Tiger will be forgiven

21 12 2009

It seems that whenever controversy looms over a famous person in this country, we always end up hearing that the person will be forgiven. The reason for that is we’re considered a society tolerant of mistakes and of the belief that people deserve second (and third, and fourth) chances.

That’s why I feel that Tiger Woods will regain most, if not all, his popularity within a few years. For those who claim Tiger is screwed for life after he screwed his way through half of Las Vegas’ female population, there are numerous examples of athletes who’ve regained their stature after ominous criminal charges.

Ray Lewis was indicted on murder and aggravated assault in 2000 after a couple people died from stab and gunshot wounds during the 2000 Super Bowl. Lewis took a plea agreement on obstruction of justice, served a year of probation, was named the 2001 Super Bowl MVP and began doing commercials for the NFL within a couple years.

You read that right. The NFL, a league so conservative that it warned Chad Ochocinco it would fine him if he wore No. 15 instead of his usual No. 85 on Sunday to honor his deceased teammate, Chris Henry, (per the league’s obnoxious uniform rules) actually had a player formerly indicted for murder become one of its spokespeople within a few years of the incident.

Remember Kobe Bryant’s 2003 rape case? He was absolved of the charges and settled in a civil suit, but it’s how he rebuilt his image after the event that should be unbelievable. He admittedly cheated on his wife with a drug-using, mentally unstable teenage chick and repaired his image in part by introducing himself as a family man with a wife and two daughters.

The NFL’s Jamal Lewis served time in jail in 2005 for organizing a cocaine deal from his cell phone. But fantasy football players still held him in high regard after the case as he reeled off consecutive 1,100-plus yard, nine-touchdown seasons from 2006-07.

NFL player Leonard Little, the douchebag that he is (he deserves much harsher words to describe him but I’m trying not to cuss on this blog), killed an innocent wife and mother in 1998 after ramming his car into hers at an intersection early one morning. His BAC was twice the legal limit. He served 3 months in jail and went through a bunch of other ‘slap on the wrist’ penalties.

Apparently not satisfied with killing one innocent person and ruining the lives of those that knew her, he was arrested in 2004 on a DWI charge. He was found not guilty and is still on the same Rams team he began his career with in ’98. You hear barely a blip about this poor excuse for a human being.

Look at Michael Vick. He admitted to helping torture and kill dogs stemming from a dog fighting ring. (Vick also funded the ring.) He did his time in jail for a couple years, but despite our country’s reputation for loving dogs, there were plenty of people to cheer him in the stands this year in Philadelphia, Atlanta and elsewhere.

Needless to say, we’re not a society that holds a grudge against a celebrity, especially an athlete. All Tiger will have to do is win a few Majors, admit that he’s sorry for his trangressions, get some photo-ops with his kids and most of us will likely take whatever Tiger news we’ve learned from the past few weeks and sweep it under the rug.

I’ll probably lead that dance. After all, adultry doesn’t rate quite as high on my pecking order of Really Bad Things To Do as does murder, rape, drug trafficking and the killing of animals. But that’s just me.

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One response

22 12 2009
Page Seven

Exactly. Nothing helps people forget more than winning. He’ll come out, say he messed up, and then get back to winning. Like you said, it happens over and over again and it’ll happen with Tiger.

Conversely, what about if he never was the same player again? Say he comes back and doesn’t ever win another major? People will not appreciate him and his star power will never return. People will constantly point to this moment and say, “Oh, it all began there” and keep harping on it until the end of time.

Win and you win, lose and you’ll lose for the rest of your life Tiger.

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