Monday, December 14, 2009
“You Can Tell a Person’s Character (or lack thereof) by the Company They Keep”
by John Alexander Madison
December 14, 2009
There is no denying it. When the discussion rolls around to the greatest golfers of all time, the top ten ranking may go something like this: Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan, Bobby Jones, Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Walter Hagan and Gene Sarazan. If you know anything about golf you'll find it hard to argue these players belong in the top ten. And, if you are good at math, you will notice only nine golfers are listed. Who is missing? Coming in number one or two on just about anybody’s list would be a fellow by the name of Eldrick Tont. He was born on December 30, 1975 in Cypress, California. Through his parents ancestry he is one-quarter Chinese, one-quarter Thai, one-quarter African American, one-eight Native American, and one-eight Dutch…and a Buddist.
At age 33, Eldrick Tont’s records include 71 PGA tour wins, including 14 majors, and 57 other championship wins. Without a doubt he will forever be included on any list of the world’s greatest golfers…he is and always will be a great golf champion.
There are other lists
Another list includes President John Fitzgerald Kennedy (D, MA), President William Jefferson Clinton (D, AR), Governor Elliot Spitzer (D, NY), Senator John Edwards (D, NC), Governor Marshall Clement “Mark” Sanford (R, SC), Governor Jim McGreevey (D, NJ), Pastor Ted Haggard (New Life Church, CO), Kobe Bryant (NBA), Michael Jordan (NBA), David Beckham (MLS), Donald Trump, Brad Pitt (Actor), Prince Charles (Prince of Wales), Amy Winehouse (singer), David Letterman (television host), Gordon Ramsay (television chef)…and, not to be forgotten, Eldrick Tont. They all cheated on their spouses and they are all guilty of infidelity. By any honest assessment they are all cads.
Dictionary.com defines a “cad” as “an ill-bred man, especially one who behaves in a dishonorable or irresponsible way toward women.” Ms. Winehouse, more properly I suppose, is a wannabee cad or a “cad-ette” having admitted to an extra-marital affair in her divorce proceedings.
An historical perspective
In the context of a list of all-time greatest golfers, Eldrick Tont is in great company. In the context of a list of all-time cads, Eldrick Tont is in great company.
Regarding the expression “You Can Tell a Person’s Character by the Company They Keep” I’ve modified it a bit, adding “You Can Tell a Person’s Character (or lack thereof) by the Company They Keep.”
Character is defined as “the aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person…moral or ethical quality.” By all accounts, Eldrick Tont lacks good character. Who would have known?
Eldrick Tont, of course, was born Eldrick Tont Woods, a/k/a Tiger Woods.
Left in the awake of Eldrick’s selfish behavior is the permanent damage which has been inflicted upon his loving wife Elin Nordegrin, her daughter Sam Alexis, her son Charlie Axel, and Swedish golfer, Jesper Parnevik who introduced Elin to Tiger. Reacting to Tiger’s recently disclosed infidelity Parnevik said "I hope she uses a driver next time instead of a 3-iron." I suspect many will agree.
When it’s all said and done….Tiger Woods will be known as the first professional athlete in the world to earn over one billion dollars; he will be known as one of the best golfers ever; and he will be known as a man of bad character, a serial cad.
The Seventh Commandment reads: Thou shalt not commit adultery. (Exodus 20:14)