John, Mickey, Bill and Tiger

Got together this morning with some friends that I used to work with. The subject of Tiger Woods and his recent publicity came up in the conversation. Got me to thinking about a time when the indiscretions of politicians and sports celebrities did not make the newspapers.

In my formative years growing up in New York City I was a huge Yankees fan and I especially idolized Mickey Mantle - the man could do no wrong in my book. I remember the day that my brother brought me to Yankee Stadium and we sat in the center field bleachers.. I loved being so close to my hero.. Mickey played center field. Growing up I always had such fond memories of those days and of Mickey. It was not until the 1990s when I learned of Mickey's issues with booze and babes.. apparently he was an earlier incarnation of Tiger.

Musing a bit.. I also think of the difference between two presidents - John Kennedy and Bill Clinton. Years after President Kennedy was shot and died in Dallas news began to come out about how he ran around with women while he was married.. but while he was president nothing was reported or even rumored about such matters. On the flip side Bill Clinton's indiscretions were front page news and, while in office, the president went through one of the most scandalous episodes ever.

I sometimes want to return to the days of John and Mickey when we were all ignorant of the failings of our political and sports heroes. I want to be able to return to the days when we measured such people by the way that they did their jobs. I long for the ability to watch Tiger sink a long clutch putt on the 18th hole and simply admire his skill as being the best in his sport. Sadly it is a longing that can no longer be fulfilled.

Now don't get me wrong - what Tiger did was wrong.. what all those guys I mentioned did was wrong. Yet I still wonder if there will ever be a time when we will be able to watch Tiger play and not think about his indiscretions. Possibly there will.. anybody out there still watching David Letterman?


  1. maybe they should all enter showbiz... i mean nobody cares if movie stars have 'indiscretions'. they even make them more popular :D

  2. Being in the ministry for so many years, it always broke my heart when we would hear of a fellow pastor or church leader that fell into sin, and lost so much more than the church they were serving.

    I long for those old days too, when every detail wasn't news.

  3. Looking at the failure of others ... takes our mind off our own failings ...

    Who of us is a stone thrower?

  4. To still be watching David Latterman would imply that I actually watched him, right? :)

    For me I think it would be hard not to watch Tiger without thinking about it.

  5. I think we expect too much of celebrities. Tiger Woods only claimed to be a great golfer; he didn't suggest that he was more than a role model golfer. Likewise, I think that we should only consider Pete Rose's performance as a player when deciding whether he should be in the Hall of Fame.

    I personally don't think that either JFK or Bill Clinton violated the law or failed to meet the legal requirements of their elected office. I do think they both failed as husbands and as parents but I don't think that these are impeachable offences. Are the presidents of our secular government obligated to be our moral leaders? How many of us could be unerring moral leaders? How many of us want our employer to consider our performance as parents and spouses when determining our annual pay raise?

    However, if one represents him or her self to be a moral leader - a role model for our personal lives - then we should expect them to walk the talk. What is worse than an anti-gay pastor that privately hires gay prostitutes? Or a political leader that campaigns as a moral leader, is elected for his moral leadership (even though it is not a requirement for legally fulfilling his elected office) but is personally immoral? The politician may have complied with the legal obligations of his elected office and, therefore, is not impeachable but he certainly cheated the voters that elected him.

    I think the news media reports to us what the majority of us wants to know. The paparazzi wouldn't have jobs if a lot of us didn't crave to know things about celebrities that are none of our business.

    But I don't accept limits on reporting. Honest investigative reporting is necessary to maintaining a good government. If we allow a line to be drawn around what can or cannot be reported in order to protect each person's privacy then there is a very good chance that non-private matters may go unreported.

  6. Great topic and I am on the same page as you - I don't want to hear about all the politicians and celebrites personal affairs. At least not in detail. The sad truth is, people in all walks of life cheat, lie, etc. etc. but if you happen to be famous everyone hears the nitty gritty details. I was embarrassed hearing certain things about Bill and Monica and rather NOT have had to had those images put in my mind about the President. UGH. But since I do know about Tiger - yeah I think he's a slime. I rather not know though.

  7. I wonder if the press coverage would have been the same for kennedy had he been a republican

  8. So... it's the leftist news media that didn't tell what they knew about JFK's affairs. I was under the impression that all the politicians and mega-celebrities got a pass from the news media as a privilege of their position.


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