By S.C. Zuba
In sports, sometimes there are moral victories.
At the end of the day, the scoreboard may not be in your favor, but that doesn’t mean you lost. You may not always hoist the trophy over your head when all is said and done, but sometimes there is more than just the trophy.
Just look at Tiger Woods.
Tiger, admittedly by his own doing, had his life torn apart over the past four months. Literally, no stone was left unturned in his life and the lives of his family members. The media stopped at nothing to “get the story.”
This is not a plea on Tiger’s behalf—rather a moment to reflect upon what he overcame last weekend at Augusta National. In his return to professional golf, Tiger defied the odds and finished in a tie for fourth place at 11-under par for the tournament, five strokes behind the now three-time champion, Phil Mickelson.
Last Thursday, April 8, Tiger stepped into the tee box on the first hole at Augusta, knowing the world now knew his deepest, darkest secrets. We know everything. We know about the infidelity. We know about the mistresses. We know about the addiction. We know about the treatment. We know who he really is—or was.
Most importantly, we know what he tried to hide from the world for years.
Imagine, if you will, what that would be like. Imagine how it would feel to stand in front of the world, stripped of all your securities, knowing you had let America down; knowing you let children all across America down; knowing you blew it. On top of that, then be expected to compete in a golf tournament.
Oh, how trivial golf looks in all of this.
As I said earlier, this was a moral victory for Tiger.
As free-thinking people, we are allowed to think what we choose about Tiger. Love him. Hate him. Crucify him. Never give him another chance. Hold his transgressions against him for the rest of his life, if you’d like.
One thing, however, is undeniable: Tiger took a huge step last weekend competing in the Masters. The fact that he played four rounds of golf with all of America—and the world—keeping an eye on him, is a victory in itself.
He took yet another step in his road to redemption. He moved one more inch down his journey to forgiveness. He tried to show the world that he, too, is human.
And for that, I applaud his victory.
Share your thoughts with S.C. Zuba via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the April 14-20, 2010 issue