By Jeff Girod
Mere days after Tiger Woods regained his status as the No. 1-ranked golfer in the world, Nike released a controversial new ad. It features a goateed Tiger staring down a putt, and the tagline, “Winning takes care of everything.”
We prefer our winners to be humble and chaste, so naturally everyone went crazy. A former adulterer has the nerve to be better at something than everyone else? How dare he!
Anybody with a blog or a Twitter feed tried to sound offended. ESPN columnist Rick Reilly wrote an entire column headlined, “An ad doesn’t take care of everything.”
In it Reilly writes, “Life is life and lies are lies. Playing golf well doesn’t buy you forgiveness or redemption or peace. The road to heaven isn’t paved with giant novelty checks.”
I agree. The road to heaven isn’t paved with giant novelty checks. It’s black topped with Super Bowl and World Series rings, NBA trophies, platinum records and Oscar statuettes.
The bigger the bastard you are, the more butlers you get to have. Winning does fix everything. You can deny it, but you know it’s true. Just admit it. Admit it. C’mon. Grow up.
Would you rather Tiger Woods begged for forgiveness, found religion and wrote a self-help book about how he found Jesus? Countless celebrities have used it to two-step back into our culture’s good graces. But you’re fooling yourself if you think it’s anything but a calculated, manipulative ploy for pity.
Tiger Woods could be the most religious, faithful and devoted husband who ever lived. He could be asexual and smooth down there like a Ken doll. No matter how pious or disinterested in a Hooters waitress Tiger pretends to be, it wouldn’t matter if he couldn’t hit a golf ball 400 yards into a tiny hole.
(Holes, drivers, shafts, rough . . . No wonder Tiger couldn’t stay faithful. Everything about golf sounds like the story line of an all-girls prison movie.)
Bill Clinton, Halle Berry, Britney Spears, Kobe Bryant, Michael Vick, Alex Rodriguez, Ray Lewis, Reggie Bush, Ben Roethlisberger, Rick Pitino, Kim Kardashian, Pee-wee Herman, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Brown, David Hasselhoff, Michael Jackson, Snoop Dogg, Christina Aguilera, Alec Baldwin, Tom Cruise, Mickey Rourke, Martha Stewart, Hugh Grant, R. Kelly, Rob Lowe, Kiefer Sutherland, Eddie Murphy, Winona Ryder, Mike Tyson, Mel Gibson: This is just a partial list of celebrities who have lied, stolen, snorted, sexed, assaulted, murdered and masturbated their way to the top.
Brad Pitt dumped his wife, Jennifer Aniston, because he thought Angelina Jolie was more attractive. Apparently it’s not OK to cheat on your wife if you’re a golfer. But if you’re Brad Pitt, not only can you dump your wife for your co-star, People will do a 30-page, full-color spread every time you pop out a kid or adopt another orphan.
JFK’s father helped him buy a presidential election. Half of the Founding Fathers owned slaves. Love your iPad, iPod and iPhone? Ask the Chinese workers, working 16 hours a day for 70 cents per hour, what they think about Apple and Steve Jobs.
Consequences don’t matter as long as you keep beating the competition. Be prettier, more talented and wealthier than everyone else, and there’s practically no sin we won’t forgive. You can do anything you want and get away it.
Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Dexter, Nurse Jackie, House, Boardwalk Empire, Sons of Anarchy—these are some of the most popular shows on TV. We like to think we’re better than Tiger Woods, but even the protagonists we root for are fast-talking adulterers, drug dealers, addicts and serial killers.
Nike’s ad lifts a mirror to the hypocrisy and superficiality of our time. It perfectly spells out how shallow we are. Nike and Tiger Woods are thumbing their noses and saying, “Tiger Woods screwed everything that moved. He even cheated on the women he was cheating with. So what? He’s still the greatest and you’re going to cheer for him.”
We don’t hate Nike because what’s printed isn’t true. We hate Nike because the ad is so brutally honest.
If Tiger Woods wins enough, you’ll root for him again. That’s how it is for winners.
Contact Jeff Girod at email@example.com