Head Men's Basketball Coach – Pratt Cannoneers
Stop whatever it is that you’re doing and read this story by Wright Thompson on Tiger Woods’ downfall. Immediately. Right now. Is your boss looking over your shoulder? Have them read it too. It’s that good and that powerful.
It’s hard to imagine anyone from my generation that isn’t fascinated by Tiger Woods and his dominance. Fourteen career major wins that all occurred within a 10 year span. The second – most all time PGA Tour career wins (79).
By the age of 24-years-old Tiger had completed the career Grand Slam and was a three-time PGA Player of the Year. I’m currently 25-years-old and my crowning achievement in life may just be the time D’Angelo Russell retweeted my article about him being James Harden 2.0 (or maybe the time in 5th grade that I made an awesome run through the New Jersey Oratorical Declamation tournament for my recitation of FDR’s speech on December 8, 1941).
Tiger’s dominance was not only something that I appreciated and was awed by as a sports fan, but it was more prominent in my life due to the fact that my grandfather was an avid golfer and respected the heck out of Tiger.
Being the traditional baseball, basketball, football fan I believe that in hindsight I underestimated the drive, athleticism and rigor required to reach the top of the pack in golf. My grandfather was never shy to point out how physically fit Tiger was and how mentally strong Tiger was – repeatedly dominating is SO, SO difficult.
And my grandfather was right. What Tiger did was special, and now through the amazing story Thompson wrote we know that it only takes one thing to ruin everything. How fragile was Tigers’ success? At the time it was easy to see the perfect life he was living – 10 time top annual money earner on the PGA Tour, husband to an absolutely gorgeous wife, the poster boy for Nike and the first golfer in a long time to transcend into mainstream news and sports. But in hindsight we now know that none of it made him happy.
Losing his father made him snap and he needed more women to approve of him, and potentially even scarier than the infidelity, the need to prove to himself that he was physically and mentally tough enough to be a Navy SEAL. Any normal, sane human being would be completely, 100% satisfied with Tiger’s life, but Tiger wasn’t. And that came to head on Thanksgiving of 2009.
Seven years later we get a peak into what led to that and what’s happened since, but I’m sure there’s even more out there. What other crazy things is Tiger doing? Is there worse things than managing a harem of women and allowing himself to be mentally and physically tested and potentially risking his career to feel like he could be a SEAL?
Regardless, it’s important, in my opinion, to understand why our idols thrive and potentially more importantly, why they fail – in this case very rapidly. Thank you to Wright Thompson for showing us a little bit of that.