First off, let me just say that this Tiger Woods story makes me really sad.  Sad for his wife, for his kids, for him, and for us.  Every time you think it’s winding down, that there can’t possibly be any more women coming forward, here comes another.  And now, if 14 (as of this writing) alleged mistresses weren’t enough, comes the arrest of Tiger’s doctor, leaving new questions about the world’s greatest athlete.  Who knows what’s next?

So with all of that swirling around, here are my random thoughts.  I’d love to hear yours.

I think this has shaken the world because for so long, Tiger has been the one professional athlete, the one mega-star, to have appeared to have held firm against the temptations that so often come to of ultra-successful, the famous and the insanely wealthy.  He wasn’t just the guy with unmatched God-given golf prowess and inhuman focus and drive…he was the guy who loved his mom and dad, who said  family would always come first, who held his head down and stayed on proper course.  In the end, we’re sad, because Tiger ended up being just like the rest of us.

Forgiveness.  In our private thoughts aren’t we all wondering it it were us in wife, Elin’s shoes, could we forgive such flagrant abuse?  If it were me, I could probably could have forgiven my husband’s indiscretion with one woman,  maybe even two, but once he got past that and certainly once he hit double digits I think I’d be all out of forgiveness.  

To those pundits who’ve speculated on whether Tiger has a “‘sex addition….” Give me a break!  Why must we always do the politically correct thing and not call things what they are!  Tiger’s a cheater and it wasn’t some illness that caused it.

So what did cause it?  My guess is he finally bought into all they hype.  “The Great Tiger Woods,” the greatest golfer the world has even know, perhaps the greatest athlete ever, a gazilionaire where nothing was out of his reach.  It was ARROGANCE that caused his fall, pure and simple.  If he wanted a romp on the road, heck, if he wanted a bunch of romps on the road, he was Tiger Woods,  he could have whatever he wanted.

But was he that  arrogant to assume he’d never get caught?  Did it not occur to him that one of these women might blab, or some hotel maid might see them?  Or that any of those people might like to get a hefty payoff or their 15 minutes by going to the media?  He’s lived in celebrity long enough to know that cameras and inquiring minds are everywhere.  Which makes you wonder if he even cared if he got caught.

What about his endorsements?  Should his golfing skills and title wins be enough to sell products? Or should a pitchman (woman) be someone with consumers can also look up to as human beings?  I hope we haven’t gotten to the point in our culture where being a great athlete is enough to sell products.  I hope advertisers see the bigger picture.  The guy on the Wheaties box should be someone we’d like our children to grow up to be.

I’m curious how the guy managed to play such great golf all these years with all that fooling around on the road.  Surely the  conniving and plotting and sneaking around and lying to his wife was exhausting.  It’ll be interesting to see what exactly (if anything) that doctor of his was prescribing.

Of course, all of those are incidental issues, aren’t they?  Tiger’s career, his endorsements, his blood count.  What really is at the heart of this is the same thing that we normal women (and men) encounter every day:  a spouse you love who isn’t faithful.  And in Elin’s case, isn’t faithful a lot…and for the whole world to see.

The biggest parlor game going is the will she stay with him or won’t she?  Everybody has a guess.  Usually when you hear the game being played it centers around money.  That’s sad.   Look, she’s never going to have to worry about paying rent for the rest of her life.  It’s not about whether she gets a million or whether she gets 300 million…it’s about whether she can forgive her husband, live with what he’s done, and build a new life together.  She might be able to forgive him if he’s truly contrite.  But if it were me, every time he walked out the door with his golf bag I’d be wondering where he was going.

And, I’ve got to say something about these “other women.”  Why is it that women hurt each other?  Why is there no female solidarity?  Not one of Tiger’s alleged mistresses had sex with him oblivious to the fact that he was married.   He’s the most famous athlete on the planet!  Of course they knew he had a wife and children back home.  Yes, Tiger is the one who betrayed Elin—he’s the one who made vows to her—but these other women betrayed her too.  This may sound corny, something you’d say to your 8 year old, but it really is this simple:  Would they want another woman sleeping with their husband one day?

What happens next will be more interesting to me than what’s come out so far. Will their marriage survive?  Will Tiger’s career survive?  How will corporate America respond?  Will the public ever embrace their beloved Tiger again?  Whatever happens will be a telling commentary on life in America today.  It’ll say a lot about the Woods family, yes, but it’ll also say a lot about us.