.
Tiger would be a golfer to watch in the future. He certainly was, with his prowess for the game first making a significant mark in college golf.
And then the pros, starting with the 1997 Masters when, at age 21, Mr. Woods put on a golfing clinic at Augusta National golf course. Casual fans became ardent believers and admirers.
We also can’t ignore Tiger is from a race that has had to prove themselves for far too many generations that they were, in fact, equal citizens with equal responsibilities, with equal potential and worthy of equal opportunities. His celebrity status shone a bright beacon of hope and inspiration to countless of people — especially young people — with the same skin colour that he does.
We need to remember that.
Mr. Woods should not get a free Get Out of Jail for Free Card for his latest arrest. He does’t deserve it.
But the man in the You Tube video in beige shorts early Tuesday morning, staggering his stance and slurring his words is a clear and obvious signal: he is a man in disarray, distress and is delusional.
We have clapped and cheered for him in past years when he was on top of the world.
We owe Tiger Woods the same encouragement and ovation — not for strolling up the 18th green of an immaculate world-class golf course mere minutes before winning a prestigious golf tournament. But for much digging deeper to find inner peace and happiness: a championship much larger than any other he has embraced.
Follower of Christ, husband, father, grandfather, Edmonton Sun columnist, Oiler Entertainment Group writer, co-author of Disabled? Hell No! I’m a Sit-Down Comic, speaker, comedian, Challenge Insurance special projects advisor, former Edmonton Journal columnist, vice-cjair of the Premier’s Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities and closet Beverly Hillbillies mega fan and (very small) closet disco singer.