Monday, December 14, 2009

Tiger Woods Syndrome and Family Values

It is not nice to judge others. I have stood by and observed the mess Tiger Woods has gotten himself into. Here are a few notes.

The man seems incapable of handling his own affairs, no pun intended. I discount the tales of publicity hungry women coming out of the woodwork with a story worth selling to the National Inquirer. Over all I will not repeat the tales of the many alleged temporary girl friends.

Some things seem to filter through the tightly protected squeaky clean IMAGE ( now tarnished ) of a man who does not seem to know who or what he is. Tiger is I think a victim of the Schine Effect which as stated previously is that you are only as good or as real as your handlers and the people you trust or delegate authority to. He seems to be too dependent on his many, many covert handlers.

Tiger Woods Syndrome is reflective of this modern age. Who is the real Tiger Woods? Is there a real person behind the image and concept marketing package called “Tiger Woods”?

For a man making $100 Million dollars a year, I was surprised to see that he lived with his wife and children in a very modest $2.4 million dollar house in Florida. For his income the place is a rabbit hutch.

His $20 million dollar yacht sleeps 12 and is no doubt a tax write off giving party filled reward weekends to those executives who pay him or used to pay him non-stop bonuses.

Of course, Tiger, born in California and went to college there, must prefer Florida for of a number of reasons including maybe that Florida is not a community property state like California. Coincidence?

There is a pop Psychology Term called the Peter Pan Syndrome. It is all about not wanting to grow up and later in life having difficulty in relationships and also about having a good childhood – so good that you never want to leave it.

Does Tiger Woods have a good wholesome fulfilling private life separate from the baggage of his public image? He is extremely quiet at the moment.

At least he didn’t slobber aimlessly in public like Governor Mark Sanford when he got caught cheating on his wife and family.

Speaking of family values. I was surprised to see a bit of an old video of the Mike Douglas talk entertainment show from the late seventies. In that video is a two year old Tiger Woods putting golf balls in front of Mike Douglas and Bob Hope and under the firm hand and tutorage of his father.

At least Tiger isn’t slobbering about having no childhood like Michael Jackson. Did he have a good childhood? Does he have a natural passion for the game of golf? One has to look at scenarios of Tiger or Michael or the Williams Sisters and have to wonder how hard it is for minorities to be twice as good before they are accepted in society as on par and at a grudging equal level with the mediocre establishment so to speak.

The image is the product. The product is success. I cannot condemn what is and has been successful in the American Market place since the beginning of the republic. Success at any price is not a good thing if ultimately you do not know who you really are. Not good, if you do not inwardly or outwardly enjoy that success or do not know how to handle it.

The game is golf. Golf is perceived by some to be a rather elitist, expensive and white kind of "sport”.

So long as Eldrick lived up to the image and the image maker’s rules, he did okay. Nobody questioned the man behind the image. Don't mess with success or at least not until the pot boils over.

I hope he reconciles with his wife. I hope he devotes a fair amount of time in therapy for transitioning from a child in a bubble to a man in a media corporate bubble.

The real bottom line on Tiger will be if he has a passion for the game of golf and comes back and plays it for the pittance of the purses that it pays. Endorsements be damned. They will come back over time. I have to wonder if the sport triumphs of Tiger Woods are meaningless sterile things to him alone inside himself.

Statistics, championships and accomplishments are one thing. Family and the values that it implies is a real thing. So many abuse that term these days, in words and actions, of that concept of family values.

I wonder how many truly understand or believe in those values.