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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Why you should leave Tiger Woods alone

I was checking out at my local supermarket when I was swarmed by a massive wave of juicy tabloids covering Tigergate. From "EXCLUSIVE! SHOCKING NEW TIGER SEX TEXTS!" to a detailed breakdown of which bathroom drapes Elin would receive based on their pre-nup, I couldn't help but wonder what if this was my dirty laundry being aired for all of America to judge?

I get that Octomom, Bennifer, Brangelina, and the Gosselins sell. I understand that celebrity infidelity is a vicarious escape for us. I get it. But sometimes, just sometimes, we need to draw a line and ask ourselves "maybe this is none of my damn business?"

The world of American pop culture paparrazi and professional golf are an odd and grotesque couple. Even the diehard sports fan's escape, ESPN, has lowered itself to TMZ worthy coverage of Tigergate. I counted four times within one hour in which they played a 911 recording of a frantic Elin Woods pleading with dispatchers to help her mother who was suffering from severe stomach pains. Not only was this tape completely irrelevant, it captured the voice of a Elin Woods in a vulnerable and painstakingly personal moment. Where's the entertainment value in that?

No one wants the nation to hear a 911 tape of our spouse calling dispatchers describing how grandpa took one too many viagras. These embarrassing incidents are going to happen in life to everyone and when they do, we expect the peanut gallery to have the decency to let us deal with it privately. Why should Tiger Woods be an exception here?

Sometimes in marriages, spouses cheat on each other. It's despicable behavior, but it happens. I've read that some fans believe they have the right to hear about Woods' affair because their kids look up to him as a role model. This argument is rubbish because if the infidelity was happening in your own family, wouldn't you do everything to protect your children from hearing about it on the playground? You would want them to hear a filtered version that protected both their purity (earmuffs!) and your personal right to tell them what happened on your own terms. Anybody, let alone a stranger, who tried to cross that line would just begging for a five-iron in the groin, right?

Our nation's obsession with voyeurism and celebrity has created a false sense of entitlement that nothing in the life of the rich and famous is off-limits.
I've been guilty of this myself, poking fun at Woods' choice in alleged mistresses with my buddies and indulging myself in ridiculous conspiracy videos. But as I watch my sacred world of sports disintegrate into a rerun of "Gossip Girl" I've come to realize this exact behavior is only adding fuel to the raging tabloid fire. The media ultimately only reports news that we show interest in and our fascination with Tigergate is the real reason it's everywhere.

So do yourself a favor and leave Tiger alone. Don't make us bust out the video of the time you overdosed on eggnog at holiday work party and regurgitated all over the receptionist. I know 300 million Americans that would love to see it.


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