Persons who aren't celebrities blessed with Fort Knox bank accounts wonder what it would be like to be in that position, even if only for a day. I imagine adulation and the freedom to purchase whatever is desired at a moment's notice qualifies as one of life's more-intoxicating beverages.

Then you watch blood-thirsty media members spend days clawing at the privacy bubble of one Tiger Woods and your stance is altered somewhat. Even the tallest of gates within Woods gated community in Windermere, Fla., couldn't save one of golf's true trailblazers from the mind-numbing fallout of just plain being human.

Therein lies the problem. Until Woods used his SUV to both flatten an innocent fire hydrant and give a nearby tree a good bark-peeling, human was the last thing he seemed.

Otherworldly golf skills meshed with a computerized personality long ago turned Woods into a club-swinging conglomerate. Win tournament, deposit check. Make public appearance, deposit check. Promote the product(s) of your choice, deposit check.

Life might rain dollar signs for Woods, but in this instance he didn't bring a slicker much less an umbrella. And it shows. From a public relations standpoint, Woods carded a triple-bogey, first keeping local authorities at arm's length before posting a lame statement/apology on his website.

The latter hardly qualifies as accountability from one of the world's most-recognized human beings. Woods is probably hoping time combined with his absence from the limelight will cause us all to have amnesia, but it doesn't work that way. That's not the society we live in.

Just as Woods' heroic deeds between tee boxes and greens all over the world are forever preserved, so, too, will be this massive dent to the side of his reputation unless he publicly demonstrates remorse. Again, this is the society we live in, the one heavily populated with suckers who go weak in the knees for a few shed tears.

Man up, Tiger, and get behind a microphone.

WIN ONE FOR THE FLIPPER - Among the most irritating sports traditions is various members of the 1972 Miami Dolphins popping champagne corks each season once the NFL's final unbeaten loses its first game.

Then again, considering Larry Csonka is 62, Bob Griese 64 and Nick Buoniconti a robust 68, a few good bottles of bubbly might soon be replaced by prune juice with a Metamucil chaser if they haven't already. These little gatherings, designed to celebrate that 17-0 Miami squad as the last undefeated NFL champion, are immature, not to mention a slap in the face to the league's current lineup of exceptional ballclubs.

All the more motivation to wish for an Indianapolis-New Orleans matchup in Super Bowl XLIV with both teams still unbeaten. Manning vs. Brees and, even better, a guarantee that a new franchise will soon be calling itself the greatest team of all time.


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