Tiger Woods: A fallen star, and officially a failure at marriage

I once asked Tiger Woods to describe, in 25 words or less, what it was like being Tiger Woods. Being Tiger Woods, he finished 24-under.

“Sweet,” he said.

That was in October 2003. It happened after Tiger’s first round at the WGC-American Express Championship in Woodstock. There weren’t many folks there that Thursday, and essentially everybody on hand was following Tiger. (Department of weird coincidences: One of those in Tiger’s gallery was Damon Evans, who would become Georgia’s athletics director the next year.)

Tiger Woods would become engaged to Elin Nordegren the next month. They would marry in 2004 in Barbados, with the guests including Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan and Bill Gates. Tiger and Elin would have two children. Life seemed … well, sweet.

As of today, Tiger and Elin are no longer man and wife. Not nine months after he ran into a fire hydrant backing out of his driveway on the morning after Thanksgiving, the divorce has been finalized. And if you’re chuckling and saying, “Tiger’s free to chase women and not be labeled a cheetah” … ask yourself this: Do you think even Tiger Woods would today describe his life as “sweet”?

He has lost a wife. He will surely be rendered an absentee father. Once the idol of millions, he’s now a fallen star — indeed, maybe the biggest fallen star in the history of sports. He has not won a tournament this calendar year, and there were years when Tiger would claim a half-dozen trophies. (Indeed, he won that modest event in Woodstock.)

He’ll surely win again, but we will never again regard him the same way. He has gone from being unbeatable to being the butt of jokes and now, as of this Monday in August 2010, he’s legally just another failed husband.

Even if this damage was all self-inflicted, the temptation is nonetheless to feel a bit sorry for him. Because none of us will ever know how it is to Have It All. And none of us, thank goodness, will ever know how it is to throw so much away.

243 comments Add your comment

Trashy

August 23rd, 2010
3:32 pm

It’s still very hard for me to feel sorry for him.

Air Tran

August 23rd, 2010
3:33 pm

Just say Elin leaving Hartsfield in that new G550.

Nick

August 23rd, 2010
3:33 pm

Mark Bradley

August 23rd, 2010
3:34 pm

It’s not easy, Trashy. I’ll concede that point.

Lola

August 23rd, 2010
3:37 pm

” . . . as of this Monday in August 2010, he’s legally just another failed husband.”

harsh words, but very true

DCbravosfan

August 23rd, 2010
3:39 pm

Tiger, dude, it would have been cheaper to keep her!!!!

Mark, what do you think of Tiger’s chances to be a captain’s pick for the Ryder Cup?

A complete Blank

August 23rd, 2010
3:39 pm

So how much $$$ did Elin get in the divorce Mark????

Hey, Nick...

August 23rd, 2010
3:40 pm

…LOSER…in more ways than one…

teamguy

August 23rd, 2010
3:41 pm

And he was featured in the latest teen movie, “Vampires Suck”! (and, btw, so does the movie).

Taylor Hanson

August 23rd, 2010
3:42 pm

For an intelligent man, he certainly seemed to ignore the benefit/cost analysis.

wxwax

August 23rd, 2010
3:42 pm

Which reveals our flaws more thoroughly: success or failure?

Tiger Woods has some demons, some flaws in his character, his personality. His success allowed them to flourish. I believe that not only is he humbled, but that he has also learned a great deal about himself.

On the golf course, watch out. The distraction of the divorce is over. He’ll still have time issues with trying to see his children. But he’ll soon have a clearer mind and more time to practice.

It’s too late for this year. But body willing, he could be a monster next year. Lots to prove. Do you really want to face a clear-minded Woods who has a lot to prove?

Jamaaliver

August 23rd, 2010
3:42 pm

Biggest Fallen star in the history of sports…that seems a fair title to bestow upon him.

It's Me

August 23rd, 2010
3:42 pm

First of all Mark Bradley, get a life. The man did what many men do – He cheated on his wife. Does that justify his actions – of course not. Does that justify crusifying him – of course not. It is completely ignorant of you to say that he will be labeled an absentee father. How dare you! There are many men who are divorced, yet are still very much present in their children’s lives. And not everyone thinks that he is a fallen star – because he is NOT.

jsmith

August 23rd, 2010
3:42 pm

why do these pro atheletes get married??

DawginLex

August 23rd, 2010
3:43 pm

I do feel sorry for him. i feel sorry for her as well and their kids.

He will never be the same. Nicklaus doesn’t have to worry anymore.

Hack Golfer

August 23rd, 2010
3:43 pm

I am one that has not ever pulled for Tiger to win as I have always felt he was incredibly arrogant. Maybe it’s understandable that he is but I have witnessed his behavior at the Masters where he screamed cuss words in front of kids without any remorse. ( I was standing next to Elin at the time ) I have been saying for months that he was crazy to get married. Heck, I thought he was always working out and practicing. I didn’t know he was such a hound.Now he gets to choose…..practice or play.

Rev.

August 23rd, 2010
3:43 pm

You can teach golf, but you can’t teach class

papadawg

August 23rd, 2010
3:43 pm

Way to go Woods you lost a Trophy Wife and evidently your golf swing. NAH I don’t sorry for you one bit

Big G

August 23rd, 2010
3:43 pm

Taylor Hanson

August 23rd, 2010
3:43 pm

It’s Me, I think MB was referring to the likelyhood that Tiger’s kids will be living in Europe from now on….but feel free to stay on your high horse.

dap01

August 23rd, 2010
3:45 pm

Hudson will pitch a no hitter tonight, Philly will score 30 runs, and ESPN will still talk about Tiger for 29 minutes of the 30 minutes of ESPN news.

ESPN has become a bunch of jock sniffers. “The Final Score” is better to watch because they talk about all sports, not just NY, Boston, Tiger and Brett Farve.

That whole order for ESPN will change if there are steroids to talk about. Kill you mother, that’s ok, dog fighting, that’s ok. Steroids, that deserves the death penalty according to ESPN.

wxwax

August 23rd, 2010
3:45 pm

Taylor Hanson
August 23rd, 2010
3:42 pm

For an intelligent man, he certainly seemed to ignore the benefit/cost analysis.

—————————————————————————————————————————-

I firmly believe there’s a vast gulf between intelligence and good judgment.

Intelligence is a product of the rational mind. Judgment is the product of everything — emotions, biases, pride — the whole gamut of what makes us human.

And judgment, flawed or good, usually triumphs over intelligence. If you ever doubt that, look at the world around you! We humans do a lot of very stupid things because we act with our judgment and not our smarts.

Rickster

August 23rd, 2010
3:45 pm

Tiger may (I repeat may win more Masters than Arnie & Jack combined. Tiger may break Jack’s record for major wins.

But Tiger will never – ever – be the champion that Jack or Arnie are.

Chipper

August 23rd, 2010
3:45 pm

Arrogance and Ego tend to collide in not so good ways. The result is most often to deeply humble. Just another in a long line of examples.

Bev

August 23rd, 2010
3:46 pm

So sad!! Why are there so many cheaters in our society today?? BTW..I’m referring to both males and females? Both sides cheat equally! Too bad people can’t stick together!

One woman man

August 23rd, 2010
3:46 pm

Being famous is no excuse to cheat on your spouse, neither is being poor.

dap01

August 23rd, 2010
3:46 pm

Big G: You are right….Who cares?

shadow7071

August 23rd, 2010
3:47 pm

Actually, I think Tiger may the icon for this entire go-go generation. We wanted all. Thought we could have all. Never considered losing. Never contemplated the impact of losing. Our lives were “sweet”. But now our jobs have been off-shored, we’re unemployed or under employed, we’re in foreclosure and the prospects of coming back like we were before are dim. Tiger will comeback and we’ll comeback but it will never be like it was before.

Dave

August 23rd, 2010
3:47 pm

Hope he does everything possible to learn and improve himself from it. He wasn’t the only person hurt. Brutal year for everyone in the Woods family.

Gary

August 23rd, 2010
3:47 pm

So Mark, why did they get divorced in Panama City? I thought thier home was in Orlando?

It's Me

August 23rd, 2010
3:48 pm

Taylor Hanson. Well, I didn’t ask you for your thoughts. However, I will respond back. You know what they say about people who assume..right? They are the first 3 letters of that very word assume. First of all, His ex-wife cannot take THEIR kids anywhere without his consent as well. Like it or not, he is still their father!

Al

August 23rd, 2010
3:48 pm

Mr Bradley, I bet it’s still better to be Tiger Woods than to be you!!!!!!

Joe T

August 23rd, 2010
3:48 pm

Bradley….what is your deal, dude? Who do you think you are? Some of your comments are just plain crazy. I do have it all, sir! I know what it is like! How about leaving the guy alone! I don’t condone any of this adultery, but the guy is a human being. He had a huge character flaw that got exposed! He has every opportunity to rebuild his life! Why don’t you write about that instead of this mess you brought today?

misterwax

August 23rd, 2010
3:49 pm

Since he claims he is a Buddhist like his mother, then he is sure to be reincarnated as a whale turd on the bottom of the ocean….That’s about all there is to it. Karma stiks.

In defense of Sweet

August 23rd, 2010
3:50 pm

Lets see: hundred-millionaire, 2nd on the all time Majors win list, has one all four majors, and has won all four majors in a row, third all time in PGA tour event wins, has two beautiful children, is young and in good health. To me, that still adds up to “Sweet”. Maybe a little less sweet than before, but “Sweet” nonetheless!

Many of us who have been divorced know what he is going through. Heck, he is only 8 months into the whole sordid falling out. This, too, will pass.

HugoStiglitz

August 23rd, 2010
3:51 pm

Tiger Woods made one big mistake. Getting married. Therefore I dont really feel sorry for him. Some are the marrying type. Some arent. He should have known what he was.

wxwax

August 23rd, 2010
3:51 pm

Rickster
August 23rd, 2010
3:45 pm

But Tiger will never – ever – be the champion that Jack or Arnie are.

————————————————————————————————————————————

From what I hear, Arnold Palmer was a huge hound dog who cheated on his beloved wife Winnie just as frequently as Tiger Woods.

Palmer benefited from a very different media world. He got away with it.

I think the lesson to be learned is that we shouldn’t presume that we know something to be true, just because there’s an absence of proof to the contrary.

Carmen

August 23rd, 2010
3:51 pm

Tiger Woods committed the ultimate betrayal, deception and humiliation against Elin Nordegren and their children. A wife does not get over such ordeal in a short period of time. I think that Elin Nordegren is a woman with class, dignity and self respect and she would have never stay with a man like Tiger Woods, whom she may not respect and trust anymore. Tiger Woods seems to be a troubled man with serious character and emotional issues that appears to be long standing. Elin seems to know that the emotional demands of staying married to Tiger Woods would have been very high and not worth it. Elin has a big responsibility to herself and her two small children. I commend Elin for her wise decision, for being a caring and loving mother and for her great courage, dignity and class during this horrid time in her life. I wish them all the best!!!

Dr. Warren

August 23rd, 2010
3:52 pm

I would venture to say OJ Simpson was the biggest fallen star in the history of sports. Going from the most telegenic NFL legend to a murderer with a gun to his head on an LA freeway on national TV is a more precipitous fall, don’t ya think? If you can’t decide, tell me: which fall would you rather take?

One Striking Rattler

August 23rd, 2010
3:53 pm

@It’s Me. Tiger’s actions seem a bit different in that he engaged in unprotected sex with multiple women whose alledged lifestyles suggest might have had multiple intimate partners. Tiger then engaged in unprotected sex, see timing of Elin’s last pregnancy, with his wife. By doing so,Tiger potentially carried a cornucopia of diseases home and placed the life of his wife and his children’s mother at risk. That is damnable behavior. However, the really wonderful thing about Tiger and his behavior is that we don’t have to worry one moment about what will happen in his life. It has been written “vengence is mine, and I WILL repay.” And, as my pop used to say, ” a man who loses his wife, loses everything.”

Chuck

August 23rd, 2010
3:53 pm

Mark Bradley and his articles are the biggest losers

Dr. Warren

August 23rd, 2010
3:54 pm

And Carmen, I think murdering one’s wife–a la OJ–is more “the ultimate betrayal” than cheating on one’s wife. (Not that I admire anyone who cheats on their wife, or their husband).

gator32301

August 23rd, 2010
3:54 pm

Mark, why do you state he will “surely” be rendered an absentee father? What information are you privy to that make you feel this will “surely” happen?

Herschel Talker

August 23rd, 2010
3:55 pm

MB:

Well said. Spot on. I say to heck with this clown.

HT

In defense of Sweet

August 23rd, 2010
3:56 pm

And, I have to agree with what a couple of other have said: This is a crap article, Mark Bradley. Is the sports world so slow that the best you could do is pull out Tiger Woods and kick him again? Who’s the loser?

It's Me

August 23rd, 2010
3:56 pm

People will always make comments about a situation because people will always have opinions. But enough is enough. Get a Life. The same people who cast such harsh judgment on these people are the same people who are living foul as well. Just a thought, if you aren’t living on the straight and narrow 24/7, you have no right to cast judgement on anyone else. What people should do is focus on their lives and try to correct their wrongs with their wives, children, friends, etc.

Al

August 23rd, 2010
3:57 pm

Cmon now Rickster,

If you had prefaced you statement to say that Tiger would never be the champion that Arnie or Jack is in a familial context then I would say you are correct. But he has already surpassed Arnie in wins and in major championships. It’s still debatable whether he will surpassed Jack in either.

It's Me

August 23rd, 2010
3:57 pm

I am a loser.
I am a turd.
I like hombres.
I am a fool.
I support Tiger because I am a dolt.
Got questions?

tony

August 23rd, 2010
3:58 pm

Dr. Warren, what OJ Simpson has to do with Tiger’s situation? The young lady’s plan worked. She took away the sex for a BIG FAT CHECK!

Dawghater

August 23rd, 2010
3:58 pm

Mark,
A failure in marriage is marrying a women, having kids, growing apart and then not being able to stay together. I’d say Tiger’s issue was he wasn’t EVER married in his mind. And for “In defense of Sweet” Tiger should be kicked again and again and again! He’s earned it!