Put yourself in this position: You’ve committed your life to one activity. At this moment, you are the best the world has ever seen at this activity. Then one night you get into what seems to be a meaningless car accident. However, as the investigation goes on, all of your darkest and most embarrassing secrets are spread across all channels of media for the entire world to see. You’re one man, standing against a six-billion person firing squad. You’re every comedian’s punch line and every news outlet’s breaking story. Your face is plastered over TVs, computers and magazines along with the headlines of cheating, infidelity and addiction.
Imagine during this time, when your private life mushroom clouds in front of the public, you step away from that activity you love in order to get help. How would you feel once you were able to participate in that activity again? Wouldn’t you treat it like your personal oasis; the one place where your mind can remain clear of everything that has haunted you over the past three or four months?
If you agree, then get ready for 2010 to be the year of the tiger for more than just the Chinese new year. Tiger Woods, the greatest golfer anyone will ever have the chance to see, will finally return to the course after numerous accounts of infidelities poured out into the open, temporarily destroying his personal life and even doing enough damage to scare away gigantic sponsors.
So when Tiger — who has a competitive edge rivaled by no one other than some guy called MJ — returns to the Masters on April 8, he will have something to prove to not only the rest of the competitors, but the entire world. It’s been a while since Tiger has had any real motivation other than the Golden Bear’s record, so from an athletic standpoint, this media meltdown “Tigergate,” or whatever it was called, might be the best thing that ever happened to his career.
Even after Tiger tried on his fifth green jacket, there’s little to say he can’t carry that momentum and animosity to fuel a run like we’ve never seen before. We have the possibility to sit back and watch as Tiger returns to glory in grand style.