Tiger Woods bought a 155-foot yacht for a reported $20 million a few years back. Then he sued the manufacturer for using his name and image while promoting its boats. Oh, yeah. He christened the yacht Privacy.
Any other questions?
From the tee shot on No. 1 to the final putt on No. 18, Woods goes up close and personal with the world, giving it all he has and sharing every emotion, whether it's a vein-ripping shout and a clenched fist or, occasionally, an unclenched jaw that spews a curse.
Otherwise, he pretty much lives a life behind tall gates like those that surround his Isleworth estate in Florida.
I'm not sure exactly what happened behind those walls a week ago, but I'm pretty sure it's not our business. Maybe there was a domestic dispute; maybe the 7-iron was used purely for humanitarian reasons.
Tiger did about $8,000 damage to his SUV and some 3 grand in property damage by slamming into a fire hydrant and a tree. He will be issued a $164 citation for careless operation. It's all pocket change.
Everything that has happened since, though, comes at an extraordinary cost. No agent, spokesman, or image consultant can bail him out now.
The most recognizable athlete in the world who had everything, from the greatest talent in golf, to the most lucrative endorsements, to the squeakiest of clean reputations, apparently is just a man and, perhaps, not the best of them.
Woods, who rarely if ever deals with the media away from tournaments or carefully choreographed appearances, often speaks to the world on his Web site. And, at first, his wordsmiths used that outlet to stonewall.
But after tabloids reported that the married father of two was involved with other women, with one claiming to have text and voice messages to prove it, Tiger was forced to come clean. His handlers posted a statement at tigerwoods.com saying:
"I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart. I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves. I am not without faults and I am far short of perfect. I am dealing with my behavior and personal failings behind closed doors with my family."
Woods said his wife, Elin, has "shown more grace than anyone could possibly expect" and added that he would "strive to be a better person and the husband and father that my family deserves. For all of those who have supported me over the years, I offer my profound apology."
That's a mouthful from a man who has always put his private life off limits. And I suspect it's all we're going to hear. His latest statement was five paragraphs and three of them basically reiterated that his atonement for "personal sins" is none of our business. Closed doors. High gates and walls.
His life, public and private, has been carefully crafted, but now it is crashing down on him. We haven't quite lost count of his supposed companions, but we might. Just when Tiger figured he had the golf media well trained, here come the tabloids. Good luck to him and the missus.
Woods has reinvented his golf swing, and he has had physical problems repaired. But now he faces his biggest challenge, fixing his family.
We may be a society of gawkers, and we'll watch this play out as another of the rich and famous take a tumble. But what's going on now behind those closed doors truly is none of our business.
Contact Blade sports columnist
Dave Hackenberg at:
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