Eamon Lynch, in last week’s Tour Confidential informs us:
[Bubba] Watson’s folk hero image owes more to the hagiography common in golf media than the reality. The petulant, childish figure we’ve seen over the last few months seems to be struggling in the glare of his own fame.
Well said. So far, so good.
We’ve seen plenty of the same behavior from Tiger over the years, but at least Tiger never used the bible as a ‘”get-out-of-jail-free” card by telling fans that he’s trying to be a better person for Jesus. I’d rather have a full-time sinner than a part-time saint.
Eamon, we have a problem. Lynch, in his zest to explain why Tiger Woods’s bad behavior is really kind of cool but Bubba’s bad behavior is just plain wrong, manages to insult Christians, Buddhists, and every reader with a functioning brain.
1. No capitalization of “Bible,” which to many Christians is just as insulting as when racists “misspell” Tiger Woods’s name and claim they are making an allusion to Winnie The Pooh. Lynch is identified as managing editor of Golf.com, so you’d like to think he knows his way around a Chicago Manual of Style.
2. “Get-out-of-jail-free.” “Better person for Jesus.” We get it. You’re not down with Christianity. (Nor are most people on the planet.) We also get that such putdowns are considered “edgy,” yet they are pre-approved by your media cohorts, so you can feel like a rebel without actually having to be a rebel. That’s our golf media!
Lynch thinks so little of Buddhism that he doesn’t even remember that a Buddhist get-out-of-jail-free card was a key element of Woods’s 2010 Apology Tour:
ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi interview:
I’d gotten away from my Buddhism.
Golf Channel’s Kelly Tilghman interview:
Kelly Tilghman: I noticed you’re wearing a bracelet, can we see it?
Tiger Woods: Yeah.
Kelly Tilghman: What does it mean?
Tiger Woods: It’s Buddhist, it’s for protection and strength and I certainly need that.
Kelly Tilghman: When did you start wearing it?
Tiger Woods: Before I went into treatment.
Kelly Tilghman: Will you be wearing it during the Masters?
Tiger Woods: Absolutely.
Kelly Tilghman: For the rest of your life?
Tiger Woods: Absolutely.
Kelly Tilghman: Tiger, thank you.
Tiger Woods: Thanks Kel.
I have a lot of work to do, and I intend to dedicate myself to doing it. Part of following this path for me is Buddhism, which my mother taught me at a young age. People probably don’t realize it, but I was raised a Buddhist, and I actively practiced my faith from childhood until I drifted away from it in recent years. Buddhism teaches that a craving for things outside ourselves causes an unhappy and pointless search for security. It teaches me to stop following every impulse and to learn restraint.
Lynch’s apparent dismissal of Buddhism is such that Woods’s repeated use of it as a “get-out-of-jail-free” card by telling fans he’s trying to be “a better person for Buddha” doesn’t even register.
The Intelligence of Readers:
Paint-by-numbers putdown of Christians? Check!
Blatant factual errors (“at least Woods never…”)? Check!
Ignoring reality to prop up Woods’s image (“rather have a full-time sinner than a part-time saint”)? Check!
It’s hard to believe the guy actually collects a pay check for this stuff.
Eamon, some advice: Keep your night job.