Woody: Drivers Should Learn From Tiger Tale
Larry Woody | Senior Writer
It’s always amusing to hear celebrities who earn millions by being famous complain when their fame becomes bothersome and inconvenient.
Tiger Woods, caught with his paw in the cookie jar, is arguably the country’s most recognized sports figure, yet he seems to think that for some reason he’s entitled to absolute privacy when he demands it.
That gives us some idea of how naïve, how sheltered, how utterly clueless these people are when it comes to Life in the Real World. Celebrity is a double-edged sword. Fame can’t be turned on and off like a faucet.
The reason why Tiger is a billionaire is because his fame landed him a stack of lucrative endorsements. Now that fame has turned to torment as he finds himself trapped in a lurid sex scandal.
The same corporate sponsors who once salivated over Tiger are now scrambling to distance themselves from him. He’s a tainted Tiger.
While NASCAR has never faced a tabloid drama of such proportions – although Jeff Gordon’s breakup with a former Miss Winston came close – Tiger’s plight does bring to mind recurring complaints by some drivers.
They believe they are entitled to privacy whenever they want it. Like Tiger, they have no problem cashing in on being a celebrity and enjoying the fruits of fame when it’s convenient. When it’s not, they expect to be left alone.
It doesn’t work that way.
They can’t be a national celebrity one day and Joe Sixpack the next. Maybe it’s unfair but that’s the way it is. It’s called taking the bad with the good.
Danica Patrick, for example, will be living life in a fishbowl when she joins NASCAR next year. She’s already a major celebrity and her fame will explode 10-fold with all the NASCAR exposure. If she burps in public it’ll be splashed on the tabloids.
We’ve all heard race drivers complain about not being able to go out in public with their family without being badgered by fans. That’s unfortunate but such are the wages of fame.
If someone can’t take the heat they shouldn’t be working in the kitchen. Joe Sixpack, working a 9-to-5 job for minimum wage, isn’t bothered when he goes out in public.
When it’s convenient, celebrities love the fan adulation and the warm glow of the spotlight – and of course those big juicy paychecks aren’t bad either. They won’t/can’t give it up.
Same with Tiger. If he were some unknown duffer hacking his way around a public course, nobody would care about his personal life and infidelities. But because he’s Tiger everybody’s intrigued.
I suppose that in a perfect world a sports star should be able to do his job – on a golf course, football field, basketball court or racetrack – then retire to the gated seclusion of his private life. But the world’s not perfect and it doesn’t work that way. Celebrities don’t punch a time clock.
They can’t have it both ways. That’s the high price of fame. Any superstar who thinks otherwise is kidding himself.
Let the superstar beware. That warm glow of the spotlight can get pretty hot.
– Larry Woody can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Comments