Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Reflections on the Tiger Woods Drama

It has been less than a week since story of Tiger Woods and his driveway car crash hit the news, but the ensuing drama has already been digested by our collective consciousness. Proof of this can be found in the jokes already making the email rounds. I heard one today --

Media outlets report that during the evening of the crash Tiger Woods' wife, Elin, struck his SUV eight or nine times with a golf club. But when the cops asked how many times she hit the car, she answered, "put me down for a six."

This is a golfer's joke for sure. The interesting aspect of the joke is that it exists at all. The public is fixated on this relatively mundane story of relationship upheaval. The Tiger Woods drama/car accident/infidelity allegation has survived multiple news cycles and continues to thrive. Obviously, the media wouldn't continue to report on a story that didn't satisfy our vicarious curiosity and desire for lurid details. So, why do we care about Tiger Woods' love life (or any celebrity for that matter)?

Maybe because we idolize celebrities and believe, on some level, that they are superhuman and different (better?) than us. Tiger's clean cut, polished image and incredible athletic prowess are at odds with the current revelations regarding his love life. How can someone with such a special, almost inhuman gift (the greatest golfer that ever lived!) blatantly cheat on his wife and send naughty texts to a cocktail waitress in Vegas? The dissonance makes our heads spin with excitement. How can someone so special also be so ordinary?

Like the countless other celebrities that have crashed and burned in scandal, Tiger will rise from the ashes to secure even more endorsements and mend his tattered public image. Because nothing endears us to an icon like watching them fall off that pedestal and finding out that they are just like us.

No comments: