The Drive with Jody Oehler

The Drive with Jody Oehler

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Let Me Explain My Tiger Woods Take

Tiger Woods won and while most of America pumped their fist (or, I was not one of them.

I loved having the Masters drama, I loved watching the sports theater and I appreciated that almost all of that was directly related to Tiger’s involvement and his place in history even if I was still holding out hope on 18 he’d miss his third putt and lose in excruciating fashion.

But he didn’t and I watched anyway not out of some nostalgic itch being scratched but because my job required it.

I don’t love golf because of Tiger. I didn’t start playing golf because of Tiger. I didn’t watch every major because of Tiger. I mostly followed Tiger’s career through SportsCenter clips and dial up loaded internet stories from the late 90’s through mid 2000’s.

And in that time Tiger became, for me, just like the Yankees, Duke, Michael Jordan, the Lakers or the Cowboys. He became an avatar for extreme success and along with it, extreme arrogance.

I don’t know why Tiger’s personal shortcomings bother me so much. I think it’s because of how MUCH we know about how BIG of an asshole he was in virtually every part of his life. His actions weren’t the kind of growing pains everyone has to go through before they realize their best self. Instead, it felt like a hard wired reflection that he’s better than everyone and can do whatever he wants because he’s really good at golf. And maybe that has changed but I still suspect that hard wiring still exists somewhere and it’s hard to just overlook. We know too much.

And when his extreme arrogance was finally met with his extreme comeuppance, it felt like a natural balancing out of his narrative.

And when he started winning again, it still felt like a big part of his story.

And when he was arrested for DUI, it was still a part of his story.

And when he started contending at majors again, it was still a part of his story.

And when he finally broke through and defied all the odds and won, it was still a part of his story.

Except if you were watching.

It’s not the only part of his story but it is a part of his story.

That’s what bothered me about Sunday. CBS basically painted a picture that this was a comeback from his physical injuries, which is a remarkable and relatable part of Tiger’s story.

What Tiger did alone on Sunday by itself was a great story.

But it’s not quite the whole story.

The comeback story starts with Tiger abusing all the power he had for his own personal gain at the expense of virtually everything else in his life.

And CBS just pretended it didn’t happen.

And if you’re afraid of angering Tiger and losing access or spoiling a good story on TV, then aren’t you just creating the same conditions that led to his downfall in the first place.

I don’t need Tiger’s nose rubbed in his own infidelity at every opportunity but even if the evidence tells you people have stopped caring about that part of the story, I think you still need to tell it.

What good is the comeback story if you aren’t willing to tell the whole thing?

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