Monday, February 22, 2010

Tiger Lilly

By now everyone and their brother’s mother’s aunt has weighed in with their opinions on Tiger Woods’ statement from Friday.

I was trying to avoid writing anything about him and his personal life, but I have a thought I wanted to pass along for feedback. Please keep in mind I don’t know Woods at all. I’ve never met him, I know very little about his personality away from the public eye and I’m in no way a trained psychologist (although I do watch a lot of those television programs that make shit up as they go).

I agree with many who say Tiger came across as insincere and cold. I have a hard time figuring out how most of America seems to think he was sincere when he couldn’t even muster one ounce of true emotion during the entire 15 minute speech. His agent should have yanked a nose hair out his nostril just before he walked to the cameras. The entire event seemed staged and awkward. That included hugging his mother who seemed surprised by the entire moment.

Woods droning on in his usual robotic voice and his inability to even pretend to be upset certainly didn’t help. The few times he paused to take a breath in a terrible attempt to bring forth tears or get his voice choked up was comical. While watching I kept coaching him from my couch: ‘C’mon, Tiger. Squeeze one tear out at least. Make your lip tremble’.

He couldn’t.

Where I’m diverging (in an entirely half assed way) from most others is why he couldn’t. While he is obviously a control freak and most likely suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder, I think there is something far more serious going on with him.

Namely he’s a sociopath.

Before you get all up in my face like a muthafucka (I know you were going to!), allow me a few minutes to illustrate my point. Sociopaths are now referred to as having ‘Antisocial Personality Disorder’ a label I’ve been living with for the last 40 years (kidding! as far as you know). The terms sociopath and psychopath are often used interchangeably and fall under the APD umbrella of fucked upness.

What most people don’t realize is sociopaths and psychopaths don’t usually fall into a frenzy of serial killing and cutting tags off mattresses life of crime. Many are working in the office or cubicle right next to you. You probably are looking at one right now. Especially if there is a mirror close by.

Here is the official definition of APD from

‘Antisocial personality disorder describes a complete disregard for the rights, feelings, or safety of others. The terms sociopath and psychopath are both used to describe someone with antisocial personality disorder.

Sociopaths are often angry and their self-interest makes many of them arrogant. Despite this, some people with antisocial behavior disorder can appear charming or flattering. This charm is not sincere; however, the sociopath simply uses charm as a tool to manipulate people to achieve his or her own ends.’

My belief isn’t that Woods was intentionally insincere with his statement but that he truly doesn’t know what guilt or regret feels like. He will go through the motions of behaving like a human being simply because it provides him with untold millions of dollars and a life of privilege and entitlement.

And, like the human he's trying to impersonate, he is hitting every bullet point from the ‘Disgraced Celebrity’ handbook.

Rehab? Check!

Public apology? Check!

Request for privacy? Check!

Found religion? Check and mate!

I can’t tell you how funny it was when Wifey and I were watching the full replay of his statement on ESPN that night. After his apologies to everyone in the entire free world (except the media) I said out loud ‘Don’t forget to mention God, Tiger. You need to have found religion again!’ Wifey, who is used to my cynicism rolled her eyes, than burst out laughing when he mentioned Buddhism a minute later.

Tiger wasn’t apologizing or coming out in public to atone for any of his sins; he was simply following the blueprint for celebrity recovery. He wants this forgotten (yeah, right) so he can get back to golfing and making millions. That’s all.

If my theory is correct, the reason that Tiger comes off like a robot is because he basically IS one. He doesn’t have the capacity to feel human emotion on a level that the rest of us feel it. He doesn’t feel guilt or shame or embarrassment. The only reason he held this press conference is because he got caught.

I would go further that even if he had been caught by his wife he would have continued with this behavior as long as the general public didn’t find out. For Tiger image is the source of all his revenue. Sure, being one of the best golfers ever helps a lot, but a ruined reputation means millions lost. Something he found out the hard way when a bunch of sponsors dropped him like a bad habit when more and more information came out about his endless list of mistresses.

I’m probably wrong about all of this and Woods is just one of those guys that keeps things bottled up. Maybe his voice is just monotone at all times. Maybe he truly feels horrible and attempted – in his own awkward way – to begin mending fences. Maybe I don’t buy it because I’m irreversibly cynical and, as Wifey says, a ‘heartless bastard’.


Here is a list of common sociopathic behaviors.

1: They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their victim as merely an instrument to be used. They may dominate and humiliate their victims.

Solid description not only of Woods’ personal life, but his demeanor on the golf course. We’ve all witnessed his outbursts at fans who take a simple picture while he’s teeing off. Wonder if any mistress will come forward with an unflattering portrayal of his bedroom behavior?

2: Feels entitled to certain things as "their right."

Quote from Tiger’s statement: ‘I knew my actions were wrong, but I convinced myself that normal rules didn't apply. I never thought about who I was hurting. Instead, I thought only about myself. I ran straight through the boundaries that a married couple should live by. I thought I could get away with whatever I wanted to. I felt that I had worked hard my entire life and deserved to enjoy all the temptations around me.’

In many ways this may be the most honest part of his statement.

3: Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. Can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities. Extremely convincing and even able to pass lie detector tests.

Be interesting to learn how long he had been getting away with the extra marital affairs. The longer they go back the better liar we’ll know Tiger to be.

4: Living on the edge. Verbal outbursts and physical punishments are normal. Promiscuity and gambling are common.

Note that this is listed in other areas as ‘Need for Stimulation’.

5: A deep seated rage, which is split off and repressed, is at their core. Does not see others around them as people, but only as targets and opportunities. Instead of friends, they have victims and accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way.

Found it interesting that of all the people in the room who were considered ‘family and friends’, most were business associates. Does Tiger have any friends from college? I also wonder what it was like to live under the strict eye of Earl Woods. Did he push Tiger too hard towards golf?

6: Not concerned about wrecking others' lives and dreams. Oblivious or indifferent to the devastation they cause. Does not accept blame themselves, but blames others, even for acts they obviously committed.

Quote from Tiger’s statement: ‘My behavior doesn't make it right for the media to follow my two-and-a-half-year-old daughter to school and report the school's location. They staked out my wife and they pursued my mom. Whatever my wrongdoings, for the sake of my family, please leave my wife and kids alone.’

Is it a coincidence that this was when he showed any sense of emotion? Or that the emotion was outright rage? Certainly seemed to me he was blaming the media for a situation he created. As a father I can understand the urge to protect your children, but he is the one that created this situation. Nobody else. Blame the media all you want, but if you weren’t such a man whore and made a statement earlier people wouldn’t be trying to track you down.


7: Rage and abuse, alternating with small expressions of love and approval produce an addictive cycle for abuser and abused, as well as creating hopelessness in the victim. Believe they are all-powerful, all-knowing, entitled to every wish, no sense of personal boundaries, no concern for their impact on others.

While his reps tried to play it off as if the timing of the statement was to keep up with his rehab program, it sure was interesting he timed things to take considerable attention away from the WGC-Accenture tournament going on. Even more interesting that Accenture was one of the sponsors that quickly dropped Tiger from its payroll after the scandal broke.

Keep in mind that abuser and abused doesn’t necessarily refer to Tiger and Elin. In this case it could mean Tiger and the PGA. Perhaps the timing of his statement was his way of not so subtly giving the PGA and Accenture a big, fat middle finger.

‘I’ll show you who’s more important!’

One last thought. What it Tiger isn't in rehab for sex addiction? What if he has been diagnosed with APD and is being treated for that?

It's plausible, is it not?

Today’s distraction: Interesting side story relating to Tiger. Seems one guy was so upset he replaced some Gatorade labels with pictures of Tiger and his wife with the title ‘Unfaithful’. The punch line is what his actual crime is. Love the U.S. of A.


thepowerof10 said...

I think he is misunderstood about things like this. I think he, despite his career and fame, is simply a private person. Then again, he may be socially retarded, tough to say. Seems unfair to label him a sociopath.

People always say he's like a robot on the golf course. He's not a robot, he's just very disciplined. He is able to play "in the zone" and stay there. (Sports psychologists have made careers off of studying Tiger on the course). And as much as the public expects of Tiger's golf, you can tell he expects even more. I'd venture to say he hates losing more than anything in the entire world. That's why he comes off as cold, distant, and "robotic."

BeachBum said...

That could be, but he seems to have a distinct problem relating to anyone. He may not be a sociopath but he is definitely socially stunted.

Anonymous said...

I agree, Tiger is definitely "socially stunted." I believe this is due to the way he was brought up. He lived a very disciplined lifestyle under his father's command and most likely was not able to enjoy/experience the type of social atmosphere a "typical" kid/adolescent/teenager experiences. He has missed out on all the seemingly "self-taught" lessons of social life, thus he comes across as a seemingly socially inept person. Friday's press conference was definitely nothing more than a publicity act, make himself look like he's getting "better" to the general public since that is who is making him all his money. Personnally, I don't think he needed to apologize to the public at all. The only people he had to truely apologize to was his family, and therapy is a possibly good start to getting his life back to "normal".

Clayton Bigsby said...

I just can't wait for the first time Tiger asks the crowd to be quiet and someone in the gallery yells "huge, quickly." It will be great TV. He's just a douche. No other way to explain it.

BeachBum said...

His caddy said he would 'not tolerate' any heckling of Tiger when he returns to golf.

I want to know what he's going to do to stop it? Will he throw himself into the crowd and start whaling away like Stephen Jackson visiting Detroit? Will he say 'C'mon, you guys, he's really a good guy' then burst into tears? Or will he simply pull a Happy Gilmore and take them on one by one?

Either way I can't wait!!