Rick Reilly’s advice for Tiger Woods is a joke. Here’s the gist of it:
New Normal #3: Try a little tenderness.
Take some time with people. Phil Mickelson signs for 20 minutes after every round, Tuesday or Sunday, first place or 100th. On a good month, you do 20 minutes. Try it once. You might like it. Your every moment on a golf course doesn’t have to be Elvis being rushed out of the Hilton. Take some time with people. Say hello. Stand on 18 once and watch a guy finish, then shake his hand. It’s not going to kill you.
New Normal #4: Enough with the emperor act.
Climb down from this ivory tower you live in. Introduce a little transparency into your life. Give an interview once in a while that isn’t being timed by your agent standing in the corner. Tweet more than once a month.
New Normal #5: Spread it around a little.
Look, everybody knows you’re the cheapest guy on tour. Some people are sure your wallet is sewn shut. I know a car valet in L.A. that you’ve stiffed so many times, he feels like he’s full of embalming fluid. The last time he saw you, he stood in front of the car door, making small talk until you made with a fiver. Don’t be like that. Drop some coin. You’ll be surprised how it improves your disposition. Karma does exist, you know.
Middle agers know they’re aging due to a growing list of aches, pains, and miscellaneous physical maladies. I take better than normal care of myself, exercise regularly, eat well, help old ladies across the street, and go to church when it’s not sunny outside. But I’m just as aware of the aging process because of changes in my thinking.
For example, I used to think people could, with concerted effort, change aspects of their personalities. Mean guy could become nicer, superficial woman more substantive, impatient person more relaxed, angry person more caring, self-centered guy more selfless.
Not anymore. Sure someone can drop weight or stop drinking, but some people are just mean, superficial, impatient, angry, and self-centered. Have been for a long time and will continue to be.
Earth to Double R. Just like my personality and yours, Tiger’s is never going to change.
“I got away from my Buddhism.” Yeah, you think?
Did you see Darren Clarke signing autographs on the WAY to the FIRST tee on Sunday afternoon at Royal St. George’s?! Did you hear Rory McElroy after the US Open say he “couldn’t wait” to join his friends at home in Northern Ireland to celebrate. Genuine, personable dudes. Tiger is not likable, just phenomenally talented at golf.
Since all is fair in advice giving, here’s some for R squared:
New Normal #1: Learn how to accept people’s flawed personalities. Save your breath about how you want them to change.
New Normal #2: When an athlete acts reprehensibly, do what most elementary students learn to do during recess in first grade, ignore them. So the guy fired his caddy. He hasn’t won in a long time, isn’t playing currently, and isn’t really deserving of your media spotlight.
Then again, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe there’s hope for Tiger because you’ve fundamentally changed your personality. Religious conversion, counseling breakthrough, whatever. Total personal makeover. The comment section is open. Do tell. I would love to be proved wrong, but I’m not holding my breath.