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Guest Column

Tiger's actions not so great

As a general rule, when you pay your wife millions of dollars not to leave you, it casts doubts as to exactly how much genuine love exists in the relationship. This has not stopped the formerly bland and personality-free Tiger Woods from allegedly giving his wife $5 million simply to not divorce him.

Apparently, Woods, desperate to hold onto his public image of having nothing to say about anything and simply being an all-American success story, believes that maintaining the illusion of a happy marriage may fool us all. Unfortunately, as a parade of bimbos announces their affairs with the golfer to the world it's unlikely anyone believes that everything is fine at the Woods' home.

Most likely the unfathomably wealthy golfer has an incredibly incompetent public relations team pulling his strings. This has led to the once benign product pitchman looking more and more like a talented John Gosselin.

I have never been a fan of Woods. While he has shown an incredible prowess in his chosen sport, he seems more machine than man. His complete lack of an opinion on anything in order to be a blank slate for his corporate sponsors has always annoyed me.

In some ways, finding out that the golfer actually has passions (albeit illicit ones), aside from working on his putting, makes him more interesting. Unfortunately, the way Woods has handled the scandal makes him the Governor Mark Sanford type of interesting.

Like so many other celebrities found with their pants down, Woods has chosen to lie, deny and offer no comment. Instead of pulling a David Letterman and coming clean after realizing he was caught, the decorated golf champion has said little and what he has said may not be true.

Once he got caught and had no chance of casting reasonable doubt as to his guilt, Woods had an obvious script to follow. If he had simply gotten up and apologized, admitted his guilt, expressed shame at his actions, Woods would appear genuine and human.

"I have done things that have hurt my family and for that I am sorry. I'm ashamed at my behavior and regret any pain my behavior may have caused. I promise to try to be better in the future and to do better by my family."

Woods could have delivered that speech and then let his PR team quietly get the information out that yes, he was divorcing. They could also slip out that he was financially taking care of his wife well beyond the terms of his prenuptial agreement and he would be well on his way to an improved image.

Cheating on his wife makes Woods a scumbag in many eyes, but being honest and admitting that the temptations were just too great also makes him a regular guy.

If the country can give Chris Brown a top-20 hit (and a wretched one at that) after he beats up Rihanna, then it's hard to imagine that a contrite Woods could not go back to selling Gatorade pretty quickly.

- Daniel B. Kline's work appear

in more than 100 papers weekly (dan@notastep.com).

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