Tiger’s Text Record and the Shadow It Casts

She kept a transcript. She's got a website. A bad combo.

Today’s NYPost offers a piece on the posting by Joslyn James to her website of text messages allegedly from Tiger Woods.  If true, this is the gift that keeps on giving for comedy writers and the nightmare that won’t end for Elin (and maybe even Tiger).

On the theory that this story is accurate:

I wonder if someone should remind Tiger that the 12th hole at Augusta National is called “Golden Bell” and not “golden shower”.

I wonder if Tiger can even spell “misogyny”.

I’m no doctor, but wow.  Just wow, does this guy ever have problems.  Personal and professional problems.

With this stuff coming out (and who knows how much more of it there is from other sources), I think that success on the golf course might not be enough to rehab his reputation.

America loves a good second act, but when the lead character digs himself a whole this deep, it’s hard for me to imagine complete rehabilitation.  I keep thinking about the way Barry Bonds got treated at the end of his career–people believed he had taken steroids and cheated, and everything he did was tainted by that fact.   People hated the guy for what he stood for.  I know the Bonds case is different from this because of the performance enhancement element, but I can see golf fans and sponsors never getting over this.  Who (other than Tiger) knows hows how much more of this stuff is out there?  Will it continue to trickle out?  If you’re a potential sponsor, are you willing to take the chance that, knowing that what’s already out there is pretty “family unfriendly”, the unknown might actually be worse.  Although it’s hard for me to imagine stuff that could actually be worse than this.  I don’t get out much.

It is possible that having this come out now will desensitize people to what, if anything, that follows and that the shock factor, while high now, will drop over time. We’ve seen this in action before with political sex scandals. While President Clinton’s escapades shocked, does what we’ve heard about Sanford or Edwards really shock?  The sex part I mean, not the stupid part–the lies about going hiking or whatever it was that Edwards was doing.  I don’t think so.  We’re desensitized to many things that were once taboo–swearing on television being probably the best example.

But this feels different to me.  I don’t think that we’re desensitized to this kind of language, or this kind of imagery.

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