Thursday, December 10, 2009

Tiger Woods, Spain and the Question - Do All Athletes Cheat?

Tiger Woods. Can't avoid the story, right? Even here in Spain it's making the headlines. I should say it surprises me, but it doesn't. The genetic make-up of people who reach those lofty positions seems to include a sense of unaccountability and entitlement and if it doesn't matter if they'd ivy educated, from the streets, black, white, politician, athlete.

But as my missus pointed out, not so much with Spanish athletes. Look at Pau Gasol, Rafa Nadal, Fernando Alonso, Raul, Torres. Granted they're not at Tiger's level in terms of fame. But outside the states, they're still as big as Kobe, Alex Rodriguez, Tyson, and everyone in the NFL. And you never hear anything about them apart from some holiday snaps on a yacht with their long time girlfriend. The gossip pages here seemed to be reserved for bullfighters, reality show rejects, and sons of flamenco stars.

Perhaps, it's the famous Spanish loyalty that both the men and women here have, sometimes to a fault. Maybe, it's because contentment for life that they posses. I can picture Gasol in LA thinking, I've got a house on the beach, a beautiful girl who knew me back when, with my mom close by, why would I want some silicon inflated plastic bimbo who wouldn't eat a plate of paella, even if she could rock my world like a porn star.

Think about it. Tiger could have decided not to take that next endorsement netting him another cool many million and chose instead to just be a great golfer with a lower profile who could walk up to the tee with a hooker and each arm and still beat every body. He would have earned enough. Look at Charlie Sheen. But he didn't. He had to be the most well known, highest paid athlete in the world. He listened to his image handlers and pleased his sponsors. He got married and had two kids in the process just to be that more rich and famous. I wonder if he thinks it was worth it.

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