For those who might believe that it is over for Tiger Woods, that the adoration from fans and media will cease, that the endorsement spigot of Goldman-level money is permanently shut off, that this scandal has irrevocably, indelibly scarred Tiger, and that he will never recover, let me offer to two words that might snap you back to reality.
Actually, three words. Kobe Bryant, rape.
You'll recall that Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant's name became known to a whole bunch of folks who had no clue that he played basketball when he was accused of raping a lady at a Colorado spa back in ....
You don't recall this? You mean every single one of you reading this post doesn't remember that in 2003, Bryant was arrested in Eagle, Colorado after a 19-year-old woman, an employee of a spa the player was staying at, told authorities that Bryant raped her in his hotel room.
C'mon, I bet a bunch of you followed this case from the start, and knew every Smoking Gun-supplied bit of dirt that clung to the sordid saga. But time has passed. Scandals have come and gone. New atrocities have been committed, new depths of indulgence, vileness, salaciousness have been reached by any number of starlets, politicians, athletes, celebs and sub celebs, and the shock and awe we felt when we heard details of how the hoopster supposedly bent a lady over a chair and violated her against her will has diminished.
And so too will the self righteous indignation, and disgust, and surprise we register when we hear the latest installment in the Woods saga.
How long will it take? How long has it been since we first heard that Gov. Spitzer likes to do it in his socks, sans protection, with pros? That bombshell hit in March 2008, though it seems like it could've been 2007, right?
Spitzer is a solid choice for an analogy to the Woods scandal, would you agree? These are titans in their field being humbled when allegations of their careless extramarital forays leaked to the tabloids, and their Penthouse Forum sort of hijinks had staying power in the news cycle because of the brand of character, and vocation, of the ladies they chose to have their dalliances with. Flings with whores, or porn princesses, always ensures an extra week or so of NY Post coverage, so Spitzer's main co-conspirator, Ashley Dupre, had a solid run as a Post covergirl, and we can expect Tiger's main--to this juncture, anyway--side dish, Rachel Uchitel, to be dogged by paparazzi well into the New Year, and thereafter receive periodic calls from reporters wondering what she's up to.
But rest assured that there will be more Dupre's, and Uchitels, and horny pols texting their mistresses, and sex tapes starring descending pop stars, and Hall of Famers being outed as steroid poppers, or some Kennedy kin expiring before their time,....you get the drift. More dirt's a comin', and in this day and age, it will be covered with exhaustive thoroughness. You can expect more bimbos offering more specifics of threesome, foursomes, and things might spin into other areas, away from the groin, with folks speculating on difficulties with the IRS, or wondering how his biceps are so considerable. You will be up to your neck in it, really even if you don't choose to be, because even formerly responsible and respectable purveyors of news are trafficking in it. Come February, you will not remember the name of more than maybe two of Tiger's morsels-on-the side, and your brain instead be filled with other useless bits of tasteless trivia.
Let me play Ken Sunshine now...But if Tiger does the right thing, and barfs up all his transgressions ASAP on "Oprah," or "60 Minutes" or whatever, in order to lessen the water torture effect of (whistle) blowers tattling to the TMZ and US Weeklys of the world, he can expect a Spitzer or Kobe style comeback.
Will he rack up the $110 million in off-the-course dough he racked up last year? No...too many mama's memories won't fade so easily, and companies who used Woods as an endorser, whose products are aimed primarily at women, will never, ever get back on board. He is the Titanic to them, never to be raised and refurbished.
But can he get back to the one thing he was good at, golfing, and continue to rack up victories and fat paydays? Damn right he can. I'm guessing his game may improve, after his hiatus, as he'll be able to devote plenty of time to the links. Because he'll be getting no love in any bedroom, if he and his wife Elin stick together; if Woods thought that the post-nuptial bedroom was a sexless Siberia before, he can expect heightened frigidity moving forward.
So the next time you read that overwrought column by the blowhard opining that it is over for Woods, that he'll never recover, that the taint from this jaw-dropping parade of sluts and incredibly reckless indulgence of libido, refer back to this column. The sting of surprise, of disappointment that another seemingly decent sort is just another scumbag, is fresh. But it will fade, and will be replaced. New atrocities will be reported, with other solid citizens in the lead role as the fallen angel. TMZ will see to it, on a 24-7 loop. Before not too long, Woods will be barfing it up on Oprah, and we will soak up the requisite penitence, and we will decide that we hunger for fresh meat to devour. He will again be winning tournaments, and in a couple years, some company will again be churning out Tiger Woods brand golf clubs, and people will buy them.
Three years after the rape allegation, after prosecutors dropped the case because the woman didn't testify and Bryant apologized to her and they came to settlement terms, Bryant's jersey was again the top seller among all NBA players. And today Spitzer writes for Slate, appears on Real Time With Bill Maher and may be contemplating running again for public office.
Cheer up, Woods, the darkness shall pass. Now will Elin again let you into her confidence and naughty bits? That might take a little bit longer...