Saturday, June 27, 2009
The Burden of Being Tiger
The truth is, you and I can not relate. There is NO chance we'll ever understand what it's like to live in a fishbowl to the extent of the biggest names in Hollywood, the White House, or celebrity. Sure, the money is ridiculous and almost mythical in quantity. Sure, the trappings of wealth look enticing most of the time (mostly because that's the side of fame we see celebrated).
There are celebs who handle all of it with great grave, humility, and charitable giving. They are the ones who we rarely see on the tabloid covers, Drudge Report, or in grainy internet videos shot by their boyfriends during a time of umm, personal interaction.
Tiger Woods is one of these graceful mega-celebs. Other than an occasional f-bomb launched after a wayward shot, Tiger is as sharp and clean as they come. His foundation does wonderful things for children. His smile lights up a room. His impact on the game has been tremendous.
But for some reason I'm having a hard time getting past the feeling that he owes something to the Buick Open. Our state's only PGA Tour event is hanging by a thread and the possibility is quite strong that the recently rescued '09 event may be the final edition of this wonderful, hallowed, vital event.
But Tiger can change that. Yes, one man has the potential to make that degree of impact simply by speaking out and speaking up and being present. Tiger, you need to play in this year's Buick Open.
After a handful of years on the Buick payroll, it's time to give back to a company that Big Brother now controls. You've collected millions from the failed car company, and no one begrudges you that. The endorsement dollars are well-earned and serve as a reminder of the powerful impact your presence makes.
Now, we need that presence in mid-Michigan. We need you to play in the Buick this year. We need you to do something you promised to do the last two years but backed out of - play in the Buick. (Both withdrawls were quite valid - birth of child and knee injury.)
I have attended the winter luncheons where real checks are handed out to real charities as a result of the Buick Open.
I have seen the impact this event makes on the community...a community that is reeling from the recession but gets to smile one week a year when the stars of golf come visit.
I have watched Tiger play his way to victory and carry along throngs of hurting people with him throughout the journey.
Now, we need the man whose list of requests is longer than a late-night Congressional pork amendment to answer this one with a nod, a phone call, and early notice that he will be part of what may very well be the final Buick Open.
Tiger, we'll save you a spot in the field...just this once.