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Tiger Woods Gets Raw Deal From Haters

I am the same age as Tiger Woods.

I remember when I was 14 years old, my classmate Rocky Casero (that's really his name) told us all about this "kid named Tiger Woods" who "is our age" and is "going to be the best golfer ever."

Relative to the rest of us Rocky was a great golfer in his own right. He was no Tiger Woods, but he loved the game and was damn good for his age. In many ways, golf was Rocky's life.

At times he wasn't available to play after school or on weekends because he was practicing. Like me, working in radio as a teenager, Rocky made some sacrifices for his love of golf. But that was pretty much the extent of it. He was still a regular kid like the rest of us.

He was an awkward teenage boy. He was as uncomfortable being around other awkward boys, naked as we changed for gym class, as any other awkward naked teenage boy. His parents helped facilitate his golf passion, but they never pushed it. There was never really concern over turning Rocky into "the best golfer ever."

You can't say the same for Tiger Woods.

From a very young age -- much younger than 14 -- he had his life's journey prescribed for him. He was going to be "the best golfer ever."

Imagine that type of childhood. And then imagine waking up one day in your 20s or 30s. Maybe you start thinking about this image you have. This image that others, particularly your father, created for you. You need to find ways to break free. To experience being somebody other than Tiger Woods.

The guy who can leave naughty messages for seemingly sex-obsessed women, but get away with it because nobody would really care that some random dude is trying to score in the dirtiest of ways. You know -- or maybe you don't because you have never thought about it this way -- you attempt to create two lives for yourself: Tiger, the buttoned-up and proper golf phenomenon vs. a generic human who can get away with stuff because nobody's looking, mainly because they have no reason to look. It wouldn't be sensational enough if they did.
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