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The Lady and the Tiger? When Auto Wrecks Turn Into Train Wrecks: The Curious Case of Tiger Woods

November 29, 2009

While we at TBTS are focusing on thankfulness, I’d like to express my gratitude. Mainly, for not being Tiger Woods right about now.

Now, sure, I’d love to have athletic skill beyond compare, the adulation/adoration of so many, and a shagrillion dollars (already having a supermodel wife, I find no covetous feelings there. [I hope I’ve just guaranteed that said wife will be sure to “hang my stocking from the chimney with care” this Christmas, if you know what I’m sayin’. I don’t.]) But, I’d rather not trade places with him at this particular moment in his largely laudatory career.

In case you haven’t noticed–or couldn’t give less of a shit about golf or its prime luminary–there’s something quite odd going on over in Team Tiger. To recap what we know so far: around 2:30 a.m. on November 27, Tiger wrecked his Cadillac Escalade into a fire hydrant and a tree a mere 50 feet from his own driveway in the gated Isleworth community of Windermere, Florida. Police and medics arrived on the scene to find Woods, 33, bleeding from lacerations to his upper and lower lips, his wife Elin having apparently smashed through the back window of the Escalade with a golf club, dragged Tiger out of the SUV, and performed CPR on the unconscious divot digger. The vehicle sustained several thousand dollars of damage, but was reported to be functional.

If nothing in that last paragraph alone got your “salacious sense” tingling, then what follows surely will.

Although alcohol was dismissed early on as a factor by local police, and the case is being handled as a traffic accident and not a domestic issue, too many things seem amiss, not the least of which is why Woods would need to leave his house at such an early hour. Add to that the allegations that Tiger had an affair very recently, his stonewalling of obviously deferential investigators (they’ve been denied access to gain a statement three times–thrice before the cock crew–think you or I would get that?), and the other odd factors in the matter (why would Elin have smashed the back window and not used a remote key-fob to open the driver-side door? Why was there no blood in the vehicle? etc.), and you get a career-damaging situation of tabloid-wet-dream proportions–something that the Woods team has cautiously guarded against with a veil of secrecy that makes the Iron Curtain look like drapes at the Drake Hotel. Hell, he even named his yacht “Privacy” (for my money, Stugots is a better yacht name, but what do I know?).

Now, I don’t mean to be a gossip-monger or innuendo-peddler in a sea of many, but…here goes: Tiger probably got smacked for (allegedly) cheating with New York hostess Rachel Uchitel over at the Aussie Masters, was chased out of the house by a distraught and club-wielding Elin, and wrecked his Excesscapade while watching her pursuit out of the rear-view as he tried to make his early-morn getaway.

If this isn’t true, then I’ll eat all kinds of crow (I like it extra-crispy, Colonel Sanders-style), and I’ll do it gladly. I admire Woods, even if I am among those who couldn’t give less of a shit about golf–unless I’m on the links with my dad and we’re passing a bottle of bourbon back and forth, swinging like taproom troglodytes, and laughing like loonies. But the man has to come out and say something, anything, and soon, or the true story might not matter all that much. The media will have already run amok, if it hasn’t already. With his own tournament hot on his heels and his mostly sterling (or is it graphite-encased titanium?) reputation to defend, there is a lot riding on whatever Tiger ultimately decides to reveal about the incident. For instance, I wonder if this will jeopardize Tiger’s endorsement of Occam’s Razors?

So, for the moment, no thanks. I’m thankful for just being me–just your average, talent-short, skin-flint hack with a supermodel wife, honored to be able to air-out the (alleged) dirty laundry of a total-stranger, mega-star athlete to an audience as fine as yourselves.

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