Winning Takes Care of Everything

So there’s a lot of backlash to this picture.


It’s confusing to me why that’s the case.

We all know the Tiger Woods story (you really can’t avoid it): He came bursting onto the scene right out of college and took the golf world by storm. After being cast as a wonderful role model for kids and being adored by everyone for nearly a decade, his world was flipped upside down on Thanksgiving Night 2009 when he crashed his car. It then came out that Tiger had affairs with many different women, cheating on his wife. From there all hell broke loose. He took nearly a year off and fell from everyone’s good graces. Essentially, he went from the most popular athlete in the world to the most hated in the span of a month. Now he’s back to being the best in the world, and many people have forgiven him, but this advertisement has rubbed a lot of people the wrong way.

My question is: Why? Why does this infuriate people so much? Many people say it’s because of the lesson that it teaches to children and the public in general. It says, “Who cares what you do, or why you do it. Who cares what type of person you are. If you’re great at something, no one will care. Just go be the best at it and everyone will love you no matter what.” It doesn’t teach quality human values like empathy, care of a fellow human being, or humility. In fact, it spits in the face of those qualities.

I don’t feel that this ad does any of those things. Rather, it proves a very good point.

For the record, I tend to agree with this notion, as wrong as it might be. To this day, if you take a poll of the general public, you’ll find that the most popular basketball player time and time again is Michael Jordan. It seems that no one remembers that Jordan was a condescending control freak who forced coaches to be fired and punched out teammates in practice. Jordan was ruthless, and would step on anyone’s throat if he thought they got in the way of him winning. He smoked, gambled and was generally a terrible role model, yet people worship him to this day because he was a winner. Yup, winning fixed everything for him.

The point that this ad proves, and why I like this ad, is the idea that we should evaluate the accomplishments of the man and the man’s actions separately when we try to figure out who to look up to. There is no reason whatsoever for a child to look up to Tiger Woods in such a fashion that the child’s entire world was shattered when the news came out that Thanksgiving night. There’s no reason that any kid growing up my age or slightly older should have worshipped Michael Jordan or Charles Barkley the way that they did. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to emulate their style of play on the court, or even some of their mannerisms (sticking your tongue out for example) but that’s where the worship needs to stop.

Ever since the incessant media coverage of Tiger began back in 2009 for everything not related to golf, I have a general feeling of “meh.” I don’t care that he cheated on his wife with everything that walked, I don’t care that his wife divorced him and got about 100 gazillion dollars in the settlement, I don’t care if he’s away from his kids. I don’t care about any of that because it’s nothing that reflects my daily life. Those problems are his and his alone.

So don’t be offended by the new “Winning Takes Care of Everything” ad. Frankly, it’s true, and you shouldn’t have worshiped a golfer in the first place. You want role models? Look at teachers, policeman, certain city leaders, or even the biggest shocker of them all: parents. And parents, let’s act like parents, instead of telling your kid to look up to a celebrity who you don’t even know. I think the world will be a better place if we just worry about taking care of our own problems first, before judging everyone else’s.

2 thoughts on “Winning Takes Care of Everything

  1. Aaah, thank you. I’ve been trying to tell people stuff like this for years. His personal problems are his own, same as everyone. It’s not like you get fired for cheating on your wife. People just have to stop holding others up to these unattainable ideals and then acting crushed when it doesn’t work. Sure, I don’t respect Tiger much as a person, but as a golfer he is one of the best.

    1. Thanks for the agreement. I always have found it fascinating when people forget that athletes and celebrities are human, just like we are.

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