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Bank On It: The Rise and Fall of Tiger Woods

It appears that Tiger Woods will not be making the cut at the British Open. Things are going from bad to worse. He is posting scores similar to those that you and your buddies put up after you’ve cracked into your second case of beer on the back nine. Everything has come full-circle for Woods. Once America’s darling, Woods in now regulated to watching the championship rounds of majors on the couch like the rest of us. When you step back and take it all in his fall from grace is equally intriguing as his rise to stardom.

Woods turned pro in 1996 at the age of 20. He burst on to the scene at the 1997 Masters winning by an incredible 12 strokes. He was a good looking guy of African-American and Thai decent. In a sport where the casual fan thought it was just a game for old white dudes, Woods was a breath of fresh air. He was the perfect storm for companies to market. He could bring in multiple demographics and new cash flow. He began to transform into this larger than life figure.

Woods could do no wrong. He was everywhere. He was on Wheaties boxes, commercials, and then he was winning tournaments in his trademark red shirt on Sundays. Other golfers wet their pants when they saw he was in contention on Sunday. He was raising major championship trophies left and right. He piled up 14 major victories in 11 years. It wasn’t a matter of IF he was going to break Jack Nicklaus‘ record for major championships, but WHEN.

Then came the incident in November 2009 involving the car wreck. He was involved in a low speed car wreck with a fire hydrant. That story initially made many of us turn our head to the side in confusion. His wife Elin was thought to have saved him by busting the back window with a golf club. Turns out she was irritate due to a confirmed affair Woods had been involved in. Woods’ true character was about to be exposed to the world. Under that nice protective shield the media had built up, sat a less than desirable “typical man.”

It didn’t stop there. Over the next couple years women were lining up to go public with their affairs with Woods. Turns out he didn’t really care who the women were. His list included bartenders, housewives, cougars, lingerie models, and porn stars. This news turned loyal Tiger fans against him. Men and women alike broke off their allegiances to the golfer. Sponsors dropped, and so did Tiger’s professional career.

He hasn’t won a major since the incident. He has been through countless injuries and was dropped to 241 in the golf rankings. Some forget he has also been linked to Anthony Galea the Biogenisis founder who has been known to assist athletes with HGH. Woods is thought to have paid for 14 sessions with him when recovering from his knee injury in 2009.

I wonder if the PGA has been masking this information hoping that its biggest star could return to form. I wouldn’t be surprised if more information about Woods alleged payments leaks out over the next year now that he is clearly on the decline. This could turn the Woods story from awful to unimaginable in the blink of an eye. It would bring Woods entire career into question.

Personally, I don’t condone Woods’ behavior, but I think people are much to harsh of him. Yes, he committed a crime against most people’s morals, but chances are you or someone you know has done worse. Ever wonder what or who your friend Joe is texting in the seat beside you in church? Who really knows? Woods just turned out to be something that he wasn’t after he was transformed into this mega star by the media. Why is it such a surprise that he had some skeletons in the closet?

All of a sudden the public turns its back on him and everything he does is picked apart. He curses on the course! He flips his golf club! How outrageous!

If Woods played basketball or football would you care whether or not he cheated on his wife or had some anger issues?

I think the perfect storm that led him to stardom is the same one that ripped him apart. Golf is a game where players penalize themselves for misprinting things on their scorecard. If a player is in the woods and mishits a ball and nobody sees it, he is expected to operate under the code on honesty.

Tiger Woods didn’t lie to me. I didn’t build him up into something he wasn’t. He cheated on his wife and compromised his marriage and family. He has to deal with that. He’s no better or worse than you or I. If you revel in the fact that his life is crumbling before your eyes I urge you to take a good look in the mirror.

If it turns out he cheated I can’t be mad either. From a young age he has been expected to perform at an astronomical level. The pressure to live up to expectations is a heavy burden. It’s easy for us to say we’d never cheat, but until we are put in that position nobody knows the answer.

We can all learn a lesson from Woods situation.

Stay Grounded!

The second you believe that you are invincible and you can get away with anything, that marks the beginning of the end. The mainstream media is a beautiful/ugly thing. They will build you up or break you down in a second. They don’t care who you are. They just want the juicy details of your triumphs and your worst moments. They are ready to chew you up and spit you out. Woods wasn’t the first and he won’t be the last celebrity who is painted with the broad brush of perception and expected to fit into a little bubble.

Picture by: Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports



Matt Banks

Matt Banks

Senior Writer at Sports Grumble/Riverfront City Sports
Matt is a passionate sports fan. He is a Dallas Cowboys, University of Kentucky, and Boston Celtics fanatic. Very opinionated and willing to explore any topic. He also coaches Basketball for Miami Middletown University in Ohio. He is a Cerebral Palsy advocate who wants to inform and spread awareness about CP.
Matt Banks

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