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Guest column | Mary Partington

Can we ever again see Tiger for his skills, not his sins?

Tiger, Tiger, what have you done?

As a big Tiger Woods fan, I am so dismayed to hear about his predicament. His trouble is one of his own creation and it is up to him to do what he can to resolve his problem with his wife, fans and sponsors. He has lost a few sponsors and the question remains how many sponsors will continue to use Tiger as a spokesman.

One of the main reasons I have been such a fan is because I believed Tiger has a God-given talent and he has not wasted it. Often we see talented people not living up to the ability they have. It seemed that Tiger was determined to use his talent for good.

I watched every moment of the playoff at Torrey Pines in 2008. Even though Tiger had an injury to his knee, he fought to win the day. His injury was so severe he required extensive surgery and did not play the remainder of 2008. Tiger has been so successful I wondered what would damage his career; little did I know it would be Tiger himself.

The old double standard has done in Tiger. Young boys are given a pass on sexual experiences. Locker room talk about sex is condoned and almost expected. If a young man is to be a man, he needs notches on his headboard. Therefore, a young man starts out with a opinion that whatever he can get away with is okay.

Young women of today are more apt to have notches, too. If you watch television and movies, the sexual standards I grew up with are no longer held. The double standard still is out there to some degree and the dreadful names women have been called are still in the dictionary.

Since Tiger is not talking, any woman can claim to have been his paramour. Tiger is such a high-profile person it makes women associated with him celebrities. In today's world, there is no shame attached to being a woman of loose character.

Now the hard part comes. Can we fans do the tough thing and forgive him for having the human frailty of making mistakes? Let those without sin cast the first stone.

The fact he is held to a high standard of conduct makes the failures that much graver. We are all subject to making appalling decisions and serious mistakes. The fact that we are ordinary people makes our errors our own and not national headlines.

Forgiveness is such a difficult gift to give. We all have those times in our lives when someone has done something to hurt us. We are devastated and the anger and injury can live with us for a lifetime. Little do we realize that by carrying that rage within us, we are continuing to let the person who hurt us to continue damaging our lives. If we can find it in our heart to forgive, we can get on with our lives.

Maybe the very hardest of all is to forget the transgression. To see the forgiven person and to never think about the hurt may be the most difficult challenge.

Can we put all the Tiger jokes away and bury the snide remarks? When Tiger picks up another driver, will the media and fans be able to see his skills as a golfer and not as a rogue?

Time will tell.

Mary Partington lives in New Port Richey.

Can we ever again see Tiger for his skills, not his sins? 12/17/09 [Last modified: Thursday, December 17, 2009 10:09pm]
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