I've been saying it for a long time now -- we need to just leave Tiger Woods alone. He's been plastered on just about every major magazine in known existence and featured prominently on sites such as TMZ.com. And now I say enough is enough.
Let's leave Tiger Woods alone. He doesn't deserve this.
Nike, American Express, EA Sports, Upper Deck -- just leave Tiger alone. Follow suit with AT&T and pull the plug. Everyone makes mistakes, but he is one of the most well-known athletes in the history of any sport and should be held at a different level than the rest.
For those of you who argue, we all were quick to put him on a pedestal and proclaim him golf's second coming. We elevated him to deity status and should be judged accordingly. I don't believe that he should be suspended from the PGA Tour, but I also don't think he should be racking in mountains of cash from endorsements in the process.
I've always been a Woods supporter, but his actions in recent years have lessened his appeal to me. Flinging golf clubs, cursing, and generally behaving like a baby, all the while being held up as a role model, became a little old. His good buddy Charles Barkley once proclaimed that he wasn't a role model and now it's clear Woods isn't either.
We all make mistakes, but when you have a white-hot spotlight on you at every waking moment, you need to mind your Ps and Qs. The best thing for Tiger to do is take his leave from the Tour, come out in person and acknowledge his transgressions and move on. We're all quick to forgive athletes who do (Andy Pettit) and crucify the ones who don't (Mark McGuire).
In the mean time, all local Tiger fans are in need of a golfer to throw their support behind and there's none better than our own Chad Collins.
Collins finished the year at No. 2 on the Nationwide Tour money list and will be attacking the links as a full-time member of the PGA Tour in 2010. Instead of watching a player tossing clubs that ricochet into crowds, we can watch a golfer do what he should -- play the game.