The Fall of Yet Another Sports Icon: The Tiger Woods Saga

Hal Sundt, Staff Writer

At 2:25 a.m. on Nov. 27, Tiger Woods crashed into a fire hydrant. Allegations followed that the face of the PGA was driving drunk, that there was domestic violence within the Woods household and that Woods has had 10 mistresses throughout his marriage.

We can continually stress the old adage that Woods, just like all other pro athletes placed on an absurd pedestal of immortality, is just human, and that like all humans, he is flawed. This is true, but you know what? It doesn’t make me feel a whole lot better right now. I want to vent. I want to have a temper tantrum.

It sucks when our heroes let us down.

It sucks that Tiger isn’t everything we wanted him to be. We didn’t just want him to be the once-in-a-lifetime talent with a work ethic like that of Michael Jordan and Jerry Rice. We wanted him to be the guy who won all of the tournaments, said all the right things, and inspired billions to work as hard as he does. We love rooting for him even though he kicks the crap out of everyone he plays against. And then he goes and cheats on his wife — with 10 different women?

But as hard as it is for us fans to witness this epic collapse, it is even worse for Tiger. I can’t even imagine what it must be like to have flown on a cloud of invincibility, only to have it come crashing down all in one night. The invasive media attention into his obviously troubled family life must be devastating as well. And no matter what hard feelings we now have for the man, it will be painful to watch Tiger go through this destruction.

Over the next few years, we will learn who the real Tiger Woods is, and maybe, just maybe, he’ll be more than we wanted him to be. Maybe he will become the guy who plummeted to rock bottom, only to come back stronger than ever. And I’m not talking about golf. No one is invincible, but if he can come back from all this, if he can prove that he is a changed man, and gain the respect of his family, friends and fans, that will be about as superhuman as it gets.