Tale of 2 Tigers

Tiger is the most fascinating in all of the animal kingdom. Known to be largest among the cats, the Tiger has been the object of human fascination and attention for years.  Hunted by the Maharajas earlier and now poached by anti-socials, tiger runs the risk of extinction unless conservation efforts are stepped up and backed by efforts to tackle poaching.

This note is not however about the travails of saving panthera tigris but about the ‘other’ Tiger. The one who could send a golf ball scurrying across the green and known for his 3 under par performances.

Tiger Woods.

What started off as a mere ‘car crash’ has now snowballed into a full fledged sordid affair with no less than 9 partners. The number of skeletons tumbling out of Tiger’s closet could make any graveyard proud and almost threaten to outnumber the trophies that he has won.

Again this note is not about finding fault with Tiger or empathizing with him. Anyways that does not seem to be an easy job either.

The crux of this note is about the tendency that we, the onlookers have, with regard to those who fall from grace. We don’t have any qualms about setting exacting standards of public and private morality for the famous. The trouble is that we may not exactly meet those exacting standards ourselves.

Sachin Tendulkar was lambasted in a section of the media for his decision to seek “duty exemption” for his Ferrari.  While I am also of the view that Tendulkar should have paid up given his riches, I take exception to the fact that he should be “picked at” for his decision.  He did what everyone of us would have done if we had the opportunity of owning a Ferrari. In that sense, to expect him to be “abnormal” in my view is not a tenable expectation.

Likewise, I don’t think that Tiger Woods should be a sacrificial lamb at the altar of morality. Because, if we think, the ‘crown of infallible morality’ was not something he willingly accepted, rather, we thrust it upon him.

I think we must resist the temptation of elevating the icons of society – of any field – to an exalted pedestal.  We don’t have to make a saint out of every superstar. Because they don’t claim to be one either.

There are ofcourse a good number of icons who have managed to keep their head above water and not allowing success to get into their head. Despite all their achievements and the riches the likes of Pete Sampras, Sachin Tendulkar, Steve Waugh, Rahul Dravid maintain a very dignified personality.

But this is not something we can expect from every one. My point is that such an expectation is a transgression into their persona of a human being.  A superstar cannot be a superstar 24 hours of the day. So he is entitled to every emotion and indeed every failing that we as normal individuals are entitled to, quite unabashedly.

A higher than normal standard for a public personality be it on the question of morality or anything in my view is not a valid expectation.  This ofcourse is not extended to the dubious methods adopted by any of the icons to “win at all costs”.  I obviously exclude the likes of Ben Johnson while I am still undecided about that talisman from Las Vegas, Andre Agassi.

As general viewers we are quick to put them on a pedestal and we can be very unforgiving for their transgressions. My point is that we should evaluate them for their professional work and leave their moral conduct out of the scope of our evaluation as a professional. I don’t think we are here to pass judgements on morality, forgetting the famous “glass house” adage.

As to Tiger Woods himself, he finds himself, in golfing terms in a deadly bunker. As to how he is going to pull himself outside is something the world would watch with keen interest.  There can however be no justification for what he did but again, saying anything more would be prejudicial.  It is his life and hence it is incumbent on him to clear up the mess.

Whether this will impact his progress as a golfing superstar remains to be seen. He would also be hurt financially I suppose, not just the settlement payoffs but loss of endorsements and the like. Will he command the same respect in the golfing circuit ? I don’t know.  But I prefer that he gets the respect if he remains to be the best golfer that he was.

It is very difficult to understand as to why he got himself into the horrible mess. One of his partners has gone on record that his “performance on the bed” was terrible. Hmm..

So what was he trying to do ? Whatever he was upto, he certainly did not live up to one brand that he endorsed Accenture.

Atleast one of his partners didn’t agree that his was “High Performance”, “Delivered”.

Even if he was trying to prove a point or be the modern Casanova, one must say that here is one Woods who missed the trees.

I only hope that this Tiger comes out strongly from the mess and he gets all the help that he would need. Unlike the failing conservation efforts to save the endangered 4 legged cat, I hope this Tiger pulls himself out of the abyss.

If he didn’t, it would be a terrible loss to the world of Golf.


About hariharanbond
I am who I am !

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