The year was 1971, and even though the Rolling Stones had just generated grillions of dollars with their world-wide hit “Satisfaction,” there was Mick Jagger on a media dais surrounded by a forest of microphones and a phalanx of international journalists explaining that – for tax reasons – the Stones had to flee their beloved England and emigrate to France.
A ballsy reporter had the nerve to put her hand up and ask, “Are you feeling unsatisfied now?” The room exploded with laughter.
Cut to 2017 and we might ask Tiger Woods the same question. On the Friday before Memorial Day, Woods published a blog entry on his www.tigerwoods.com website claiming, “I haven’t felt this good in years.”
So good that he drove arounddazed out of his gourd at 3 a.m on a Sunday night.
I’m sick of Tiger Woods’s tired act, and you should be too. Fool us once, (the sordid ’09 sex scandal) shame on you, but after that, it’s not going to happen again. The sins are bad enough, but the cover-ups, denials, and insincere, half-hearted mea culpae that we all see right through are too much to take. Tiger had nine lives, and transcendent athlete or not, it’s time we admit he’s used them all up.
“SAY THE NATIONAL ANTHEM BACKWARDS”
At roughly 3 a.m. on Memorial Day (3 a.m.!) Tiger Woods was arrested for “Driving Under the Influence” in the legal jargon. Here are just some of the critical details that emerged about the arrest:
—Woods was found pulled over half-on and half-off a main Jupiter thoroughfare passed out in his car. It took several attempts by police officers to rouse him to consciousness, and even then he slurred his speech and was barely cogent. The police report details specifically read “Speech – slow, sluggish, very slurred; Attitude – sluggish, sleepy, unable to walk alone; Other – very droopy, extremely sleepy, hard to keep eyes open.” The videos released confirm this.
—Woods didn’t know where he was. His brain was so fogged he thought he was driving home from playing golf in Los Angeles. He was only off by 2,651 miles, as the crow flies. He actually had to ask the police officers how far away from his house he was;
—Woods had apparently collided with several objects before the car finally came to rest. According to media outlets, “New documents released late Tuesday afternoon by Jupiter, Florida, police reveal that both tire rims on the driver’s side of the Mercedes had minor damage and the front and rear tires on that side of the vehicle were flat. Police also observed damage to the bumper on the driver’s side, white scrapes and scuffs on the rear bumper, and the passenger side rear taillight was not working, according to the documents.”
—Woods admitted to officers that uses “soloxer, vicodin, and torix;” among other pharmaceuticals;
—According to police Woods failed every single field test for sobriety they administered. Every one, including:
—Woods’s eyes couldn’t follow the light during the test that determines whether you’re able to focus on what’s in front of you and follow along when it moves;
—Woods couldn’t walk a straight line;
—Woods couldn’t stand on one leg while lifting the other a mere six inches off the ground;
—Woods couldn’t touch the tip of his nose with his fingers, then put his hands back at his sides, the easiest part of the field test; and my personal favorite
—When asked to recite the alphabet backwards, he thought they asked him to recite the National Anthem backwards instead.
As an aside, how hilarious is that! Most of us can’t even do that sober. Let’s see: “brave”…”the”…”home”…I mean “of”…”home”…”the”…”and”…uhh….
THE DOWNWARD SPIRAL CONTINUES
It doesn’t matter one iota that he blew a 0.000. His ability to operate his 4,900-lb. $220,000 motor vehicle was – obviously – dangerously diminished. Even if the drugs themselves are legally prescribed, driving after ingesting them is not. That’s what DUI stands for – driving under influence.
Painkiller addiction has become a grim epidemic in America. Correspondingly, as the Atlantic wrote:
“Tiger Woods has become the most high-profile example of a worrisome nationwide trend: Drugged driving is on the rise, and for the first time ever, people involved in fatal crashes are more likely to have drugs than alcohol in their systems.
A report published this April by the Governors Highway Safety Association and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility found that both illegal and prescription drugs are found in the bodies of fatally-injured drivers—a good source of data, since they are tested more often than drivers in non-fatal crashes—about 43 percent of the time. Alcohol above the legal limit, meanwhile, was found in just 37 percent of the drivers.”
For those of you saying he should receive sympathy – and the implied free pass that goes with it – I say no for two reasons.
First and most importantly, my family knows the horror of losing a loved one to a drunk driver. My cousin, Dawn Pilawa, was only 18 when a drunk driver killed her as she was crossing the street on New Years Eve in 1974. I have no tolerance for that. One look at the video of Tiger slurring his speech and having almost no motor control, and you know that his little Memorial Day joyride could have turned tragic too easily.
Second, we’ve given him enough free passes on terrible behavior, including:
***Treating women like a buffet table while being married with young children, including allegedly paying prostitutes for sex. The ludicrously long list of harlots, hangers on and even ordinary people he boinked is alleged to have included his impressionable (and thoroughly pissed off) babysitter, Raychel Coudriet, 17-years old at the time of the tryst;
***sending out a fake Tiger at a Hattiesburg Sex Addiction Clinic to try to confuse the media (yet another example of how he tries to play us all for fools);
***a journalistically suspect arrangement with the National Enquirer, allegedly trading their silence about his affair with the pancake waitress for a Men’s Fitness article;
***hiring a steroid/PED-tainted doctor – Henry Galea – to treat him when he could have had any clean doctor he wanted, no matter what the cost. Hank Haney, however, swears up and down he watched Galea’s injections, and that nothing untoward was going on;
Moreover, Woods lies to our faces time and again and thinks we don’t notice it. On the course he’s a club-throwing, foul-mouthed, petulant tyrant any time he doesn’t win. Off the course, he was reputedly cheap, rude, and arrogant.
So what sympathy does he deserve? Many journalists gave him a second chance, breathlessly waiting for a comeback. Instead we get Act II. Like the old song says, “This time will be different…till I do it again.”
Woods chose the party boy lifestyle, and as Mick Jagger also said shortly after being asked if he was “unsatisfied” is that “the lifestyle is great until the lifestyle starts to choose you, then that’s a problem.” And since Woods surrounds himself with panderers and enablers – including overly fawning members of the media as addicted to the idea of his comeback as Woods may be to his various vices – the downward spiral will continue.
A free pass in the form of a pity party is not what he needs. He needs tough love from Commissioner Monahan in the form of a suspension and long glaring looks of disapproval from the rest of us until he starts being more responsible. The free passes have to end, and not just because he’s not going to break Jack’s record, but because either he or someone else is going to end up dead or severely injured.
It’s time for that kid to grow up.
We have to do our part too, though, and that means give up our Tiger Woods addiction. He’s no longer worth the effort anymore. It’s that or just recite the national anthem backwards every time he gets in trouble again. “La la la…we’re not listening. Brave…the…of…home…the…and…”