By Michael Mark, CEO/Creative Director @ NYCA
I am not Tiger Woods. Tiger, are you?
Tiger, this must sound weird to ask, considering you are the most famous person on the planet – but, do you know who you are?
Excuse me for this personal question, but I feel like we are connected somehow. And I have a bit of guilt with this “transgression” situation for having pressured you into being what I thought you should be. And the pressure was so extreme it forced you away from ever being who you might have always been. And to complicate the matter, I have been secretly pretending, like the commercial said, that “I am Tiger Woods.”
Every win of yours was ours. We all drove you hard, applying our mass will, pushing you further up the leaderboard, into the history books, away from us, so you could be better than us. And in pushing so hard, removing you from yourself. We never intended to lead you away from the rules of decency.
Like it or not, we’re all involved here. Yeah, you, me and two billion others. And yet, in the end, your transgressions are yours to live with. That’s the bad business of idol worship.
Now, for the record, and we know how we are attached to records: I am not asking whether you know what you have done on the course and off. It’s been documented.
Knowing yourself is not simple, especially with all the labels placed on the world’s most well-known person. You’ve got “world’s greatest golfer – ever,” “prodigy,” “elder statesman (Ryder Cup),” “celebrity at 2 years old,” “foundation owner,” “Asian,” “African-American,” “husband,” “father,” “son,” “hero,” “corporate endorser,” “adulterer,” “liar,” “billionaire,” “legend,” “friend,” “teacher,” and “role model” for starters.
It must be harder than any Sunday at a Major to live your life so publicly – so much so, maybe it wasn’t your life.
With all this, it’s tough to tell who is Tiger Woods.
But I come bearing an answer: change your name.
Take the name on your birth certificate. You can start over again, Eldrick. Maybe that original name switch started the whole series of events. Names are powerful mirrors, windows. Open yours.
It’s better than running off to board your yacht, Privacy, because as you know you’ll find no privacy there – big as that boat is. Sooner than later you’ll run into Tiger, the stowaway.
You’d still be somewhat famous, though, should that be something you want to keep. Google “Tiger Woods” and you get 56,700,000 searches. “Eldrick Woods” gets 429,000.
You might wonder would Eldrick have done the things Tiger did? Will he hit the shots that Tiger can? Can he fix the mess that Tiger has made?
Try this: “I am Eldrick Woods! I am Eldrick Woods.”
Well, it’s just an idea, a direction. And it’s not about erasing what was done like it never happened. That’s for the second coming. We know that’s not your role, now. This is just a second chance.
Might even turn your game around.
Best of luck. Whoever you are.