The Cheetah

Recently, on ESPN’s website, Bob Ryan asked how high will Tiger rise again. His answer in essence, “Never all the way.” Wrong. See Kobe Bryant. One could argue that Kobe, on trial for rape, was in a deeper hole than Tiger. What are people saying about Tiger? His image was manufactured, he’s stupid, he should change his name to the Cheetah.

I have a hard time believing that the same people who now love Kobe (mom) are going to think any less of Tiger after he wins his 19th major in six, seven years. If anything, he’ll be a bit more accessible to the average golf fan, and if he pieces some semblance of a personal life together, he’ll probably end up more popular than ever. In this debate, Gillette and Accenture are siding with Ryan, Phil Knight and Nike, with me.

You and I are foolish for thinking we knew Tiger even a little bit and for believing there’s a positive correlation between athletic talent and character. Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me a hundred and one times. . .

Onward Blixen to Francis’s previous question about whether monogamy is even realistic. Read recently that 1 in 4.6 married people are cheetahs. Ergo, if that’s correct, three or four of every five are faithful.

Here are some of my secrets for remaining among the three or four of every five.

First, I think positively of myself, not because I’m perfect, but partly because I’m a good husband. Were I to go even a little Eldrick, I’d have to reconstruct my self-image. What a hassle that.

Second, I’ve never hung out with Jordan and Barkley in Vegas. Were I to TDUB, my homeboys would freeze me out (correction: one recently said not true if I videotaped it for them) and who wants to run by themself all the time. What’s the saying, “You are the company you keep.”

Third, impossible to find someone half as hot as the gal pal.

Fourth, who am I kiddin’, those three are more than sufficient to keep me in the center of the fairway.

One thought on “The Cheetah

  1. Hey Ron—how are you?

    I’m not sure people were necessarily drawing positive correlations between athletic achievement/talent and character in the case of Tiger Woods. I suspect what made peoples’ jaws drop to the ground these past couple of weeks was simply the fact that Mr Woods turned out to be different—so very, very different—from the person he’d led us all to believe he was: you know, the one who always puts family first above all else, including, oh my gosh, even golf.

    Most of us have made some connection, even on a subconscious level, between athletics and sex. In tournaments and meets around the globe we see the perfection of bodies honed to their particular sport, we see bodies poised for flight; we know that something about sports is primal and speaks to our ancient past of duels with predators, the elements and each other when strength and the seamless coordination of hand and eye frankly meant surviving to bank our genes into the next generation. Most of us are aware of the groupies that follow elite athletes around; we know these things happen, they just are, and there’s nothing really we can do about it, even if we wanted to change it all—we accept it, even expect it.

    But we know too there’s a big difference between someone like Jeter, who’s never made any bones about his interest in the opposite sex and who has prayed a rosary of beautiful girls, and Mr Woods who chooses without any pressure that we know of to present this sham of a self to the world.

    I for one never thought I “knew” Tiger Woods, hell, I can’t say I know for a fact who the people in my own life “really” are, and anyways I’m not that great a fan of golf, I’ve gotta admit even if my mother and her friends trolled what I suppose were those pro-am circuits. Still, there were to my mind troubling things about this dude that suggested he was more a spineless genius than anything else. For example, why did he go to Stanford? For the “pursuit of knowledge”? I think hardly. He went to university because that’s what “responsible people do.” Also, what’s his deal with being “cablinasian”? (I noted he’d changed it to “blasian” in a text he’d exchanged with one of the girls.) Yeah, we all know his mother is Thai, but what we also see is a guy whose phenotype expresses features that come across as predominantly black—so why would this guy not want to be identified as black? I must say I wasn’t surprised at all when he refused to take a stand on the presidential elections of last year—and why would he? America was electing a black/biracial guy for the first time, a touchy time for the country, an issue a guy with conflicted notions of his racial identity wouldn’t want to wade into.

    And then of course the girls. While I maintain we all have a right to date who we want, I do wonder: is it possible that Tiger Woods didn’t even date a single black girl because he just doesn’t want anything to do with black people? I think this is a legitimate question.

    Should make a t-shirt for women that says “I’m the ONLY black girl Tiger Woods has ever dated.” Ha, ha.

    Regarding the monogamy question, Ron, I do think you are putting a positive spin on this kinda sad state of the affairs of human beings. You quote the most benign statistics. How about this for you? A partner will have an affair in at least eighty percent of marriages according to some experts. The figures break down into something like sixty percent of husbands and forty percent of wives. Kinda alarming don’t you think? The point is, the figures are everywhere and anyways from what I’ve gathered, most people are inclined to not tell the truth in these matters.

    That said, I AM happy that you and your galpal get on well enough, and that you’re among the guys who don’t stray…for whatever it’s worth, I guess. Suddenly you make me think, Wow, maybe the world does have a couple of redeeming things about it…

    There’s got to be a few good ones, right?

    Still, I’m becoming cynical as the years roll by. I’ve too many times borne witness to the funerals of many dreams, ideals—all those days of cotton candy just a bad taste in my mouth.

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