Tiger’s still on track to be greatest, but not best

Tiger Woods stepped up to the tee a few days ago and finally split the fairway with a straight and true shot regarding his wayward ways off the course. The problem with his mea culpa disclosure is that he wouldn’t have made it if the smoking gun on the matter hadn’t already been fired. Though strong and fearless when chasing golf’s immortals during his already brilliant career, Woods looms weak and flawed as a husband and role model. Most of us are. He is the latest of a never ending string of fallen superheroes (Martin Luther King, JFK, Jesse Jackson, Gov. Mark Sanford, Kobe Bryant, ad nauseam) to betray marital vows. Woods will use his money to keep others from talking and he’ll use his blog to say whatever he has to say, as he enters the image rebuilding/recovery process.

But all Tiger’s fortune and all his titles won’t restore that squeaky clean image that helped make him the sports world’s first billion-dollar athlete. The sordid affairs that prompted that sad and soiled image of him lying on a neighbor’s lawn after driving his car into a fire hydrant and a tree has left an indelible stain on his brand. Once Woods breaks Jack Nicklaus record of 19 major titles, the world will accept him as one of the greatest athletes, but he’s lost his chance to be considered among the most beloved.

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