First, I have never played golf in my life! Second, I am a retired army officer, an adjunct professor in history and have studied philosophy in graduate school. So, why am I weighing in on Tiger Woods. Throughout my life I have become disappointed in observing in American society how many young people have idolized professionals in the sports and entertainment fields. Kids have posters of their favorite athletes and entertainers on their bedroom walls, and not of people who have made real contributions to society; such as, Einstein, Madame Currie, Dr. Jonas Salk, Gandhi, etc. In addition, it is only too often that one of these idols becomes embroiled in some type of criminal activity, or unethical behavior. As a parent I certainly don't want my daughters to turn out like Paris Hilton, or Lindsey Lohan, or the too many to numerate football and basketball players that are "packing" weapons and are in bar fights or domestic disturbances.
Now, I am no saint; however, I have never been arrested, or embroiled in extra marital affairs. Here is the crux of my complaint with Tiger Woods and the other multitude of sports stars and entertainers. I strongly believe that how a person lives their life is their business, so long as they are not breaking the law or harming others. My caveat is that if you want me to stay out of your life, than you stay out of mine!!! Specifically, don't try to make money off of your status as a sports star or entertainer by making commercials and endorsements for products that you want me to buy. More importantly, and this one really "burns" me, do not complain about the press coverage you get when you "screw-up." After all, Tiger Woods and the others want the publicity, (Woods and others pay publicists to generate publicity for themselves) but I find it hypocritical when they ask the press and the public to leave their "private" lives alone. Of course the public is going to be interested in salacious details about Woods'' life because he and his publicists have been nurturing this "clean-cut" ideal of him in relation to his meteoric rise as a professional golfer. And, for what reason? So he can make millions on product endorsements!!! So, when his sordid life turns into a "Greek tragedy," the press and the public will pry and want to know more. Mr. Woods, quit trying to make money off of your name and skills as a golfer and just do your job, like the millions of Americans do everyday, and we will leave you alone!!!
By the way, I really wish parents would look to raise their kids into believing that although it is fun to play ball, watch sports, listen to music, and watch movies, don't try to grow up and emulate these people. Few of us are skilled enough to compete at the professional level, you better make plans for a more "mundane" job.
There is only one sports figure that comes to mind quickly who is deserving of children's respect and adoration. Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox, probably the greatest hitter in baseball, but does not hold the record for most hits or most home runs. There is a good reason for this. Two times at the height of his baseball career, he was called upon his country to serve as a Marine Corps pilot, both in WW II and the Korean War. Both times he was in the prime of his baseball career. By the way, one of his physical traits that made him a great hitter made him an excellent pilot. Ted had 20/10 vision. He could see the enemy planes before they saw him, the most important edge in a dogfight. This is the reason that during the Korean War, John Glenn of future NASA fame made Ted his wing man! Ted served over five years in the Marine Corps uniform instead of a Red Sox uniform. Here is the kicker, never once in his life did he complain that he could have broken records or made more money on endorsements if only he did not have to serve his country!!!
So my hats off to one sports star, "thank you for your service Ted Williams!!! By the way this comes to you by way of a life long NY Yankees fan.
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