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Your Views: It's time to take Tiger Woods down off our hero pedestal
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I believe him! Why not believe him?

More than a week has passed since Tiger Woods made the long awaited and publicly demanded apology. Now that the public has received what they asked for, the unrelenting criticism continues, void of satisfaction. Many forms of media continue to scorn the young man who happens to be identified as the No. 1 golfer in the world.

Haven't many of us watched golf tournaments in person or on television just to get a glimpse of Tiger on the prowl? Haven't most of us wished for the height of concentration and focus found in this young man's mind? Have we hungered for the intensity of self-discipline that governs the talents of this super athlete? Haven't we wondered what it would be like to experience Tiger's level of success and wealth? Did our hearts rest at ease when we learned that Tiger became a father, hoping that fatherhood would somehow lower the loftiness of his perceived "can't-touch-this" mentality? Yes to all.

Were we all fooled by the impressions of overall perfection emulated by Tiger? Unfortunately, yes.
Life is so interesting. Its direction can change in the twinkling of an eye, even in the eyes of the Tiger. Just before Thanksgiving, we learned about Tiger's off-the-course prowling, which disappointed fans and sponsors worldwide. However, instead of facing his critics, his silence provoked speculation run amuck by untamed people who desired to become experts on Tiger's life.

Yes, experts are coming out of the woodwork. Money experts weigh the continuance of sponsorships. Golf experts state whether Tiger will play golf again, or whether he can win. Marriage experts comment on the failure or survival of his marriage to Elin. Body language experts discuss the odds of overcoming sexual or drug compulsions. Even his former lovers have become relation experts on whether Tiger really loved them, or not. Enough! Stop the circus!

The idolatrous bubble has popped, for we learned that Tiger wasn't so honorable, perfect or faithful to his wife and family. Must we sustain our unforgiveness toward him?

Doesn't that remind us of us? Yes, Tiger put himself in the public eye, but we raised him to role model status; he disappointed us. Instead, maybe we could learn to enjoy sports minus the pedestals, for all human pedestals have a slippery slope.

Think about it. We set examples for others, whether we choose to or not. Just like we watch Tiger, our children's eyes and the eyes of others are watching us. Doesn't that say something about us, that we can slide down that same slippery slope just as quickly, if we're not careful? We're no different than Tiger.

Actions speak louder than words. Maybe we can forgive, allowing Tiger's actions to reinforce his apology. I happen to believe that he can prove his naysayers wrong.

Laura Leigh Harris
Gainesville

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