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The Home of the Brave

Tiger Loses Role Model Roar

Posted by evankessler on December 1, 2009

We hate to look to former American Idol Runners up for wise quotations, but when Adam Lambert proclaimed himself a “performer” and “not a “babysitter” on CBS’s Early Show last week, he unwittingly set the stage for the large dent in the armor of Tiger Woods role model appeal.  He also clearly stated the case for the disposal of such public figures of esteem.

A mere three days later the world’s greatest golfer with a squeaky clean image was embroiled in a controversy over a car accident and alleged affair. Nevermind the fact that whether or not Woods had cheated on his wife is  none of our business, despite several publications contentions to the opposite; the simple fact is that despite his athletic prowess and perseverance through hardship to achieve his greatness, like all human beings Woods is fallible. While he may end up being the greatest golfer of all time, that doesn’t make him the greatest human being of all time and we should stop expecting that from him.

Tiger is just next in line of many athletes who have knocked themselves down a few pegs whether or not their actions have warranted it. Here is a list of some notable champions whose actions on and off the field of play could be used as a counter-argument to their role model status:

  • Michael Jordan- Gatorade had everyone wanting to be “like Mike,” but I bet they didn’t mean to emulate the notorious compulsive gambler side of the greatest basketball player of all time. Not only that, but his self congratulatory Hall of Fame acceptance speech this past year could be used in digital dictionary to define the term “sore winner.”
  • Pete Rose- Given the nickname Charlie Hustle, baseball’s all-time leading hitter was a gritty legend on the field, but once in the dugout managing he was a bit of a gambling fool.  While his play was worthy of the Hall of Fame his actions while managing were deemed a disgrace to the game and he was banned indefinitely.
  • Ty Cobb- When Pete Rose traded places on the all-time hit list with Cobb it was like one a-hole leapfrogging another. Cobb however was much worse.  An outspoken bigot with a nasty disposition who relished the chance to drive his spikes into infielders, “The Georgia Peach” was by no means sweet– but his game was.

Andre Agassi– The Tennis legend with a colorful bad boy image was backed up by stellar play, but the winner of 8 grand slam tournaments recently admitted to a crystal meth addiction that knocked him from the top ranks of the sport.

Sammy Sosa/Mark McGwire/Barry Bonds- These Roid Rage sluggers continue to fool no one about where their power came from.

So if we’re done preaching from our high horse about what Tiger Woods owes us as a role model, maybe we can leave him to sort out his own personal life and get back to doing what he does best, which is win golf tournaments.

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