Now that Tiger Woods’ mistress count has reached somewhere near 36 highly questionable bimbo-ish vixens from all walks of life (from Adult Snuff to Perkins), transcriptions of his phone calls and text messages are splattered all across television and cyberspace, and he and his lovely wife’s face litter the tabloids, one thought comes to mind. If only Tiger had been a rock star.
Alas, none of this attention would have descended like an attack hawk on one of our best known athlete slash celebrities but would have instead only added a mythology of revered (and often worshipped) outlandishly seedy behavior. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin…heck even Def Leppard has carved out a swath of adamant womanizing, incessant boozing and unwavering debauchery of all sorts. But hey, for rock stars, it’s not only accepted but usually expected.
Obviously, as (a hopefully non- meth influenced) Andre Agassi once insisted years ago on behalf of Canon cameras, “Image is everything.” The problem arises when our heroes’ images mask the bubbling brew of human failing underneath. Tiger Woods was groomed and propped up early on as Mr. Wholesome. Gleaming white smile custom made for a box of Wheaties, clean shaven as can be, and elegantly dressed in slick, snazzy golf gear looking like something straight out of GQ. Tiger carried himself with the bravado of a Wall Street businessman combined with the competitive zeal of Michael Jordan. Little did we know that he was hitting a lot more than the links.
With his persona in firm place it seems that Tiger was out acting more like Tommy Lee than Tiki Barber. Of course, we realize that athletes have long acted like this behind the scenes going all the way back to the schlepish, womanizing Babe Ruth and the ridiculous sexual exploits of Wilt Chamberlain (who, for all intents and purposes is the Gene Simmons' of the sports world). Eric Clapton once famously stole his best friend George Harrison’s wife back in the day (he even wrote an entire lust crazy album/song about her with “Layla”).
But to be cheesy, this is all par for the course when it comes to rock stars. Athletes are always expected or assumed to be role models, unwillingly though they often are (Just ask Charles Barkley). For rock stars it is this image and penchant for bad behavior that fuels their industry and mystique and is virtually required for them to be remotely interesting. If only Tiger had been as good with an electric guitar as he is with a driver he might not be tabloid fodder right now. I guess image IS everything.